Conference Agenda

2020 Midwest Green Transportation Forum & Expo Sessions

Big Picture

Energy Markets: What is the New Normal

Transportation energy and vehicle markets were undergoing major changes even before the pandemic. Now the situation seems like sheer chaos. Will this industry settle on a "new normal?" What will that look like? Will the focus on climate concerns fade? Does the national and global cooperation required to address climate concerns challenge us to apply a similar effort and approach to successfully solve a much longer-term crisis?

Future of Freight Movement and Work Vehicles

What impacts from the pandemic have we seen, and what will we continue to see in freight movement? Will logistics and shipping continue to grow? If so, what will that look like? Will this industry continue to move toward advanced vehicle technologies, or will ongoing economic impacts lead to a reversal toward alternative fuels? Could we experience something in between?? What is the new normal and what is future of freight movement and work vehicles? We will be covering regional, logistics facilities, last mile delivery, rail and air, plus municipal and vocational. Join our discussion as we seek to understand how these issues will play out. 

Future of People Movement and the Transportation System

The COVID-19 crisis threatens to devastate shared mobility services. It is especially threatening to public transit, but we’re also tracing its affects on transportation network companies and taxi services. How are these issues progressing? Will we see a new normal or will we return to pre-pandemic patterns and trends as the crisis subsides? How will these changes impact efforts to make services and the overall transportation more environmentally sustainable? Will any of these factors change the trajectory of advanced technologies for this fleet sector? Learn and join the conversation.


Federal and Midwest Policy, Models and Outlook

Economic conditions have devastated federal and state budgets. However, this crisis also presents a tremendous need for government action. Investments by federal and state governments are necessary to help our economy recover and put us on a path toward longer term prosperity and environmental sustainability. However, if we fail to act, the U.S. and our region risk falling behind other countries and regions as well become less economically competitive. Participate in this session to understand the lay of the land at the federal and state level, what various industry sectors are holding priority, and possibilities that could emerge depending on the outcome of the November elections.  Add your voice and perspective to the conversation. 

Local Transportation Policy Models and Campaign

Local governments are increasingly becoming focal points for action on clean transportation because local leaders are closest to the public. They are thus less inclined toward partisanship and more receptive to ideas and practical solutions. Even with current and near-term economic constraints, local governments can do much to facilitate solutions for their constituents such as move toward advanced technology and fuel implementation for fleets, contract preferences for green construction and building codes, and parking regulations that facilitate EV charging. Motivated local leaders can be powerful community conveners. In partnership with industry members and advocates, they can work with local businesses and other community stakeholders to get things done. Hear about some successful policy efforts throughout the region and how the Powering a Clean Future Ohio campaign is working to drive innovation at the local level. 

Advanced Auto Manufacting and Jobs

Ohio, Michigan and Indiana are leaders in automotive, truck, and supply chain manufacturing and jobs. Today, the automotive industry is changing rapidly with improvement in electric and other advanced vehicle technologies and fuels. Many of these changes are driven by global market conditions. Our states must evolve if we are to remain manufacturing and jobs leaders. Some hopeful signs are emerging from the Voltage Valley, a.k.a. Mahoning Valley, region of Ohio and elsewhere. Hear from leaders in industry and government about what’s happening now and what policies are needed to leverage longer term economic success.

Clean Transportation Solutions for All

Lower income communities of color are disproportionately impacted by pollution and its negative health consequences. Individuals often lack access to mobility services and reliable personal transportation. Many rural community residents also struggle economically and lack mobility. Urban and rural people alike lack access to the benefits of electric and other advanced, cleaner vehicles. This session will focus on strategies to extend the benefits of clean transportation, shared and individual, to disadvantaged urban and rural communities. We will also focus attention on cost-effective strategies and vehicle technologies to replace dirty diesel vehicles with cleaner alternatives. 

Utility Roles in EV Charging: Defining and Building Consensus

As more utilities develop transportation electrification programs, defining appropriate roles for utilities, EVSE companies, site hosts and other players is becoming critical. In 2019 Ohio HB 247, was introduced. This legislation would define an expanded role for utilities in all aspects of grid modernization, including EV charging siting, funding, and ownership. The legislation has accelerated a lively debate on these topics. However, the health of the sector and progress of transportation electrification requires utilities, the EV charging industry, governments, and others to work together. Through debate and dialogue, can we find consensus? Join this panel and add your voice as we seek to define a pathway and find solution. 

EV Charging and Planning 

Ohio's Utility Electrfication Plans

Increasingly utilities in Ohio and across the Midwest have developed and implemented transportation electrification programs. All investor-owned utilities (IOUs) in Ohio have their own perspectives and plans. Ohio’s electric cooperatives, through their association, are beginning to explore developing programs of their own. These efforts are critical to the overall strategy to overcome the number one market barrier to EV growth: lack of EV charging in the public domain residential settings and workplaces. Participate in this fast-paced session to discover how Ohio’s utilities are approaching this challenge, what policies are needed, and what some have learned to date.


EV Charging Planning Structures and Tools

A successful approach to planning EV charging infrastructure requires a comprehensive framework. Planners and stakeholders must identify types of charging, where charging is needed, and how needs are likely to increase over time. They must understand the distinctly different market needs for long distance travel and regional transportation services in each community. Utilities, regional planning agencies, cities, site hosts, and EV charging companies need powerful planning tools and information about factors such as utility infrastructure and available power supply to ensure selection of the best sites. Learn and be part of a conversation about smart approaches to planning at statewide, regional, and community levels as well as powerful planning tools that are becoming available.

Proven Best Practices and Innovations for Retail EV Charging

The landscape of publicly accessible EV charging is widely varying, unpredictable and uncertain today. Consumers can access limited information but remain in the dark about many locations and details. Many site hosts are confused about what equipment they need. Most lack understanding of how they can use EV charging to generate new value streams, manage access to make customers happy, and align the charging asset to their business and marketing strategies. Many potential retail site hosts don’t understand how to make the charging asset a profit center or how to avoid costly surprises that give the retailer a black eye. This session will unpack these issues and help all players in the market understand how to move forward effectively.

Models and Best Practices for Residential and Workplace EV Charging

Residential charging remains a critical need to facilitate growth in EV ownership. Lack of reliable access to a plug at home undermines three ingredients of the EV value proposition – low cost, convenience, and reliability. Up to a third or even half of people in many urban markets still lack access at home. Some reside in multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) and others in neighborhoods where most or all people park at the curb. The workplace may substitute but only if the charging resource is reliable and employment is stable long-term. For most EV owners, workplace charging will continue to add to the value proposition. It also offers value to the employer and building owner. It is an appealing amenity that can generate value streams by shifting the EV connection to the grid or building energy system. In this session, you will learn best practices, models, and opportunities related to residential and workplace charging.

Fleet Management and Efficiency Best Practices 

Best Fleet Management Practices


Strong fleet management translates into effective operations that also creates positive impacts on environmental sustainability. Effective management practices focus on driving down costs by increasing vehicle up-time through effective maintenance, effective training, carefully spec’ing and bidding vehicles and fuels, use data-driven decision-making, right-sizing vehicles, downsizing the number of units in fleets, and overall environmental sustainability. This panel will focus on these practices and others to achieve positive results through management. 


Data-Driven Fleet Management

Data systems and data-driven decision-making is no longer just for the largest corporate or municipal fleets. Fleets of all types and sizes can benefit from tools and processes to gather and interpret operational data. Organizations committed to sustainability programs need data systems to measure progress toward reducing emissions and other environmental impacts. Systems can be designed flexibly so managers get exactly what they need. Data related to operator and technician performance can also increase safety and help focus training resources where they are most needed. Hear several fleet perspectives about a wide range of systems, and most importantly, how they are used to gain insights, manage assets, drive toward greater environmental sustainability, and target training needs and resources.

Peer Fleet Experiences - Efficiency Solutions for Urban Municipal, Vocational, and Delivery Fleets

Besides management and training, fuel efficiency gains are available through equipment – whether specified as part of new vehicle purchases or added after the fact. Besides data systems, solutions for municipal and vocational fleets are available to reduce or eliminate idling, electrify parasitic loads, monitor and manage tire pressure, and more. Which solutions work and achieve a reasonable return on investment for what types of fleets based on drive and duty cycles? This section will feature fleet leaders sharing their experiences and data on types of solutions they have used and results achieved in light, medium, and heavy-duty urban vocational fleets.

Efficiency Solutions for Regional and Long Distance Freight

Today class 8 over-the-road vehicles are achieving levels of efficiency that few believed was possible only ten years ago. North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) brought together visionaries from industry, government, and committed fleets to prove it was possible to double the fuel economy of class 8 – and to do so with technologies all fleets can afford. Their Run on Less® program features a relentless focus on operational and financial data, isolating meaningful impacts from specific technology solutions. Lessons learned and gains are ongoing, but today any over-the-road fleet operator can benefit. Hear and participate in a panel of fleet leaders convened by NACFE. Learn what solutions worked, a few that didn’t and why. Learn what’s coming up in the drive to Run on Less®.

Electric Vehicle Fleets

Medium to Heavy Duty EVs

Five years ago, some believed that medium to heavy-duty commercial EVs were years away from being practical or affordable. Today steep reductions in battery costs and other technology advancements have changed the game. Purchase prices remain high but are declining. Total cost of ownership is increasingly attractive, and vehicles are proving durable. Technology companies are partnering with OEMs to bring a wide range of EVs to the market. Yet incentives are still needed to overcome initial purchase price gaps between EVs and diesel. The North American Council of Freight Efficiency (NACFE) has applied their considerable talent for evaluation and analysis to the growing commercial EV market. This panel, moderated by NACFE, will focus on medium to heavy-duty commercial EVs, what applications pencil out today, and what to expect within the next five years. The panel will feature recent peer fleet experiences for medium to heavy-duty EVs and lessons learned. Participate in this session to help chart your pathways to success.

Light Duty and Purpose-Built Small Utility Vehicles

Nothing is more American than the pickup truck, nor as practical and widely used as a work vehicle. Plug-in electric pickups have been available as expensive retrofits on platforms better suited to internal combustion engine vehicles. Now fully electric purpose-built pickups are about to hit the commercial fleet market. They are built as EVs from the ground up they are durable, powerful, and offer lower total cost of ownership today. Along with new pickup trucks, light-duty EV model availability is growing in the Midwest as manufacturers ramp up production of more models. We’re seeing longer battery ranges and total costs of ownership under conventional vehicles for most applications, even at low gas prices. Learn what’s available now, how they compare on costs, and keys to successful operation including planning refueling infrastructure. Finally, learn about what’s here and coming for even lower cost, purpose-built small utility EVs and where they can offer value and a good fit for your fleet.

Fleet Electrification Infrastructure

Without question, charging infrastructure is the most important success factor for fleet electrification. Leaders who get this right put themselves in position for success, operationally and financially. Getting the charging piece wrong will lead to unexpected, unnecessary problems and costs. Partnerships, planning, and patience are the keys to success. Begin by being clear about how, when, and for what purpose vehicles are used. Involve people within and outside of fleets – stakeholders who typically don’t work together - including facilities personnel and your utility. Policy leaders can contribute to success by updating codes to prevent undermining projects and promote successful outcomes. In this session, experienced leaders from fleet and utility perspectives will offer insights on project development. The business sustainability organization, Ceres, will offer guidance for policymakers on steps needed to support fleet electrification.

Natural Gas Vehicle Fleets

CNG Vehicle Peer Fleet Experiences

Fleets finding operational and financial success with natural gas have followed certain best practices. They understood and accounted for all critical factors: vehicle specifications aligned to operational considerations, maintenance practices, partnerships and technician training focused on handling NGVs differently than diesel units, and good partnerships with fueling infrastructure providers. While there have been bumps in the road, many municipal, vocational, and over-the-road fleets are operating NGVs at a positive ROI compared with diesel and have worked through maintenance issues associated with an early version of heavy-duty NG engine. These fleets are also delivering environmental sustainability benefits. Some are now taking the additional step of seamless integration of renewable natural gas (RNG), gaining net carbon reductions of 70% to 100% compared with diesel units. Learn about the evolution in NGV medium to heavy-duty technologies and ongoing lessons learned shaping successful fleet experiences. 

Renewable Natural Gas: Low Carbon Transportation Solution

Today NGVs using renewable natural gas (RNG) deliver climate sustainability and air quality benefits comparable to or greater than any other solution. For fleets using or planning to use NGVs, integration of RNG is seamless and equal in cost to conventional natural gas. As a result, RNG is the fastest growing cleaner fuel of any in the medium to heavy duty sector. This session will provide a basic understanding of the essentials and potential of RNG, and the straightforward process any current or future NGV fleet operator can follow to use RNG- plus implementation partners to help make it happen. You will also understand the overall potential for RNG to produce enormous climate benefits based on available feedstocks and proven technologies.

**Please note we will also be featuring a session on NGV Maintenance Experiences and Best Practices

Propane Autogas Fleets

Renewable Propane Autogas

Conventional propane autogas offers air quality and climate benefits above both gasoline and diesel. Renewable propane provides greater environmental benefits with zero differences operationally and at comparable costs. Now, some propane suppliers have built the production and logistical capabilities to deliver renewable propane to fleet markets in the Midwest. By participating in this session, you will learn about renewable propane, feedstocks and processes used to make it, the specific emissions reduction and net climate benefits it offers, how it’s being made available in our market, and how you can obtain it for your existing or planned autogas fleet. 


Advances in Autogas Technologies

Today, autogas vehicle technology is mature, proven, and reliable across a range of light to medium-duty platforms. Yet the industry continues to develop with innovations that achieve greater efficiencies and power. The new near zero emissions engine is an example of these developments. These new engines produce NOx and particulate emissions well below strict federal standards – the same standards that new diesels don’t meet, based on in-use testing results. New, specially designed autogas nozzles make the refueling process as user friendly as any liquid fuel without the smell or environmental hazard. These innovations open opportunities for public commercial refueling stations to extend driving ranges. Learn about these and other advances in autogas technologies in this session.

Propane Autogas Peer Fleet Experiences

Even as diesel and gasoline prices have stabilized and declined over the past five years, fleet markets for propane autogas vehicles – school buses, shuttles, work trucks, vans, commercial delivery vehicles, mowers and others – continue to grow. What was once a well-kept secret among alternative fuels, autogas is a trusted choice for performance, environmental benefits, and total cost of ownership that is clearly superior to diesel and gasoline. This session will provide the opportunity to hear how a wide variety of fleets have made the transition to propane autogas. Learn best practices and get answers to questions covering vehicle specifications, fueling solutions, and maintenance. Understand how choices have translated in operating costs and environmental performance. 

Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel 

Standards and OEM Perspectives

Biodiesel entered the commercial fuel market in 1999. Since then the industry has worked hard to earn the confidence of diesel engine makers, fleets, and fuel distributors. The National Biodiesel Board’s (NBB) BQ-9000 program continues to set standards for manufacturing, blending, and distribution, with active participation of diesel engine and vehicle makers, distributors, and other stakeholders. This session will focus on the BQ-9000 program today, featuring perspectives of engine makers, biodiesel manufacturers, and qualified distributors. This quality-focused ecosystem provides a proven set of best practices combined with a network of certified industry providers to ensure successful operation and maintain a strong foundation for any fleet making the switch to biodiesel. Learn directly from BQ-9000 industry stakeholders about how the program continues to ensure fleet success.


Fleet Best Practices for Biodiesel Use

Most diesel vehicles can successfully use biodiesel in blends of up to 20%, or B20. These blends are a drop-in replacement for standard petroleum diesel. Successful biodiesel fleets have learned a set of best practices and developed industry relationships that have enabled them to enjoy extremely reliable operating success, cost parity to diesel, performance advantages, and superior environmental sustainability to petroleum diesel. These best practices aren’t complex but understanding and adhering to them is important. This session will feature leaders of several biodiesel fleets. It will provide the opportunity for you to learn from their experience and follow their lead to enjoy consistently reliable operations and benefits.

Transportation System Innovations 

Truck Platooning Technology and Trials

As an advanced autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, platooning offers the potential for an additional 10% or more in fuel efficiency gains for long-haul trucks. It also promises to reduce driver fatigue and increase safety. Platooning trucks are connected virtually to each other and to the highway infrastructure. Yet progress is needed before the technology can be fully commercialized. Policymakers must still confront issues about impacts on, and access to, the overall highway system and how to ensure safety for all highway users. This session will provide a status of where we are, details on platooning trials, and dig into policy issues at state and federal levels.


Autonomous Vehicle Technology and Trials

A future with driverless, fully autonomous vehicles (AV) still seems inevitable, though still at least a decade or two away. Some AV trials have been successful while others have resulted in setbacks. For some, AVs represent a bright future of lower transportation costs, greater safety, and expanded access to mobility. Others see a system overwhelmed with congestion, energy waste, and climate impacts as AVs constantly circulate waiting for riders. Some question whether benefits will be available equitably. As we progress through levels of autonomy, fleet leaders need to understand how AV technologies can provide benefits today and soon. Finally, observers wonder whether the pandemic crisis both changes the trajectory and impacts how society views and ultimately accepts AVs. Through this session we will explore these issues with technology, transportation system, policy and fleet leaders. Learn where we are today and have a chance to ask the questions on your mind.

Transportation System Safety and Efficiency Tools and Strategies

As with nearly every aspect of our world, AI will change our transportation system. As virtual connectivity extends to more platforms – vehicles and components on them, system infrastructure, and all of us - an enormous volume of data is generated. AI provides the power to learn, adapt, and improve utilization of resources. Today transportation agencies are beginning to harness this power to make the system safer, more responsive, and potentially more energy efficient. For example, when congestion is detected, traffic signals automatically adapt. Prices for parking can change in real time based on system learning. However, does the generation of data and the use of AI raise any concerns about privacy and potential for abuse? Learn about some of these systems, how they are being tested, and both the promises and concerns they hold.

Questions about sessions? Contact us!

Executive Director - Sam Spofforth

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phone - (614) 884-7336

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Clean Fuels Ohio

3240 W Henderson Rd Suite A

Columbus, OH 43220-2300