The Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC), one of nine centers affiliated with the Institute of Transportation Studies, will receive more than $3 million to initially establish an alternative fuel and vehicle center for northern California.
The California Energy Commission tapped TSRC to head a new consortium of academic research centers, public agencies, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to provide outreach and training through the proposed “Northern California Alternative Transportation Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Center,” or North CAT.
“North CAT’s goal is to provide the up-to-date information and assistance that vehicle fleet managers, city planners, policymakers, and first-responders need to quickly and easily understand the costs, benefits, and implementation issues for latest new vehicle technologies,” explained Tim Lipman, co-director of TSRC.
“The center efforts will encompass a wide range of fuel and vehicle types and classes, with an overall goal to help meet state and regional energy and environmental goals. TSRC is delighted at the opportunity to work with the State of California and our great set of partners on this effort.”
Northern California is especially well-suited for this program because of the extensive deployment of advanced transportation technologies and programs already in place in one of the largest metropolitan regions in the United States. North CAT will not only be a significant hands-on resource for more than seven million people living in close proximity in the Bay Area, but situated at the crossroads of a major international travel hub, it will become an easily accessible resource for interested parties in Asia and throughout the world.
Partners in the new enterprise will include the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University, the Center for Transportation and the Environment (an Atlanta-based non-profit with a Berkeley office), Prospect Silicon Valley (a new demonstration and research center built by the City of San Jose), BKi (an energy and environmental consulting firm that manages the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a fuel cell and hydrogen collaborative), CalCharge (an advanced battery and electric vehicle consortium based in San Francisco), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (a public-private partnership focused on market acceleration of clean energy solutions).
This collaborative effort among several leading organizations plans to develop a suite of training, outreach, demonstration, and research activities over time, enhanced by the initial grant to provide the center physical and virtual infrastructure. North CAT physical locations include the Richmond Field Station in Richmond, the Prospect SV center in San Jose, the California Fuel Cell Partnership in West Sacramento, the David Brower Center in Berkeley, and Humboldt State University in Arcata. The center will also have an extensive “virtual” communication infrastructure, allowing for interactive webinars and web-conferencing events.
The TSRC-led proposal was the highest ranking of 11 proposals submitted statewide. The top two, with one in southern California, are slated to receive funding.
The project is expected to begin this summer.