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Projects Updates for Use Electric Vehicles (EV)

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  1. Sarthak met with Gabe Lewis to talk about Electric Vehicles and EV charging

    On May 24, Sarthak Prasad met with Gabe Lewis to talk about EVs. Gabe is the Transportation Planner at the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) and he currently leads the RPC Tech Committee which consists of 7 members – Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Rantoul, St. Joseph, Mahomet, and Champaign County. Most recently, they had been talking about the feasibility of EVs in urban as well as the rural areas in the county.

    We talked about the US DOT's Charging Forward, an EV toolkit, that is primarily focused on EV Charging in the rural areas: https://www.transportation.gov/rural/ev/toolkit

    We also talked about Clean City Coalition. State of Illinois does not have a coalition, but Chicago has one and we could potentially reach out to them: https://cleancities.energy.gov/coalitions/

    https://cleancities.energy.gov/coalitions/chicago

    Also discussed the federal funding available through National EV Infrastructure (NEVI), Carbon Reduction Program (CRP), State and Local Planning for Energy (https://maps.nrel.gov/slope/), and EV Pro Lite (https://afdc.energy.gov/evi-pro-lite)

  2. Meeting between Sarthak Prasad, Morgan White, and Robert O'Daniell

    Robert O'Daniell met with Morgan and me on Friday, May 13, 2022. We talked about the following topics:

    • The University's upcoming task force for EVs. There will be two task forces -
      • On-campus
      • Community
    • Reserve List for new EVs - backlog of about 18 months. Ford is not putting more people on this list now.
    • How much EVs/Hybrids save over time
      • With the Tax credits and saving on fuel, the cost is very comparable and sometimes cheaper than gasoline car
      • Maintenance cost of EVs are very low
    • EV Town initiative at Bloomington/Normal area
    • QwikTrip chargers
      • None currently in Champaign
    • We talked about possibly adding Solar Arc at Lincoln & Florida parking lot
      • I will look at the product and possibly ask SSC for funding in the future
    • We also talked about the people Robert has reached out to so far
    • EV-Go
    • Electrify America
    • Where to place a Fast Charger in Champaign-Urbana?
    • I will connect Robert with Gabe Lewis at CCRPC.

    Robert also provided some documents that were updated from last meeting with me (Introductory meeting with Robert O'Daniell)

  3. Introductory meeting with Robert O'Daniell

    I met with Robert O'Daniell on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. We covered several topics, including the electrification trend, Federal and State tax credits for EVs, but majority of the time was dedicated to learn about the EV charging stations in Champaign County as compared to other cities.

    Robert also shared his own experience as an EV owner and the survey he is currently conducting to gauge interest in increasing the number of public-use EV charging and possibility of introducing DC Fast Charging to the campus and Champaign County.

    I will create the survey on Google Forms, and then help deploy it on-campus. We also discussed where to promote this survey.

    See attached the documents that we covered during this meeting.

  4. EV Procurement Law in Illinois

    EO 2108, ELECTRIC VEHICLE PROCUREMENT. The executive order provides that the state shall: (1) develop and implement a program for procurement of electric and other low emission or zero emission vehicles for state purposes; (2) establish a State Fleet Working Group convened by the Department of Central Management Services and composed of representatives from the Department of Transportation, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and the Illinois Commerce Commission; (3) set forth the responsibilities of the working group; (4) direct the Department of Central Management Services, in conjunction with other state agencies, to develop a plan to install electric vehicle chargers on state property; and (5) direct the Illinois State Board of Education to collaborate with the Department of Transportation and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to develop tools and provide information to assist school districts in assessing the benefits and costs of zero emission bus options when replacing school buses. The executive order became effective 22 APR 21.

    https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=2108&GAID=16&DocTypeID=EO&SessionID=110&GA=102

    https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/Executive-Orders/ExecutiveOrder2021-08.a...

  5. 12/2 Transportation SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes for the 12/2 Transportation SWATeam Meetings, as well as the Zoom chat file.

    Discussed were the following:

    • Telecommuting/Teleconferencing Policy and Commputer Program Intern 
    • EV Parking Department Dashboard Data
    • EV Task Force
  6. 11/18 Transportation SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat from the Zero Waste SWATeam meeting on 11/18.

    Discussed were the following topics:

    • Establishing a telecommuting/teleconferencing policy.
    • Discussing working with an interdisciplinary health intern in IHR to tackle research/application of teleconferencing/telecommuting policy and commuter program.
    • Establishing an EV Task Force through the Parking Department to re-assess campus EV needs.
  7. Transportation iCAP efforts in progress

    Hello Transportation SWATeam members,

    Thank you again for your willingness to help our campus achieve the Climate Leadership Commitments.  There is great value provided by the bi-weekly meetings of student, faculty, and staff representatives evaluating our progress and recommending additional actions campus units could take.

    The following is a list of current activities I am aware of, and suggestions I have about useful next steps.  I am happy to follow up with you on any of these, as needed.

    Thank you very much,

    ~Morgan

    Transportation

    1. EV analysis for department’s assigned vehicles – Hursh Hazari worked with Pete Varney’s data to evaluate the possibility of replacing some fleet vehicles with EVs.  https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project/use-electric-vehicles-ev-campus
    2. Pete Varney has established the F&S fleet as a certified green fleet.  Pete, do you create an annual report for the status of that which you can share?  If not, can you provide an update to the SWATeam and to me? 
    3. Last year the SWATeam discussed encouraging additional campus units to get certified as green fleets.  Your team could submit a recommendation for another unit (or more than one) to pursue that certification. 
    4. New EV Chargers – Scott Willenbrock is working on one at the Illini Union + Phil Krein is interested in getting more Type 1 chargers for the North Campus Parking Deck.
    5. Potential EV Study – At the Oct. 11 Workshop for the Living Lab research connections to iCAP, there will be seed funding offered and the study for transitioning to EVs could collect and use data on campus vehicle use.  Pete has example data, which could be used to support the request for seed funding, which could then possibly fund data collection for the study.
    6. We do not yet have new air travel emission data.  iSEE is working on creating a virtual storeroom to offer carbon offsets to campus units to voluntarily buy air travel offsets.  The storeroom has funding for the first 10,000 offsets, but I understand there was a hurdle on selecting appropriate offsets with additionality.  I recommend asking Ben McCall and Scott Willenbrock about it.
    7. A new Mode split survey is needed as soon as possible.  Lily Wilcock intends to bring this as an item for discussion.  We would appreciate it if you would help define the survey questions, and then iSEE can help distribute the survey to get updated figures. 
    8. Bike Plan – I suggest you ask Stacey DeLorenzo to join one of your meetings to give an overview of the status of the Bike Plan infrastructure upgrades.
    9. Lily has funding for a Bike at Illinois website, which Creative Services will develop in the winter and spring months this fiscal year. 
    10. Lily has worked with MTD to offer bus tours to show campus staff how to use the MTD.  We teach all our new student how to ride, but none of the new employees get the personal introduction.  These tours are very successful, when they are organized with a specific department or location. 
    11. Bike Parking – there is a significant capacity issue, which is noticeable just by looking around campus, especially during class hours in the core area.  Lily has a new website that she can show you, and there is an upcoming Bike Census, which your team members should help with.
    12. Bike Sharing – a handful of dockless bike sharing companies are wanting to come to town/campus.  To manage their impacts (imagine bikes in the boneyard) they will be required to obtain city permits.  Lily is asking the SSC to use the funds they allocated to bike sharing for additional bike parking areas in the heart of campus.
    13. MCORE – this project has several impacts on multi-modal transportation.  You can learn more at http://www.mcoreproject.com/project-construction-updates.
  8. New York Times article on EVs

  9. Idea for LEED transportation credit

    The LEED transportation credit for encouraging low emission vehicles can be obtained if there are dedicated spaces for low-emission vehicles near the building in question.  In general, the University is not adding new parking spaces for new buildings, so it is difficult to achieve this LEED point.  One method is to add a Zipcar space for the building, and another is to add an Electric Vehicle charging station.  Grant Colella, a Project Manager at F&S, suggested a long-term plan to change all of the campus fleet to low emission vehicles, so the dedicated service vehicle spaces would also be low emission vehicle spaces.

  10. Solar Car Small and Full project Funding Agreement

    Illini Solar Car was established last year with aims to design, build, and race a commercially-viable, solar-electric vehicle to compete in the 2019 World Solar Challenge. To meet this long term goal, the organization has the interim goals of building a lighter, single-seat vehicle to allow for competition in the 2016 American Solar Challenge, 2017 World Solar Challenge, and 2018 American Solar Challenge.

    Illinois Solar Car has already received two small grants of under $5,000 each to work on prototyping aspects of their system. Though they have received significant donations of equipment such as solar panels and motors from outside companies, basic supplies to manufacture the car itself still must be purchased.

    The full project funds the remaining costs associated with completing Solar Car’s first full-sized vehicle, with the expectation that having one completed vehicle opens the door for expanded funding opportunities from other sponsors.

  11. Nissan talking with iSEE

    Associated Project(s): 

    Eric Heineman (former Sustainability Director for Governor Pat Quinn) is now working at Nissan.  He said, "We are interested in setting up some Ride and Drive (test drives), some sort of university employee/alumni discount for all employees, and just raise greater awareness of Electric Vehicles in Urbana-Champaign."

  12. Award Letter - Solar Car

    This project is to build and test a scaled-down prototype of the electrical system of a solar car. The major parts of this prototype are the solar array, maximum power point trackers (MPPT), rechargeable batteries, and a load. The solar array will be made of flexible silicon crystalline solar cells encapsulated (to protect from debris and enhance performance) and mounted on a contoured composite panel that mimics the surface of our car body. The applicant will design and build our own MPPT which is a variable DC/DC boost converter that raises the voltage of their array. The MPPT has a feedback loop control to ensure maximum output from the array under different insolation and temperatures. The rechargeable batteries will be Li-ion batteries that will act as a buffer energy source when sunlight is not available or is insufficient to power the system. Although Li-ion batteries have a high energy density, they require a battery management system to ensure safe and optimal operation. Thus, they will purchase a battery management system that is suitable for our car. Lastly, the energy generated by the solar array will power a load, which will be a motor planned to be borrowed from another team.

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