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NAFA Government Affairs Committee Update on tax extenders

December 16, 2015


Last night, House and Senate leadership reached a bipartisan agreement on extending many tax credits. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 is scheduled for a vote in the House tomorrow and in the Senate on Friday and then on to the President.

 

Alt Fuels — extends through 2016 the 50 cents per gallon alternative fuel tax credit and alternative fuel mixture tax credit. The credit is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

 

Biodiesel — extends through 2016 the existing $1.00 per gallon tax credit for biodiesel and biodiesel mixtures, and the small agri-biodiesel producer credit of 10 cents per gallon. The provision also extends through 2016 the $1.00 per gallon production tax credit for diesel fuel created from biomass. The provision extends through 2016 the fuel excise tax credit for biodiesel mixtures. The credits are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

 

Refueling property — extends through 2016 the credit for the installation of non-hydrogen alternative fuel vehicle refueling property. (Under current law, hydrogen-related property is eligible for the credit through 2016.) Taxpayers are allowed a credit of up to 30 percent of the cost of the installation of the qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property. The credit is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

 

Bonus depreciation — extends bonus depreciation for property acquired and placed in service during 2015 through 2019 ). The bonus depreciation percentage is 50 percent for property placed in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017 and phases down, with 40 percent in 2018, and 30 percent in 2019. Depreciation on a passenger automobile is limited to $8,000 in the first year.

 

A Union of Concerned Scientists

November 12, 2015


A Union of Concerned Scientists study finds driving an electric car in California creates less greenhouse gas emissions than even the most efficient gasoline vehicle. An electric vehicle, -- even when powerplant emissions are considered -- produces pollution equivalent to a theoretical conventional car with fuel economy of 87 miles per gallon. Rachael Nealer, a UCS scientist and the report’s author stated “This compares the total life cycle of an electric and a similar gasoline vehicle”.

 

The City of Columbus teams up with MEMA Ohio


The City of Columbus teamed up with MEMA Ohio for regional training to our Fire Technicians. The training lasted for one week on site involving 22 Technicians. The EVT instructor, Al Conkle of Fire Tech Support trained his students on F1- Maintenance, Inspection, and Testing of Fire Apparatus, F2-Design and Performance Standards of Fire Apparatus, and F3-Fire Pumps and Accessories from the nationally recognized Emergency Vehicle Technician Program. The training included both classroom and “hands-on” training at the Columbus facility.

 

Click here for the full story.

 

Midwest Green Fleets Forum & Expo


The inaugural Midwest Green Fleets Forum & Expo in Columbus, OH was a great success! The event was presented by Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO) in partnership with MEMA. Over 350 attendees had the opportunity to evaluate a variety of green fleet options and attend educational sessions.

 

Awards were announced by CFO for ranking Certified Green Fleets in Ohio. Numerous MEMA members were recognized. The 100 Best Fleets announced Sonoma County as the #1 Green Fleet. Congratulations to all the fleet personnel for their outstanding achievements!

 

In addition to networking and learning more about green fleet strategies, attendees were able to tour manufacturers such as Parker Hannifin’s Columbus location where the hydraulic hybrid RunWise system is made and Honda’s plant in Marysville. Attendees also had the chance to tour the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. CAR is an interdisciplinary research center focusing on: energy, safety and the environment aimed at improving sustainable mobility.

 

Click here for more information on Midwest Green Fleets Forum & Expo events.

 

Green Fleet Awards at the National Green Fleet Conference


Congratulations to the County of Sonoma for being named the top fleet in the GreenFleet Awards contest. 50 fleets were selected by The 100 Best Fleets in North America at the National Green Fleet Conference in Columbus, Ohio. MEMA members from NorCal, SoCal, and Ohio were recognized as shown below:

 

Green Fleet Award winners:
1. County of Sonoma (CA)
5. Alameda County (CA)
25. Sacramento County (CA)
28. City of Dublin, OH
36. San Bernardino County (CA)
39. City of Anaheim (CA)
42. City of Huntington Beach, CA

Honorable Mentions
County of San Diego (CA)

Click here for additional information.

 

Midwest expo


Columbus, Ohio, aggressively drives green fleet technologies that save money, reduce carbon emissions and promote greater use of domestic fuels, says MEMA Ohio Chairman and Columbus, OH Fleet Administrator Kelly Reagan. Join Kelly and other fleet managers from across the country at the Midwest Green Fleet Forum & Expo in Columbus on Sept. 23 and 24. Clean Fuels Ohio, MEMA and the 100 Best Fleets in North America will host the Green Fleet Award event during the expo.

 

This two-day conference will attract a national audience of fleet professionals interested in evaluating a variety of green fleet options and implementation steps, including natural gas and hydraulic hybrids. Tours featuring the Honda Marysville production plant, Parker Hannifin hydraulic hybrid facility, and the Center of Automotive Research at The Ohio State University will expose guests to existing and emerging green fleet technologies. Click here for more information and to register for the expo. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about fleet management practices and technologies that will help move your fleet to greener, more sustainable operations.

 

 

We have great news! All Ohio Green Fleets (OGF) are being comped for the Midwest Green Fleets Forum & Expo. MEMA members, both fleet and associates, are receiving a 50% discount, reducing the cost to $89.50. The show dates are September 23-24, 2015 in Columbus, OH. If you would like to attend the show,

 

Click here for registration information. The promo code is MEMA2015.

 

Midwest Green Fleets Forum & Expo has sponsorship opportunities available. Click here for sponsorship information.

 

 

MEMA Mock Shop Demonstrates Advanced Diagnostic Technology

September 2, 2015


MEMA Mock Shop

Dan Berlenbach (left) from the City of Long Beach and Craig Crowder (right) from the City of Beverly Hills talk to an attendee at the MEMA Mock Shop. Photos by Kevin Haegele.

 

 

MEMA held a vehicle diagnostics mock shop at the Fleet Technology Expo (FTX) in Long Beach, CA. The mock shop highlighted technologies available to diagnose and troubleshoot vehicle engine and emissions malfunctions. Dan Berlenbach, MEMA SoCal VP and fleet services bureau manager of the City of Long Beach helped organize the event, which featured vehicles from the cities of Long Beach, Culver City, Beverly Hills and the LA County Public Works department. Government fleet technicians demoed vendor-provided software and equipment on vehicles supplied by public agencies. Vendor sales staff members were also available to answer attendee questions.

 

 

CALSTART Voice of the Customer Invitation and Survey Request


CALSTART is inviting fleet managers to evaluate new technology. The project, funded by the California Energy Commission and Southern California Gas Company, combines Efficient Drivetrain Inc.’s intelligent multi-mode plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain with Greenkraft’s CNG-powered 14,500-pound, Class-4 medium-duty truck. The project will demonstrate the integrated, full-performance, and range-extended CNG-PHEV on the road.

 

CALSTART is reaching out to fleet managers to participate in a Voice of the Customer (VOC) survey by August 1, 2015, and then in October to join us for a VOC Technology Review.

 

Here is a link to the CALSTART Voice of the Customer Survey. All responses are confidential. The high level review of the EDI/Greenkraft truck project will be held on Tuesday, October 6 at the Southern California Gas Energy Resource Center in Downey from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The even will include a ride and drive during lunch and customer-only roundtable discussion designed to get feedback on what you hear and experience that day.

 

Click here for more information.

 

Senate Panel Passes Bill With Alt-Fuel Tax Credit Extensions


NGT News, Wednesday July 22, 2015 - 13:45:33 In a 23-3 vote on July 21, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee passed a tax extenders package to revive dozens of tax credits that expired at the end of last year,, including key incentives for the alternative fuel industry. The bipartisan legislation now moves to the Senate floor for consideration.

 

 

California Air Resources Board Announces Almost $50 Million for Advanced Technology Freight Demonstrations


The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is pleased to announce its Grant Solicitation for the Zero-Emission Drayage Truck Demonstration Project and the Multi-Source Facility Demonstration Project. Up to $23,658,500 is available for each of these solicitations. CALSTART has played an active role in providing feedback and guidance to ARB as these were shaped.

 

Click here for the grant solicitation information and the required documents. Submissions for both grants are due September 14, 2015.

 

Teleconferences will be held for applicants:

 

Zero-Emission Drayage Truck Demonstration Project

ARB will hold a workshop and teleconference for applicants on July 16, 2015 Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Pacific) Place: Cal/EPA Headquarters Conference Room 710 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814 Teleconference Information: Call-in Phone Number: 800-593-0695 Passcode: 37043

 

Multi-Source Facility Demonstration Projectt

ARB will hold a teleconference for applicants on July 21, 2015 Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Pacific) Call-in Phone Number: 888-324-7812 Passcode: 5319314

 

Redesigning Pay Plans to Retain Vehicle Technicians and Shop Personnel During Tough Times


Jeffrey Tews, Fleet Operations Manager for Milwaukee’s Dept. of Public Works was a featured presenter at MEMA’s meeting during the June GFX Expo and Conference. Jeffrey spoke on “Redesigning Pay Plans to Retain Vehicle Technicians and Shop Personnel During Tough Times”.

 

Click here for the presentation and click here for a Vehicle Service Tech evaluation sheet.

 

TRB calls for membership


The Transportation Research Board (TRB) The Maintenance Equipment Committee (AHD60) is currently seeking nominations for new members. This is an excellent opportunity for MEMA members to share their expertise and serve on the committee. The Maintenance Equipment Committee is part of the Maintenance and Preservation Section, in the Operations and Preservation Group, of TRB and is concerned with all aspects of equipment fleet asset management from acquisition, maintenance, fueling, disposal, and replacement planning.

 

The application deadline is May 22. Click here for more information on the call for membership.

 

 

Freightliner's Autonomous Commercial Truck is granted the first license for operation on US highways


Freightliner's Inspiration Truck has been granted the first license for an autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States. The license was granted by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval at an event held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “Nevada is proud to be making transportation history today by hosting the first U.S. public highway drive for a licensed autonomous commercial truck," said Gov. Sandoval.

 

Please click here

 

CALSTART RFP for commercial vehicle testing


CALSTART has a Request For Proposal for portable emissions testing of advanced commercial vehicles in California. The testing will be part of larger data collection and analysis projects funded by Southern California Gas Company, the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Please click here for more information.

 

Funding Opportunity - California Energy Commission - CNG fueling for school districts


The California Energy Commission Program Opportunity Notice PON-14-608 has issued a competitive solicitation to school districts and other public entities to fund projects that establish or expand infrastructure necessary to store, distribute and dispense compressed natural gas (CNG) for use in natural gas vehicles. A total of $1,500,000 is available under this solicitation. The maximum award for each agreement under this solicitation is $500,000 for public K-12 school districts and $250,000 for other public entities. To be eligible for this solicitation, project must be located in California and be either new CNG fueling infrastructure or an upgrade to existing CNG infrastructure. Matching funds are not required from school districts. Other public entities must provide a minimum match of 25% of the total allowable project costs. There is a pre-application workshop to be held on April 1, 2015. The deadline to submit applications is June 11, 2015. Questions can be directed to Kevyn Piper, 916-654-4845 or kevyn.piper@energy.ca.gov

 

Request for qualifications - Ohio State University - CNG fueling station


The Ohio State University has issued a Request for Qualifications from firms for the design and construction of a new CNG fueling station. Available funding is $2,500,000. The station will be used to provide fast fill to a variety of light and heavy vehicles. The work includes, but is not limited to, proving CNG dryers, compressors, storage, distribution and dispensing equipment; subgrade and site work; a Control Building; mechanical and electrical trades; and other work as necessary to complete the contract in accordance with the plans and specifications set forth in the Bid Submittal Documents. Four new Ohio State buses are powered by CNG and the school says it sees a benefit to converting more of its vehicles to alternative fuels. The deadline to respond to the RFQ is March 31, 2015. Questions should be submitted in writing to Aldino Stazzone at stazzone.1@osu.edu

 

Alternative Fuel Credit


From Sempra Utilities:

The natural gas vehicle industry association, NGVAmerica, has published the following guidance. Since you should have the alternative fuels registration number from past years, you can apply now for the 50 cents per GGE rebate for all fuel you used or sold in 2014. This is a major windfall. However, one exception may center on who owns the CNG when it is introduced into the buses. In the past, the IRS has ruled that whoever is responsible for the federal excise taxes, assuming the vehicles are non-exempt, is entitled to claim the 50 cents/GGE. Whoever owns the CNG station is irrelevant when determining who can claim the rebate.

 

IRS Sets Deadline for 2014 Claims for $0.50 Alternative Fuel Credit

 

IRS Notice 2015-3 establishes procedures for claiming the $0.50 credit for alternative fuel sold or used in calendar year 2014. The notice released on January 16 indicates that a single one-time claim for all alternative fuels, including CNG and LNG should be made no later than August 8, 2015. Claims should be made using Form 8849 (Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes) with accompanying Schedule 3 (Certain Fuel Mixtures and the Alternative Fuel Credit), and claims should cover the whole year. The notice indicates that taxpayers who filed protective or anticipatory claims in 2014 must refile their claims; the IRS will not consider the previous claims perfected by the extension of the tax credits. Claims for 2014 may be submitted as early as January 16, 2015 but February 9, 2015 is the official start date for filing such claims and the date that will be used for determining whether the IRS owes interest on any late payments to taxpayers.

 

Based on our reading of Notice 2015-3, it does not appear to require taxpayers to file a 720X form (Amended Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return) as has been required in past years and is required for sellers of alternative fuel mixtures. To file a claim, a person must be a registered alternative fueler. If you previously submitted claims to the IRS then you are likely registered.

 

First time claimants who are not registered must file Form 637 (Application for Registration) prior to making claims for credits.

 

This notice should not be considered as tax advice. Persons intending to file the claim should seek advice from tax counsel or an accountant.

 

Green California Summit and Exposition

April 7&8, 2015


The ninth annual Green California Summit and Exposition will be held in Sacramento, CA on April 7-8, 2015. The summit provides an opportunity for stakeholders from the public and private sectors to share innovations in policy, practice and technology that can help the Golden State attain its environmental and economic goals. The Summit includes keynote presentations, educational sessions, networking opportunities and an Expo featuring green products and a chance for hands-on exposure to technologies and services that can play a critical role in the planning, design and execution of green projects.

 

Click here for the program guide...

Click here for registration...

 

NTEA Work Truck trade show information

January 5, 2015


The annual NTEA Work Truck Show and Green Truck Summit will be held in Indianapolis on March 4-6, 2015. This is a “must attend” event for vocational fleet managers. In addition to almost 500 exhibitors participating in the actual Work Truck Show, the schedule includes extensive educational opportunities - 33 concurrent educational sessions included in the standard conference and trade show registration package. At least 23 of the 2015 sessions are directly relevant to the needs of the typical vocational fleet manager. In addition, the Green Truck Summit program includes 27 additional sessions which address the implementation of sustainable fleet strategies.

 

Click here for free pass, which includes one concurrent educational session of your choice.

Click here for more information about the NTEA Work Truck Show and Green Truck Summit.

 

Past News from 2014, 2013, 2012