The Clean Fuels Transportation Alliance seeks to accelerate the adoption of clean fuel vehicles in Georgia by reducing the economic, regulatory and infrastructure barriers through statewide education, policy and financial opportunity. Through the coordinated and collective voices of vehicle manufacturers, utilities, fueling equipment suppliers and public and private enterprise, the CFTA seeks to drive policy that will position Georgia as a transportation leader in alternative fuels and alternative fuel technology development.
Contact: Joy Kramer
Clean Fuel Transportation Alliance
Legislative Study Committee to take a closer look at fueling growth with Natural Gas, EV and Propane Vehicles
Atlanta, GA 4/6/16 When Miles Teems, owner of Teems Electric invited Senator Jeff Mullis out to his offices in Ringgold, GA to see his new fleet of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles and fueling station, he never thought that he might be launching a revolution in clean energy for Georgia.
Gasoline may be hovering at just $2 per gallon in the short-term, but a group of municipal and business leaders are still seeing green in Georgia’s growing fleet of propane, natural gas and electric vehicles. The Clean Fuels Transportation Alliance, which includes the collective voices of vehicle manufacturers, utilities, fueling equipment suppliers and public and private enterprise, worked in unison this session in support of Senate Resolution 1038, calling for a Joint Study Committee of the Georgia House and Senate.
The Resolution which passed in the last days of the session will allow 10 Georgia Legislators to analyze and report on the impact of alternative fuels in Georgia, as an economic generator for municipalities, a savings opportunity for businesses and local governments, and a jobs creator across the state. While Georgia has a bankable reputation for being a great state to do business, companies are increasingly looking for the infrastructure that will support their need for a cleaner supply chain and travel routes to refuel their new vehicles.
Senator Jeff Mullis, Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee saw the potential in alternative fuels and sponsored the Resolution. His recognition of the economic gains sustained by the natural gas industry in his district are ones he hopes Georgians across the state may enjoy. Industry leaders have also welcomed this as a shared mutual goal. “There is a misperception that one fuel is going to be the final answer to displace traditional diesel and gasoline engines, but what we are seeing is an optimal fuel-fit based on vehicle size and use. “ says Joy Kramer a clean fuel lobbyist and organizer of the new Alliance. “A study committee is the first step in understanding and addressing the challenges our state faces in balancing cost, safety and funding of student transportation, transit, public services and municipal fleets. Properly sited fueling stations give us the biggest bang for the buck in terms of public and private economic growth.”
The loss of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle tax credit dealt a heavy blow to all-electric plug-ins last year, with retail sales of the Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul EV falling off nearly 90% at its expiration, but during the 5 years that the credit was in place, Georgia saw tremendous growth in availability of EV Charging stations. The most recent count of publicly accessible chargers is 1162 at more than 460 locations in Georgia. Georgia Power continues to offer rebates towards installation of EV Chargers in the home, workplace and for new construction. Don Francis, Executive Director of Clean Cities Georgia, an organization which tracks alternative fuel statistics, notes that registrations for plug-in vehicles, which reached a peak of 23,000 last Fall have been steadily declining. “Each EV that leaves the state and is replaced by a gasoline vehicle represents a loss of more than $2,000 per year in revenue that leaves Georgia, because gasoline is not produced here.” notes Francis.
Heavy duty vehicles of the type that are used in transit buses and waste collection are rolling off the lines in big numbers with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engines and there are now close to 30 publicly accessible stations across Georgia. Members of the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia (MGAG) are supportive of the legislature’s efforts to advance alternative fuels and are on pace to dispensing over 1.5 million gallon-equivalents of compressed natural gas in 2016. Members of MGAG look forward to highlighting the tremendous upside for CNG fueling and the economic and environmental benefits possible for local municipalities and the State of Georgia.
Cities and counties deploying alternative fuel vehicles are also seeing the benefits. Cobb County Fleet Manager Al Curtis has seen significant cost savings from all types of clean fueling options including natural gas, propane, bio-diesel and hybrid & electric vehicles. Cobb County has integrated 16 electric vehicles, 23 hybrid, 2 electric motorcycles and added 12 propane bi-fueled vehicles, and maintains a demonstrated commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. They are currently partnering with Atlanta Gas Light in the erection of a larger CNG station. At the same time, business owners like Miles Teems, who made the switch based on the cost benefits that come from CNG use, notes that he gets the added bonus of having pride in knowing that he is buying American and doing his part to help clean up the air.
The Joint Study Committee will be composed of five members of the House and five members of the Senate, with a member of the House and Senate each having a co-chair appointed ty Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Speaker of the House David Ralston. The meeting dates, times, and members of the Joint Study Committee will be announced in the coming months.