Henry Sollitt is a young Jackson native who participates in the “ski bum lifestyle” while also driving a plug-in hybrid vehicle. He drives a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi, which in his experience runs on all-electric for about 24 miles and then switches to hybrid mode. Henry stated that it is incredibly easy to charge his vehicle around town, and free of charge because the Town Of Jackson offers electric vehicle charging as an amenity to residents and visitors. At home, he uses a regular plug (110 volt) and it takes about 6-8 hours to charge fully. In comparison, when he charges around town his car can be fully charged in 3-4 hours utilizing a Level II charging station (240 volt).
Henry drives his car all winter long and explains that he has had very little trouble with the colder temperatures. In fact, his car has turned on easily on -20 degree mornings when other car engines have trouble starting. Henry mentioned, “the colder temperatures do decrease the efficiency of the hybrid vehicle, but regardless he is still getting better gas mileage than most other vehicles on the road in the same weather conditions”. As he said he is “still using electricity, still more efficient, which is pretty cool” given the extreme weather we experience in Jackson. Henry explained that there was one big powder day on the pass where he could not make it up to ski in his car due to lack of four-wheel drive, the hybrid has front-wheel drive, and lack of clearance. However other than that the Ford C-Max Energi has been an ideal vehicle that gets him everywhere he needs to go. When more clearance or 4-wheel drive is needed, he’s been able to ride with friends.
When searching for a new vehicle, Henry was initially looking for a hybrid or a fully electric vehicle. However, he also wanted an SUV type car that would be suitable for the many outdoor activities the region provides. He explains that he started to give up hope of finding an electric vehicle, due to availability locally and cost, and started to focus on fuel efficiency. Henry was lucky to eventually find his hybrid vehicle through a family connection in Southern California. He acknowledges that he got a very good deal on his vehicle and that price is very prohibitive to the younger age group when wanting to purchase a more sustainable vehicle. However, he believes that many younger individuals could most likely afford a similar used electric vehicle if they are able to find one nearby. He compared the price he paid to a 2009 Toyota Tacoma. He explains that “they are getting worse fuel economy and don’t necessarily need a pick-up truck for what they are doing and therefore are burning more gas”.
Overall, Henry greatly recommends buying a hybrid electric vehicle, all-electric vehicle, or more fuel-efficient vehicle when purchasing your next car. Even for the younger individuals in Jackson, who might think an electric vehicle would not be feasible for them to purchase. He explains that his hybrid vehicle has been very easy to maintain and that the fuel cost is low. Therefore the initial investment has been paying off very quickly, especially with relatively cheap charging at home and free charging in the Town of Jackson. Henry claims that his vehicle can be used for “95% of activities in the valley, and the other 5% you can find a ride with a friend”.
Important events related to climate action are happening in the Jackson community! Last Thursday, YTCC in partnership with Energy Conservation Works and local community partners, welcomed Professor Robert Davies for a discussion of the current climate emergency and potential solutions at the Center for the Arts. This event was a huge success with a great turnout and a very engaging talk by Davies! And last night, January 20th, Pete Muldoon hosted a climate action meeting at the Pink Garter Theater, which was widely attended by the community. This meeting featured a speaker from the Salt Lake area who addressed how to best build community support for climate action. This first climate action meeting helped create the community support that Jackson needs to reduce our carbon footprint. YTCC will be sharing further information about meetings and opportunities to get involved!
Available at all Fine Dining restaurants
ll Villagio Osteria
Roadhouse Pub & Eatery
Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities (YTCC) in partnership with the Town of Jackson and Teton County commissioned an update to the 2009 emissions inventory. The entity that performed the original inventory, Climate Mitigation Services (CMS), was hired to update the inventory using the same methodologies and boundary as the previous report to ensure accurate comparisons over time (an apples to apples comparison). You can find the report attached below.
Fall Stakeholder Meeting
This past week, YTCC hosted our fall stakeholder meeting in Idaho Falls, ID. At the meeting, we heard from Idaho National Laboratory (INL) regarding their 25-year transportation plan that touched on plans for nuclear-powered buses, hydropower potential, and much more. We also heard from INL about the progress of electric self-driving vehicles. As well as the Idaho DEQ 2019 Vehicle Replacement Program was discussed, and a program summary detailing the 41 projects they are funding with 2019 VW Settlement Funds can be viewed HERE.
Overall, the stakeholder meeting had a great turnout! YTCC was able to showcase three Tesla’s brought by their owners to the meeting, and a Nissan Leaf provided by and available for sale at Pocatello Nissan Kia.
2019 Green Fleet Awards
YTCC presented our green fleet awards for 2018 to 20 fleets in the Greater Yellowstone Region that reduced their annual greenhouse gas emissions through the use of alternative fuels. Together, these 20 fleets have reduced 6,588 tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) annually, which is equivalent to removing around 1,432 cars from the road. YTCC would like to recognize the following fleets for their commitment to clean air, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy security.
Custer Gallatin National Forest*, Delaware North, Dominion Energy, First Student Inc, Four Corners Recycling*, Grand Teton National Park*, Idaho Falls Power*, Idaho National Laboratory*, Jackson Hole Airport*, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort*, Lower Valley Energy, State of Wyoming, START Bus, Stillwater Mining Company, Streamline Bus, Sublette County School District #1*, Teton Conservation District, The Town of Jackson/Teton County*, Xanterra, Yellowstone National Park
*denotes previous Green Fleet award recipients
Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls Power, and the Jackson Hole Airport were all in attendance at the meeting and received their awards. However, all the green fleets mentioned above will receive an award in the mail.
You can find the full 2019 Green Fleet Award press release below.
Global Climate Strike
This past Friday, September 20th, was the global climate strike and YTCC was in attendance at the Jackson Hole Town Square. This international movement began with school students choosing not to attend class on Friday and instead deciding to strike to demand that action be taken to address climate change and to ask world leaders to take immediate climate action. These international strikes and protests were initially led by young people but many adults are now involved in the global climate strike. The strike in Jackson Hole had a great turnout for the rainy weather, with protestors of a varied age range.
Thank-you to everyone who was able to join us for our stakeholder meeting last week in Bozeman, Montana. For those of you who were not able to join us, I wanted to provide a very brief recap.
I began the meeting by providing an update on Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities activities. One of our main focus areas this year has been communicating about the VW Settlement funds and working with fleets to design and apply for projects. These funds can help support fleets replace old diesel vehicles with new diesel or alternative fuel vehicles. This is an unprecedented opportunity for alternative fuel vehicle deployment and we want as many folks aware and applying for the funds as possible. It is not every day a program exists to basically give you money to help purchase new vehicles.
YTCC intern, Bailey Collins walked us through the process of an individual purchasing an electric vehicle from a dealership, it is, unfortunately, is not as easy as we wish it to be. Keep a look out for a blog post about this!
We heard from Kyla Maki, Energy Resource Professional with Montana Department of Environmental Quality about two projects. She gave a very thorough update about Solar Energy Innovation Network Montana Project. This project has been underway for over a year and looked at various scenarios using solar power to charge electric vehicles in Bozeman, Missoula and Whitefish, MT.
Kyla also gave an update on the Volkswagen Funds in Montana. They already had one round of funding available for alternative fuel buses. They will be making those awards shortly and will open another funding cycle for alternative fuel buses, from May 22nd – July 31st. Funding will be available for electric vehicle charging stations later this year.
Next, Kerbspace founder, Bill Clem, gave an eye-pleasing presentation about his charging stations. If you weren’t aware, we have an electric vehicle charging station company right in Bozeman. Check out Kerb’s new stations, you can currently find them at the RSVP motel and in the Cannery District. Kerb provides a very user-friendly and welcoming charging experience.
Sunshine Ross of Streamline and Galavan Transportation Service, provided the historical context of the programs and laid the groundwork for attendees to brainstorm ways in which funding and alternative fuel programs could be added to existing services.
Full Circle Biofuels’s Operations Manager, George Allison, provided an enlightening presentation about biofuels. Biodiesel is one of the easiest alternative fuels to implement as it is a “drop-in” fuel. This means you do not have to purchase a special vehicle to use it, biodiesel can easily be used in existing diesel vehicles. In addition, Full Circle produces biodiesel by using waste vegetable oil, which has an even higher greenhouse reduction benefit by utilizing a waste product to create a usable fuel. Don’t hesitate to reach out to YTCC or Full Circle if you are interested in using biodiesel.
We also heard from Custer Gallatin National Forest’s Fleet Manager, Michael Donch. Through Donch’s efforts, Custer Gallatin National Forest has the greenest fleet in the entire National Forest network. The alternative fuel vehicle he primarily incorporates are plug-in hybrid vehicles. If the rugged National Forest can find a way to include electric vehicles in their fleet, I think anyone can.
Finally, Jesse Therian of Nordic Brewery explained their process of including an electric vehicle charging station in their construction design of the Nordic Brewing building. Therian found success by running the electric conduit prior to pouring concrete and utilizing rebate funding from Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities to help the economics of the project.
YTCC and board were very impressed by the projects in Montana and inspired to increase alternative fuel efforts in the region!
– Alicia Cox
Buying an electric vehicle is not always as simple as you would think, and therefore it is important to know your options for dealerships and vehicles available in your area. Many dealerships in the Bozeman area do not offer any electric vehicle options. While the dealerships that do have electric vehicles offer only one or a couple options and therefore there is not a variety of vehicles to select from when purchasing.
Ressler Motors will be offering the 2019 Audi e-tron at Audi Bozeman and Volkswagen of Bozeman within the next few months. All the 2019 Audi e-trons are brand new cars that can be purchased or leased. The price of these cars ranges between $74,000 and $90,000, based on the specific package and accessories chosen. The Audi e-tron can be bought online through the Audi website, where the choice is given to pre-pay or lease the vehicle. The website allows you to select a local dealership where the vehicle is sent and then available for pick-up or delivery by the dealership. Currently, the Audi e-tron is under high demand and all the vehicles at Bozeman dealerships have already been pre-sold.
The Chevrolet Cadillac dealership, also associated with Ressler Motors, offers a Chevrolet Volt. However, currently, they only have one of this vehicle in stock. As well as Toyota of Bozeman, which is part of Ressler Motors, offers a Toyota Prius Prime. Unfortunately, there is a perceived lack of interest and demand for electric vehicles in Bozeman by the dealerships. Especially because many of the options offered are not 4-wheel drive. Overall, those are the current options for purchasing an electric vehicle locally in Bozeman, MT.
Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities
P.O. Box 11756
Jackson, WY 83002
185 W Broadway
Jackson, WY 83001
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