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Chicago Area Clean Cities to Host Green Drives Conference on April 30

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

CHICAGO, Feb. 18, 2020 – Chicago Area Clean Cities today announced it will hold its ninth annual Green Drives Conference & Expo on Thursday, April 30.

The Chicago-area coalition invites commercial and government fleets, community leaders, and the public to attend the environmental conference at the Northern Illinois University Conference Center in Naperville, Illinois.

“We expect to have more than 200 attendees, two dozen speakers and 40 environmentally friendly vehicles on display or available for test drives,” said John Walton, chair, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “As one of the largest clean-transportation conferences in the Midwest, Green Drives provides you with the benefits of a multi-day conference in a one-day trade show-like setting – all celebrating the latest in green-vehicle technologies.”

“Attendees not only get a chance to network with experts from throughout the nation and the region, but they learn of first-hand experiences from fleets currently using alternative fuels and electric vehicles,” Walton said. “At Green Drives, we connect the people and technologies that help make sustainable transportation a reality. We also give attendees the chance to get behind the wheel of vehicles of all different sizes.”

Speakers and highlights of this year’s program include:

  • John Davis, the Emmy Award-winning host of “MotorWeek,” television’s longest-running automotive series, will once again serve as the program’s emcee.
  • Kevin Campbell, manager of fleet services, City of Chicago, and Julie Furber, vice president, electrified power, Cummins, will give keynote remarks.
  • Advanced technologies, electric vehicles and alternative fuels will be showcased.
  • An alternative fuel and electric vehicle ride-and-drive will be held.
  • Executives from automakers will discuss their newest vehicles and technologies.
  • Fleets will learn how to use cleaner, lower emissions fuels, while saving money.
  • Fleet managers may register for a complimentary pass. Offer is available for commercial or government fleet managers or other decision makers of vehicle fleet purchases, such as directors, city managers, mayors or county officials.

Green Drives is being held at Northern Illinois University’s Conference and Meetings Center, 1120 East Diehl Road, Naperville, IL 60563. To register for tickets, become a sponsor or exhibitor, visit https://chicagocleancities.org/green-drives.

“Green Drives is a must-attend event for private and public fleets, including commercial and municipal fleet managers, dealer personnel, small businesses, and clean-tech and clean-energy professionals,” Walton said. “Whether you run a small or large business, are a fleet manager, manage a dealership or service garage, or work in technology or energy, there will be topics of interest and networking opportunities for you.”

Chicago Area Clean Cities, a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting clean transportation in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. The coalition’s membership is comprised of federal, state and local governments, corporations, small businesses, and individuals. These stakeholders come together to share information and resources, educate the public, help craft public policy, and collaborate on projects that reduce petroleum use.

Chicago Area Clean Cities is one of nearly 100 coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago region, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. To become involved, visit chicagocleancities.org.

 

News Media Contact:

Joe Koenig
708-613-5005

Forest Preserves of Cook County Named Clean Fuels Champion by Clean Cities

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

CHICAGO, Dec. 5, 2019 – The Forest Preserves of Cook County, one of the largest forest preserve systems in the nation, has been named the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition’s 2019 Clean Fuels Champion for its efforts to improve the environment and air quality.

In the Forest Preserves’ fleet, 20 vehicles and 40 large riding rotary mowers operate on propane, a fuel that has lower emissions than gasoline and diesel. As a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting clean-vehicles and clean-air solutions for transportation, Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The coalition gives the award annually to the organization or individual that it believes has had the most impact on reducing emissions from transportation throughout the year.

“Our team is thrilled to be recognized for this honor by Chicago Area Clean Cities,” said Tom Thompson, maintenance supervisor for the Forest Preserves of Cook County. “Most people already think of the Forest Preserves as being green. However, our efforts over many years to make our vehicles and equipment green helps advance our Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Plan, which aims to address serious environmental issues that threaten the Forest Preserves and people of Cook County.”

The Forest Preserves was awarded for its efforts at Chicago Area Clean Cities’ Annual Meeting. The award has been given annually since 2001 to an individual, organization or business that champions the promotion of alternative fuels and technologies to reduce vehicle emissions and reduce petroleum usage. Recent award recipients include Pace Suburban Bus, the American Lung Association, Testa Produce and Ozinga Bros, Inc.

“The Forest Preserves of Cook County is an example of what’s possible when it comes to protecting the environment,” said John W. Walton, chair of the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition. “Their steps to green their operations is an example for all who want to contribute to a better world.

“We’re also recognizing the Forest Preserves’ team for their efforts in partnering with us to promote clean vehicles,” Walton added. “Their team has provided facilities for our workshops and volunteers for events. They’ve worked hard to get people behind the wheel of electric vehicles and helped the Illinois Alternative Fuel Alliance hold education sessions for lawmakers in Springfield. Their leadership is to be commended.”

The Forest Preserves of Cook County, with nearly 70,000 acres of property, is one of the largest forest preserve systems in the nation. Maintaining all that green space requires a lot of vehicles and fuel. To mow the landscape in and around picnic groves and other recreational public spaces, the agency maintains a fleet of 40 riding mowers, 90 large tractors with flail mower attachments, 55 push mowers and 100 trimmers, heavily used April through October.

In 2013, the Forest Preserves began the conversion of its mowers to propane power, which has significantly lowered the environmental impact of its grove maintenance. “By converting our vehicles and mowers to clean power, we have been successful in making them both environmentally friendly and fuel efficient,” Thompson said. “This is a benefit to our community, the environment and a value to taxpayers.”

At the awards ceremony, CACC also named its Green Leadership Award winners. Thompson was awarded for Leadership in Public Service for his more than 30 years of service to the Forest Preserves and his role in the preserves’ sustainability initiatives. Others awarded include the Village of Oak Park, Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Stop, Ozinga and the Village of Downers Grove. Each organization was recognized for its successful use of vehicles with alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies.

About the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Don’t you sometimes just want to escape? Explore the natural beauty of Cook County for an hour, a day or even a night. When you’re surrounded by 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful there’s no better place to feel free.

About Chicago Area Clean Cities

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Chicago Area Clean Cities is a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting clean-vehicles and clean-air solutions for transportation in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. CACC is one of nearly 100 coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel efficiency and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. To get involved, visit ChicagoCleanCities.org.

 

News Media Contacts:

Joe Koenig
Chicago Area Clean Cities
708-613-5005

Carl Vogel
Forest Preserves of Cook County
708-906-1184

Chicago Area Clean Cities Names Green Leadership Award Winners

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

CHICAGO, Dec. 5, 2019 – Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition (CACC) today announced its 2019 Leadership Award winners at its annual December Meeting and Reception held at The Great Escape in Schiller Park. The awards are given annually to organizations and individuals that take actions to locally reduce petroleum consumption and improve air quality, such as by using cleaner-burning alternative-fuel vehicles, electric vehicles or other advanced technologies.

This year’s winners include: Village of Oak Park, Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza, Ozinga and Village of Downers Grove. Tom Thompson, maintenance supervisor for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, was recognized for his Leadership in Public Service. Chicago resident Neda Deylami also was awarded a Community Leadership Award for her efforts to help Chicago transition to environmentally friendly electric vehicles.

“The individuals and organizations we are honoring are terrific examples for others to follow to learn about the advantages of clean-vehicle and alternative-fuel technologies,” said Samantha Bingham, coordinator, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “Their efforts serve the Chicago community by reducing harmful emissions from vehicles. That helps to reduce air pollution, making the air we breathe cleaner and healthier for all.”

CACC Leadership Award winners by category include: 

Best Performing Municipality: The Village of Oak Park 

The Village of Oak Park is located eight miles from the Chicago Loop. The village is taking many steps to lower the carbon footprint and emissions of its vehicle fleet.

Oak Park recently installed five electric vehicle charging stations at its village hall on Madison Street. There are three stations with six ports for charging municipal vehicles and two charging stations with four ports for charging by EV owners. Along with the installation, the municipality deployed five new all-electric 2019 Nissan LEAFs.

Oak Park, with more than 50,000 residents, is a member of CACC and the B20 Club and is a long-time user of low-emissions biodiesel fuel for the village’s diesel fleet vehicles. B20 generates fewer tailpipe emissions and reduces lifecycle carbon emissions.

The village also expanded its use of telematics to coach and educate fleet drivers on proper usage of equipment by decreasing idling, reducing speeding and excessive acceleration, and decreasing use of fossil fuels. It also added a hybrid-electric bucket truck, which allows use of the bucket with a battery instead of the vehicle’s engine.

Oak Park’s green fleet is one of many sustainability efforts underway in the village.

“Oak Park has always been at the forefront as a green community,” said Ken Crowley, superintendent of fleet services for the Village of Oak Park. “We place a high priority on environmental stewardship. We do everything we can to keep the air we breathe as clean as we can, and our use of biodiesel and electric vehicles are very important initiatives.”

Leadership in Public Service: Tom Thompson, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Tom Thompson is the maintenance supervisor for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, one of the largest forest preserve districts in the nation at 70,000 acres. Thompson, who has worked with the preserves for 30 years, has led the Forest Preserves’ efforts to make their vehicles and mowers green as a part of an ongoing plan to make operations as environmentally friendly and economical as possible.

Maintaining all that green space requires a lot of vehicles and fuel. To mow the landscape in and around picnic groves and other recreational public spaces, the agency maintains a fleet of 40 riding mowers, 90 large tractors, 55 push mowers and 100 trimmers. The Forest Preserves recently converted 20 vehicles and 40 large riding mowers to propane, a fuel that has lower emissions than gasoline and diesel.

“Tom is a true leader and a steward of the environment,” said John W. Walton, chair, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “His leadership to green the Forest Preserves’ operations is to be commended and is an example for all who what to contribute to a better world.”

At the awards program, CACC also awarded the Forest Preserves of Cook County its most prestigious award, naming the 2019 Clean Fuels Champion, an award given annually since 2001 to an individual, organization or business that champions sustainable transportation solutions. 

Community Leadership Award: Neda Deylami

Chicago resident Neda Deylami devotes much of her personal time to planning educational EV events in communities throughout the Chicago area and Illinois. She has organized and participated in over a dozen events at public libraries, city halls, sustainability fairs and other outreach events, which altogether were attended by hundreds of people in 2019.

This year, Deylami founded an electric vehicle community group, “Chicago for EVs.” The group is comprised mostly of EV owners but is open to all who want to lend a hand in advancing the local EV market.

With support from other EV owners, Deylami has worked with aldermen and city officials in Chicago, municipal officials in the suburbs and officials and representatives in Springfield, advocating for policies that would promote wider adoption of EVs. She has written several policy and research papers to promote the growth of EVs, which have influenced legislative initiatives in Chicago and the state of Illinois. In her advocacy efforts, she has focused in particular on policies that would expand access to EVs among groups who currently face the most obstacles in accessing sustainable transportation, such as renters, lower income people, and minorities.

“Neda is an exceptional EV owner who is dedicated to making adoption easier for future EV drivers and educating communities about the benefits of driving electric,” Bingham said. “She’s one of CACC’s star volunteers, having lent a hand on multiple occasions when the coalition has sought assistance for outreach events. She’s gone above and beyond to assist Chicago-area communities become EV ready, and she deserves this recognition.”

Above and Beyond Award: Ozinga

Ozinga is a fourth-generation, family-owned company providing ready mix concrete, building materials, logistics and alternative fuel solutions since 1928. Ozinga has more than 200 ready mix concrete mixers running on renewable natural gas in the Chicagoland area.

As of Spring 2019, all Ozinga natural gas fueling stations pump renewable landfill gas. With RNG, Ozinga’s fleet produces over 4,000,000 Kgs fewer well-to-wheels greenhouse gas emissions than a comparable diesel fleet every year. Additionally, Ozinga can now help other organizations make the switch to RNG. As a part of station updates, Ozinga also added more electric vehicle charging stations to both the Mokena and Chinatown offices and yards.

Additionally, for the first time in company history, Ozinga is purchasing more than 6,000 megawatts of Illinois wind energy per year as of May 2019. The new electricity supply contract will use Illinois wind to provide power to Ozinga locations throughout Illinois. The 6,000 MWH/ year of wind energy represents more than 25 percent of the company’s electricity usage. The renewable wind power Ozinga is purchasing through a new contract is the same price as any other power. After this current contract expires in 2021, Ozinga is planning to expand usage of green power. Wind energy is one of the most cost-effective clean fuel sources available. It also boasts less than 2 percent of the levelized CO2 emissions per kWh than traditional coal plants. In fact, the amount of wind energy Ozinga is purchasing this year is equivalent to the energy required to power 740 homes or 10 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.

These, among other initiatives, were initiated by the Ozinga Energy team. With renewable natural gas having a negative carbon footprint, it became a priority to implement in 2019. Due to the deregulated nature of Illinois’ electric markets, Ozinga can sign contracts that lock in wind energy rates for several years, minimize risk from price fluctuations, and have a more consistent energy budget. So far, Ozinga has purchased over 2,500 MWHs of wind energy since the Wind contract started and dispensed over 750,000 GGEs of renewable natural gas.

Service Station of the Year: Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza

The Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza was one of the first, family-owned and operated, independent truck plazas in the United States to start selling B11 biodiesel in 2006.

After experiencing firsthand the economical, physical, and environmental benefits that biodiesel was having for truck drivers, their trucks, and the environment, Robin Puthusseril, vice president and co-owner of the Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza, along with her father John Puthusseril, decided to take things to a higher level. In 2013, they invested more than half a million dollars to build the infrastructure at their truck plaza to begin blending and selling higher blends of premium biodiesel to all their customers.

Today, B11-B20 premium biodiesel is blended and sold year-round to all their customers at every diesel dispenser. The Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza also offers fleet customers bulk B100 biodiesel for purchase, if needed.

In 2018, Robin testified before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment regarding Advanced Biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard. She explained why biodiesel is good for the country because it helps displace petroleum-based fuels and lowers the cost of fuel for all Americans. She also encouraged Congress to continue to incentivize retailers like herself so she and others can continue the work and impact that has only started.

“Robin is a true advocate for the performance and environmental benefits of biodiesel fuel,” said John Walton. “She’s making a huge impact in getting Class 8 truckers to reduce their emissions.” 

Plugged-In Public Safety Award: Village of Downers Grove

The Village of Downers Grove, a municipality of nearly 50,000 people located in the western suburbs of Chicago, runs 83 percent of the village’s fleet on some form of alternative fuel. These alternatives included biodiesel (B20), E-85 (ethanol), compressed natural gas (CNG), propane, solar power, and hybrid combinations. In 2019, the village began using its first plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. The vehicles, used by the Police Department’s Community Support Officers, are averaging over 75 miles-per-gallon, replacing Ford Crown Victoria models that only averaged 14 miles-per-gallon.

The implementation of green initiatives like the use of cleaner, more efficient alternative fuels achieves the village’s strategic plan goal of being “a steward of financial and environmental sustainability.” Using alternative fuels reduces the environmental impact of fleet operations and is more cost-effective than traditional petroleum-based products.

About Chicago Area Clean Cities

Chicago Area Clean Cities, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting clean transportation in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The coalition’s membership is comprised of federal, state and local governments, corporations, small businesses, and individuals. These stakeholders come together to share information and resources, educate the public, help craft public policy, and collaborate on projects that reduce petroleum use.

The coalition is one of nearly 100 coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago region, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. To get involved, visit chicagocleancities.org.

Top Photo By: Lloyd Degrane/Energy News Network

 

News Media Contact:

Joe Koenig
708-613-5005

 

 

Midwest EVOLVE Gets ‘Butts in Seats’ during National Drive Electric Week

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Sept. 4, 2019 – Thanks to a seven-state project led by the American Lung Association, Midwest consumers have a chance to test drive electric vehicles during National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 14-22, and throughout September.

The program, called Midwest EVOLVE, emphasizes the clean-air benefits, cost savings, and fun of plug-in electric cars. The vehicles are being showcased in seven Midwestern states: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

More than two dozen events are being held in states that are part of Midwest EVOLVE – which stands for Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience – a partnership between the American Lung Association and Clean Cities coalitions in the Midwest.

At Midwest EVOLVE events, consumers, government officials, fleets, and dealer personnel have an opportunity to learn about the advantages of electric vehicles and the ease of charging them at home, at work, or at public charging stations.

“At Midwest EVOLVE events, we get butts in seats, so drivers can experience EVs,” said Lisa Thurstin, coordinator of Twin Cities Clean Cities, which oversees Midwest EVOLVE. “That’s the first step for many people to consider driving electric, taking a test drive. Once you do that, you realize they can be a great fit for your daily driving needs.

“EVs have outstanding performance and require less maintenance,” Thurstin said. “They also are better for the environment, clean-air, and lung health, and that’s what’s driving this for us, to help make the air we breathe cleaner and to help make this a better world.”

During the month of September, events being held in the Midwest include:

Midwest EVOLVE has 60 partners, including Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago Area Clean Cities, automakers, utilities, state agencies, municipalities, dealerships, and dealer associations.

Over the past three years, 175,000 people have participated in Midwest EVOLVE. The project and its partners have held or participated in more than 250 events across the Midwest, and more than 7,000 people have taken a test drive of plug-in electric vehicles at Midwest EVOLVE events. Twenty percent of consumers who attend an EVOLVE event purchase a plug-in electric or hybrid-electric vehicle within six months.

“There are dozens of events in the Midwest being held by Clean Cities coalitions and our project partners,” Thurstin said.“Not only are we hosting events during National Drive Electric Week, but we’re holding events throughout the entire month. We’re calling it ‘Drive Electric Month.’ Check out our EVOLVE website to find an event near you.”

To locate Midwest EVOLVE events, visit www.midwestevolve.org or follow EVOLVE via TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

Overall, more than 300 National Drive Electric Week events are taking place this year throughout the U.S. Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association team up with local groups to organize events. For a complete list of nationwide events, visit https://driveelectricweek.org.

The Midwest EVOLVE project is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0007743.

 

News Media Contact:

Joe Koenig
Make Ideas Reality Communications
708-613-5005

Chicago Area Now Meets Federal Air Quality Standard for Fine Particulate Matter

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

CHICAGO, Aug. 28, 2019 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved the State of Illinois’ request to formally redesignate the Chicago area to attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter. Recent air monitoring data show the entire Chicago area now meets the national standard set to protect public health.

The Chicago area – and also the entire state of Illinois – currently is achieving the 2012 annual National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter. The EPA approved Illinois’ request to redesignate Chicago.

“For 25 years, our Chicago area coalition has worked with the U.S. EPA, the Illinois EPA, and our stakeholders, including public and private fleets, to reduce air pollution from the transportation sector,” said John Walton, chair, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “Through combined regulatory and volunteer efforts, these organizations have played an important role and contributed to the success of the Chicago area in lowering harmful emissions.

“We are especially proud of the role that our member fleets have played in reducing pollution,” Walton said. “Through the use of renewable and other alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, ethanol, compressed natural gas, propane, and electricity, we will continue to see fine particulate matter emissions trending downward.”

The Chicago area was designated as nonattainment area for the 1997 fine particulate matter by the U.S. EPA based on a multifactor analysis, including air-quality monitoring data. The Clean Air Act pertaining to engine technology and fuel mandates helped to decrease emissions in the Chicago area to achieve the most current standard. Nationally, the concentration of fine particulate matter has decreased 41 percent from 2000 to 2017.

Fine particulate matter are inhalable particles with diameters smaller than 2.5 micrometers. Most particles form in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries, and automobiles. Inhaling fine particulate matter can affect the lungs and heart. People with pre-existing heart or lung diseases, children, and the elderly are most at risk from exposure to particulate matter. Additionally, fine particulate matter is a major component of haze, which can reduce visibility.

Chicago Area Clean Cities, a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting clean transportation in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, was founded in 1994. Celebrating its 25thanniversary this year, the coalition’s membership is comprised of federal, state and local governments, corporations, small businesses, and individuals. These stakeholders come together to share information and resources, educate the public, help craft public policy, and collaborate on projects that reduce petroleum use.

“Our member fleets have reduced hundreds of millions of gallons of petroleum and millions of tons in greenhouse-gas emissions,” Walton added. “We’ve helped to facilitate the distribution of grant dollars for clean vehicles and alternative fuel stations. But, our work is not finished. In several Illinois counties, the ozone standard has not been achieved, the large number of older and more pollution-emitting vehicles are still a concern, and millions of Illinois citizens are suffering from lung disease. We must be diligent in our continued efforts to keep the momentum going.”

Chicago Area Clean Cities is one of nearly 100 coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago region, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. To become involved, visit chicagocleancities.org.

For more information about NAAQS: https://www.epa.gov/naaqs

For information about air quality in your area: https://www.airnow.gov

For information about air quality trends: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends

 

Chicagoland Businesses, Municipalities Have Chance to Learn About Electric Trucks, Utility Vehicles

Monday, August 12th, 2019

WOOD DALE, Ill., Aug. 12, 2019 – Electric vehicles aren’t only being considered by consumers. Businesses and municipalities also are looking at the future of transportation, and planning what they will need to efficiently operate in the coming years.

With that in mind, Chicago Area Clean Cities, a nonprofit coalition focused on educating commercial and government fleets in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs about clean-vehicle technologies, is hosting a free Fleet Education Seminar on Thursday, Sept. 5. The program will help fleets to learn the ins-and-outs of operating electric utility vehicles and trucks of various sizes.

“Our goal is to provide businesses, cities, and other officials with the information they need to make the right decisions to run their operations,” said John Walton, chair, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “This seminar will delve deeply into electrification and what you need to know to determine whether electric utility vehicles and trucks will help you get jobs done, while lowering emissions and maintenance expenses.”

Representatives from vehicle manufacturers – including Mitsubishi Fuso, Tropos Motors, and Energetics Drivetrains – will highlight vehicles ranging from low-speed compact utility vehicles to medium-duty delivery trucks, vans and shuttle buses. Experts will highlight how to get your garage ready for electric vehicles.

The program will be held at the Maple Meadows Golf Club, 272 S. Addison Road in Wood Dale. The free seminar will kick off the day to be followed by an afternoon of golf and a reception.

Fleet managers, government officials, campus leaders, maintenance personnel, landscaping crews, and other professionals are invited to attend the morning’s free seminar and stay for the golf outing in the afternoon.

“We’ve been hosting our golf outing for nearly 20 years, and we have people join us from throughout the Chicago area who are experts at technical solutions that help fleets realize a fast return on investment, while also improving air quality and saving fuel,” Walton said. “The networking opportunities throughout the day are fantastic.”

To register for the seminar and golf, visit https://chicagocleancities.org/event/cleanair.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC) supports local actions to improve the environmental performance and efficiency of the transportation sector in the six-county Chicago area. CACC’s membership is comprised of federal, state and local governments, commercial fleets, auto manufacturers, dealerships, environmental organizations, corporations, small businesses, and individuals.

CACC is one of nearly 100 coalitions across the country that are affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. For more, visit https://chicagocleancities.org.

 

News Media Contact:

Joe Koenig
(708) 613-5005

Biodiesel Event Helps Fleets Save Money, Promotes Clean Air in Illinois

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., July 9, 2019 — Breathing clean air shouldn’t be a luxury. That’s why partners across the Chicago area are joining in a special biodiesel education event to help ensure clean air is available for residents of Illinois.

On July 17, Chicago Area Clean Cities and the B20 Club will jointly host Truck Stop Coffee Talk: The Truth About Biodiesel in Bolingbrook, Illinois. This comprehensive program will dive into the health, environmental and performance advantages of biodiesel-blended fuels as an alternative to traditional diesel fuels. A renewable and cost-saving fuel, biodiesel releases fewer emissions of harmful pollutants, ultimately reducing the risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases. It also reduces greenhouse gases by up to 86 percent.

To learn more about biodiesel, attendees will gather July 17 at the Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza in Bolingbrook, which offers biodiesel as a premium fuel blend. Registration is free and open to Chicago area fleet managers, fuel providers and sustainability directors.

Event sponsors are Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC), the B20 Club and Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza. CACC is a designated U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition. The B20 Club is a partnership of the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and American Lung Association that recognizes Illinois fleets operating on biodiesel blends of B20 or greater.

“Chicago Area Clean Cities works with a variety of transportation industry leaders, government officials and community members to promote the use of domestic fuels like biodiesel,” says John Walton, chair of Chicago Area Clean Cities. “Alongside the B20 Club, we’re dedicated to implementing sustainable and more environmentally friendly fuels throughout Illinois, saving energy, saving money, promoting the use of domestic fuels, and providing Illinois residents with clean air.”

During the July 17 event, Chicago-area fleets will share their experiences using biodiesel blends of B20 (20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel) or greater, including best practices for using biodiesel in temperatures as low as 20 below zero. The program features a panel discussion with the Chicago Park District, National Biodiesel Board and Optimus Technologies about a bi-fuel system that allows the Park District to operate two refuse haulers on 100 percent biodiesel year-round.

“Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from soybeans. Since Illinois is the largest producer of soybeans in the United States, we’re excited to help bring this biodiesel educational program to the Chicago area,” says Rebecca Richardson, ISA biodiesel lead.

To learn more about biodiesel, visit biodieseladvantage.com.

The ISA checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, issues management analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C. through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit www.ilsoy.org.

Chicago Area Clean Cities is one of nearly 100 coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago region, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. To become involved, visit chicagocleancities.org.

 

For more information, contact:

Rachel Peabody
217-825-7654

Karen Potratz
262-563-5117
262-470-3709

Joe Koenig
708-613-5005

Clean Vehicle Tech to be Featured at Green Drives Conference on May 16

Monday, March 4th, 2019

CHICAGO, March 4, 2019 – Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition invites commercial and government fleets, community leaders, and the public to attend its eighth annual Green Drives Conference and Expo on Thursday, May 16, at the Northern Illinois University Conference Center in Naperville, Illinois.

“Green Drives is one of the largest clean-vehicle conferences held in the Midwest,” said John Walton, chair, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “It is a must-attend event for private and public fleets, including commercial and municipal fleet managers, dealership personnel, small businesses, and clean-tech and clean-energy professionals.

“Attendees not only get a chance to network with experts from throughout the nation and the region, but they learn of first-hand experiences from fleets currently using alternative fuels and electric vehicles,” Walton said. “At the conference, we connect the people and technologies that help make sustainable transportation a reality. We also give attendees the chance to get behind the wheel of vehicles of all different sizes.”

Speakers and highlights of this year’s program include:

  • John Davis, the Emmy Award-winning host of “MotorWeek,” television’s longest-running automotive series, will once again serve as the program’s emcee.
  • Joseph Dominguez, CEO, ComEd, shines the light on electrification of passenger vehicles, fleet vehicles, and transit buses.
  • Gary Salemme, director, advanced engineering technology projects, Cummins.
  • Advanced technologies, electric vehicles, and alternative fuels will be showcased, including dozens of green vehicles and up to 25 indoor exhibitors.
  • GTI will host a track on “Getting Your Garage Ready for Alternative Fuels.”
  • A biodiesel breakout session by the B20 Club and Renewable Energy Group.
  • An alternative fuel and electric vehicle ride-and-drive.
  • Hydrogen as a future fuel will be discussed and a hydrogen-powered bus showcased.
  • Executives from automakers will discuss their newest vehicles and technologies.
  • Fleets will learn how to use cleaner, lower emissions fuels, while saving money.

“Whether you run a small or large business, are a fleet manager, manage a dealership or service garage, or work in the technology or energy, there will be topics of interest and networking opportunities for you at Green Drives,” Walton said. “This event provides you with the benefits of a multi-day conference in a one-day trade show-like setting.”

Green Drives is being held at Northern Illinois University’s Conference and Meetings Center, 1120 East Diehl Road, Naperville, IL 60563. To register for tickets, become a sponsor or exhibitor, visit https://2019greendrives.eventbrite.com.

Chicago Area Clean Cities, a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting clean transportation in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, was founded on May 13, 1994. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the coalition’s membership is comprised of federal, state and local governments, corporations, small businesses, and individuals. These stakeholders come together to share information and resources, educate the public, help craft public policy, and collaborate on projects that reduce petroleum use.

“We’re thrilled that we’ll be able to hold our largest event of the year the same week as our 25th anniversary,” said Walton, who has been active with the coalition since 2001. “Over the past 25 years, our team has supported local actions to improve the environmental performance and efficiency of public and private fleets in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area.

“Our member fleets have reduced hundreds of millions of gallons of petroleum and millions of tons in greenhouse-gas emissions,” Walton added. “We’ve helped to facilitate the distribution of millions of dollars in grant funding for clean vehicles and alt-fuel stations. Proudly, we’ve helped dozens and dozens of fleets to convert to the use of cleaner, more sustainable alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies.”

Chicago Area Clean Cities is one of nearly 100 coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago region, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The coalition also is a partner in the American Lung Association’s Midwest EVOLVE project, a seven-state program to educate consumers about the advantages of electric vehicles. To become involved, visit chicagocleancities.org.

 

News Media Contact:

Joe Koenig
Make Ideas Reality Communications
(708) 613-5005

Pace Named Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2019 – Pace Suburban Bus has been named Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC), a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting clean-vehicles and clean-air solutions for transportation in the Chicago area impacting nearly nine million people.

Pace provides public transit services to the residents of 284 municipalities in Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and McHenry counties, covering nearly 3,500 square miles and serving several tens of thousands of daily riders.

In 2018, Pace completed a compressed natural gas (CNG) station and facility build out to support their recent deployment of 91 CNG buses operating out of their South Division in Markham, Illinois. Of the 63 public transit agencies in Illinois, Pace is now one of only three to utilize CNG buses, timing the purchases to replace an aging fleet of diesel buses.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized as a Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities,” said Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski. “Our new fleet of clean, low emissions CNG buses reduce air pollution without sacrificing performance. Our drivers and our customers love them.”

“This is a part of Pace’s vision of being a good steward of our environment,” Kwasneski said. “We also recently launched a fleet of buses that use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel to reduce emissions. Combined with our fleet of CNG vehicles, we’re making our buses greener and improving air quality throughout the Chicagoland area.”

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the financial and oversight body for the three transit agencies in northeastern Illinois; the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace, teamed up with the Illinois Department of Transportation and Pace to help arrange $49 million in capital funding to allow Pace to purchase the new CNG buses. The CNG buses are anticipated to save $1.5 million per year in fuel and maintenance costs versus their diesel predecessors. In 2019, Pace is adding at least six new CNG buses.

Pace was awarded today at Chicago Area Clean Cities’ Annual Meeting at the Chicago Auto Show. The award has been given annually since 2001 to an individual, organization, or business that champions the promotion of alternative fuels and technologies to reduce vehicle emissions and reduce petroleum usage. Recent award recipients include the American Lung Association, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Testa Produce, and Ozinga Bros, Inc.

“Pace’s use of alternative fuels to reduce emissions in their fleet of transit buses is to be commended,” said John W. Walton, chair of the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition. “Their use of CNG to power buses is an example of a long term cost-effective solution for improving air quality and reducing harmful vehicle emissions. It’s a pleasure to honor the Pace team with this award.”

At the awards ceremony, CACC also named its Green Fleet Leadership Award winners. Those awarded include: ComEd, Chicago Park District, City of Chicago, Village of Downers Grove, Waste Management, Nicor Gas, Schwan’s, Chicago Transit Authority, and United Parcel Service. Each organization was recognized for its successful use of vehicles with alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies.

Jones Lang LaSalle/Aon and Prudential Towers received the coalition’s “All-In Award,” to recognized its 100 percent all-electric shuttle bus fleet. The buses shuttle hundreds of commuters every workday from Chicago’s Metra train stations to the Aon Center and Prudential Plaza (JLL manages both buildings), then back again at the end of the day before parking underneath Wacker Drive to charge overnight.

About Chicago Area Clean Cities

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019, Chicago Area Clean Cities is a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting clean-vehicles and clean-air solutions for transportation in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. CACC is one of more than 90 coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel efficiency and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. CACC also is a partner in Midwest EVOLVE, a seven-state project to educate consumers about the advantages of electric vehicles. To get involved, visit ChicagoCleanCities.org.

About Pace

Pace is Chicagoland’s suburban bus and regional paratransit provider. Pace’s family of public transportation services also includes vanpool, rideshare matching, community-based transportation programs, and, soon, Pulse, Pace’s new arterial rapid transit network. Learn more at PaceBus.com/Pulse.

 

News Media Contacts:

Joe Koenig
Make Ideas Reality Communications
(708) 613-5005

Maggie Daly Skogsbakken
Pace Suburban Bus
(847) 228-4222

 

Chicago Area Clean Cities Recognizes Top Green Fleets

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2019 – The Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition today announced its Green Fleet Leadership Award winners, recognizing companies and government agencies that are leading in the adoption of alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies for their fleets.

This year’s winners include: ComEd, Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority, City of Chicago, Village of Downers Grove, Jones Lang LaSalle/Aon and Prudential Towers, Nicor Gas, Schwan’s, United Parcel Service, and Waste Management. Each organization was recognized for its successful use of vehicles with alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies.

The Green Fleet Leadership Award winners were named at the coalition’s annual meeting at Hyatt McCormick Place. The awards are given annually to commercial or government fleets that take actions to locally reduce petroleum consumption and improve air quality, such as by using cleaner-burning alternative-fuel vehicles, electric vehicles or other advanced technologies.

“The commercial and government fleets that we’re awarding are being recognized for being the best in their fuel category in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline gallon equivalents of fuel,” said Samantha Bingham, coordinator, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “Many also are being recognized for year over year improvements. Their efforts are better for the environment by reducing harmful emissions, which improves Chicago air quality, ensuring that the air we breathe is cleaner for all.

“The fleets we’re honoring all operate in the Chicagoland area and are terrific examples for others to follow to learn about the advantages of clean-vehicle and alternative-fuel technologies,” Bingham said.

Green Fleet Leadership Award winners by category include:

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Award

  • Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd):ComEd is the primary electric utility in the Chicago area. A unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, ComEd is the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. In 2017, ComEd reduced its emissions of greenhouse gases by nearly 5,000 tons via its use of biodiesel fuel and electric vehicles to power its fleet.

Alternative Fuel Awards

Biodiesel

  • ComEd: In 2017, the company reduced nearly 370,000 gasoline-gallon equivalents (GGEs) of fuel via its fleet of 1,750 trucks using cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, 70 percent of the state’s population.
  • Chicago Park District: The Chicago Park District has a fleet of more than 550 vehicles, including nearly 200 vehicles that use a 10 to 20 percent blend of biodiesel, 56 that use up to 50 percent biodiesel, 80 that use E85 fuel, more than 50 hybrid-electric vehicles, and three that use clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG). Through their sustainability efforts, the Chicago Park District reduces an equivalent of 19,000 gasoline gallons of fuel on average per year.

E85 Fuel

  • The City of Chicago: The city has been a leader in the use of E85 fuel. In 2017, the city’s fleet used more than 750,000 gallons of E85 (ethanol) instead of traditional gasoline or diesel fuel. The city operates a fleet of 2,600 vehicles compatible with E85 fuel. Chicago also continues to increase its sustainability efforts and has committed to follow and adopt the guidelines of the Paris Agreement. Chicago is in the process of adding nearly 200 electric vehicles to the city’s fleet and installing DC Fast Charging Stations and Level 2 chargers. Chicago expects to have a passenger fleet that is 25 percent EV by 2023.
  • Village of Downers Grove: The village in the western suburbs of Chicago had the greatest reduction in gasoline gallons equivalents of fuel of any of Chicago Area Clean Cities member fleets. It saved 22,500 gallons of fuel in 2017, a 100 percent reduction over 2016. This not only reduced greenhouse gas emissions, but it also improved local air quality.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

  • Waste Management: Based in Houston, Texas, Waste Management is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. In 2017, Waste Management’s compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles displaced 1.7 million GGEs of petroleum-based fuel in the Chicagoland area by using cleaner-burning CNG fuel. Across the U.S., Waste Management’s fleet includes more than 6,000 natural gas trucks, the largest heavy-duty truck fleet of its kind in North America.
  • Nicor Gas: Nicor Gas is the largest natural gas distribution company in Illinois, serving 2.2 million customers in the northern third of the state. The company operates more than 2,250 fleet vehicles and pieces of equipment. Approximately 45 percent of the fleet operates using a variety of alternative fuels, including E85, biodiesel and CNG. In 2018, the company displaced nearly 990,000 equivalent gallons of petroleum with alternative fuels.

Liquid Propane Gas

  • Schwan’s Company: Based in Minnesota, Schwan’s Company is a privately held business that manufactures and markets quality foods through home-delivery, retail-grocery and food-service channels. Its many popular brands include Red Baron®, Tony’s®and Freschetta®pizza, Smith’s®and Edwards®desserts, Villa Prima® pizza and Minh® Asian appetizers, and Schwan’s®fine frozen foods. In the Chicago area in 2017, Schwan’s reduced its use of fuel by an equivalent of nearly 95,000 GGEs, a 58 percent increase in GGE reduction.

Electric and Hybrid-Electric Vehicles

  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA): On an average weekday, CTA provides approximately 1.6 million rides on its transit bus and rail systems, which cover the City of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. The CTA operatesnearly 240 hybrid-electric transit buses, two all-electric transit buses, and 24 hybrid electric passenger vehicles. In 2017, the CTA’s hybrid and electric fleet reduced its fuel consumption by more than 110,000 GGEs using these cleaner electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.
  • United Parcel Service: UPS operates one of the industry’s largest private alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets, a “rolling laboratory” of approximately 9,300 vehicles that drives more than 1 million cleaner miles each business day. In 2017, the company tripled its GGE reductions in the Chicagoland area to more than 75,000. UPS operates 187 (117 LNG, 50 hydraulic hybrid and 20 hybrid-electric) alternative-fuel vehicles in the Chicago region, including 20 electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.

All-in Award

  • Jones Lang LaSalle/Aon and Prudential Towers received the coalition’s “All-In Award,” to recognize its 100 percent all-electric shuttle bus fleet. The buses shuttle hundreds of commuters every workday from Chicago’s Metra train stations to the Aon Center and Prudential Plaza (JLL manages both buildings), then back again at the end of the day before parking underneath Wacker Drive to charge overnight.

CACC also recognized Pace Suburban Bus, Chicagoland’s suburban bus and regional paratransit provider, as its Clean Fuels Champion for its deployment of more than 90 clean-burning CNG buses and fueling stations. The awards ceremony was held to coincidence with the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.

At the meeting, Tony Lindsay of the Gas Technology Institute was honored with a “Chairman’s Award” for his 25 years of service to the coalition. Walton, who started working with CACC in 2001 when he converted the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s fleet to alternative fuels, received a Lifetime Appreciation Award. Walton serves as CACC’s chair, and Lindsay is Board Member Emeritus.

Chicago Area Clean Cities, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting clean transportation in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The coalition’s membership is comprised of federal, state and local governments, corporations, small businesses, and individuals. These stakeholders come together to share information and resources, educate the public, help craft public policy, and collaborate on projects that reduce petroleum use.

“Over the past 25 years, our team has supported local actions to improve the environmental performance and efficiency of public and private fleets in the six-county Chicago metro area,” Walton said. “Our member fleets have reduced hundreds of millions of gallons of petroleum and millions of tons in greenhouse-gas emissions. Through Drive Clean Chicago and other grant programs, we’ve worked to help distribute millions in grant funding for clean vehicles and alternative-fuel stations. Proudly, we also have helped many fleets convert to the use of cleaner, more sustainable alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies.”

The coalition is one of more than 90 coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality. The coalition concentrates its efforts on educating businesses and municipalities in the six-county Chicago region, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

CACC also is a partner in Midwest EVOLVE, a seven-state project to educate consumers about the advantages of electric vehicles, and is hosting electric vehicle test drives for consumers at this week’s Chicago Auto Show. Learn more at chicagocleancities.org.

 

News Media Contact:

Joe Koenig
Make Ideas Reality Communications
(708) 613-5005
Twitter: @ChiCleanCities