San Diego City Council plans revision of its Climate Action Plan

San Diego City Council plans revision of its Climate Action Plan

The San Diego City Council is planning its first big revision of its Climate Action Plan since it was first adopted in 2015.  

The original document projected that the city could cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by then. The revision goes even further, calling for the city to reach a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Two hundred-plus actions that we’ll have to work with implementing with departments on securing that path to net-zero.” said Moriah Saldaña, the program manager for San Diego’s CAP 

“Basically, we’re looking at all the different sectors for how greenhouse gases are produced,” Saldaña said. “And then we’re finding ways to reduce those emissions.” 

The aim of this revision is to make San Diego a more sustainable city and it is expected to be widely adopted by the City Council. 

Neighborhood advocates are generally pleased with the extra rigor in the plan, but they say even more could be done. 

“We feel like there are some changes that can be made before that final vote,” said Kyle Heiskala of the Environmental Health Coalition. “But, yes, we are supportive of the Climate Action Plan, and I think it’s going to do a lot for the neighborhoods in San Diego in order to address climate change impacts.” 

City officials say the CAP is not a finished document. It can be adjusted as the city’s needs and capabilities change. The next scheduled revision is set to happen in 2027. 

UfoDrive expands electric vehicle rental to US

UfoDrive expands electric vehicle rental to US

UfoDrive has announced that it plans to expand electric vehicle rental operations to the United States, following rapid growth in 18 cities across Europe including London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dublin. The first North American UfoDrive location has launched in San Fransisco to be followed quickly by further locations across Europe and the United States. 

UforDrive is also announcing the opening of a global tech hub and innovation centre in Dublin later this month.  

The hub will serve as focal point for further development of their unique electric rental platform and help UforDrive unlock more of the features that make EV rental the best product on the market, it says.  

Aidan McClean, CEO and co-founder of UforDrive, explained: “In only a few years we’ve helped customers drive 15 million fully electric miles. Behind the scenes we try to solve every anxiety and make the enhanced electric driving experience a reality for our customers. 

“Our customers love the UforDrive experience, and that success has allowed us to accelerate plans to reach North America and open the tech hub and innovation centre in Ireland.  

“Those are big steps towards helping accelerate the transition to sustainable rental and introduce more and more people to the joy of driving electric.” 

UfoDrive San Francisco is now open in the heart of downtown San Francisco, with a full EV fleet set to be active by the end of August, and additional expansion to other US cities planned for autumn. 

The Modern Fleet Manager’s Challenge: Data Overload

The Modern Fleet Manager’s Challenge: Data Overload

Written by: Shiva Bhardwaj

As part of the fleet management team, you are inundated with data from many sources, such as driver ELD data, routing and scheduling data, vehicle profile logistics, and so on. If you are within the maintenance organization, you have your work order data as well as vehicle component health data. Your diagnostic service tools are a must, and you might see several daily dashboards. As your vehicles get more populated with electronics – especially the ‘smart trailers,’ it will only grow exponentially in the near term. At any given time, you have access to more information than anyone can humanly digest. All the while having to make quick decisions that positively impact your fleet’s driver and vehicle productivity (and profitability). This is the definition of DATA OVERLOAD!

 

You might consider telematics as a cost-cutting, and safety tool that satisfies compliance, improves routing and modifies driving behavior to improve safety or fuel efficiency. However, there is so much more under the hood, literally. There are thousands of diagnostic and component health fault codes, hundreds of sensor-reporting fluids, temperatures, and flow rates every second. This data review process can be overwhelming! Taking advantage of this data is perceived as a tall task without hiring a team of data analysts.

 

We can all agree that data is powerful and offers new possibilities to manage your fleet. But sifting through the data to find what is useful to your unique fleet without using up precious resources is challenging. In addition, receiving loads of real-time data may not always be actionable, refraining you from making informed decisions. So how can we use the data to make our fleet more efficient and cost-effective without losing sight of the bottom line?

 

The challenge of data overload begins with thousands of fault codes and millions of sensor data points generated from your vehicle components and emerging through your fleet’s telematics/ELD provider. How can any fleet afford to process all of this raw data in a manner that guarantees reduced downtime and operational costs? 

 

Attempting to make sense of this data has many fleet managers like yourself answering reactive questions such as  “Is this fault code severe or not?”, “Does this fault code correlate to other fault codes?”  “What is the frequency of this fault code?” “Should I pull the truck off its route, or can it keep driving?” “Should I hire someone to review fault codes and telematics data manually?”

 

However, what many don’t realize, is that it is actually more important that you can answer these questions: 

 

  1. How do I avoid unscheduled repairs, unexpected breakdowns and the associated repair & tow costs? 
  2. With my aging fleet (we all have them), which vehicles should I prioritize getting rid of? 
  3. Are our fleet maintenance costs justified? What regions are performing well and which are not?
  4. Is the cost per day per truck of operation growing for vehicles in my fleet? (hint: unless you had the tools to predict the parts and vehicle shortage a few years back, the answer for every fleet is that the costs are growing!”)

 

A fleet cannot survive solely on preventive maintenance strategies. Instead, it must increase its focus on predictive maintenance and be able to create data visualizations that tell a clear story of effectiveness and efficiency. Predictive fleet maintenance, like Pitstop, enables you to receive insights on your vehicle’s health, predicting equipment failure and overall cost savings.

 

The difference between raw data and receiving insights is that those insights allow you to make quick decisions about the business. In contrast, raw data has you going down rabbit holes, answering questions that do not help your core business thrive and waste your precious time. This is the biggest problem with data overload. There is too much information to consume, and generating decision intelligence is at significant risk. 

 

Luckily, along with the rise of data, there has also been notable growth in fleet technology and software. Now, an AI-based analytics solution can tell you what matters from the data noise. Empowering you to make the right decisions in real-time has significant financial benefits for your fleet. The benefits significantly outweigh the investment and make predictive analytics the next wave of necessary fleet technology. I would value your thoughts, opinions and experience with data overload. Please visit Pitstopconnect.com to chat with my team and me! 

 

About the Author:

Shiva Bhardwaj is the Founder and CEO at Pitstop. While earning a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from UWaterloo, Shiva spent time working at NVIDIA and Blackberry. Shiva started his entrepreneurship journey by inventing ShockLock which brought a safe, simple and cost-effective hardware solution to the automotive world. His largest and most recent accomplishment is Pitstop, a predictive maintenance platform for the automotive industry founded in 2015. Shiva has also been recognized as the Vaughan Entrepreneur of the Year & SEMA 35 Under 35. 

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

Picture: BRP

BRP has announced that in addition to electrifying its existing product, it is aiming to seize the opportunity to enter new markets with game-changing electric products. 

BRP has unveiled the first two models of its Can-Am all-electric motorcycle lineup, the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse. Building on its already existing motorcyle legacy, BRP is opening the door to a new generation of riders and electric vehicle enthusiasts.  

Additionally, BRP is announcing a completely new electric hydrofoil board bearing the Sea-Doo signature: the Sea-Doo Rise. All of these products are said to be available in mid-2024. 

“Today, our story of innovation reaches new heights with the reveal of market-shaping electric products that will enhance consumer experience on the road and on the water, ” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. 

“Half a century ago, Can-Am roared to victory on the track and the trail, and today, a new legacy begins. With the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse, the first two models of our electric 2-wheel family, we are gearing up to reclaim our motorcycle heritage by crafting thrilling riding experiences for a whole new generation.” 

The Can-Am Origin is a tribute to Can-Am’s Track n’ Trail heritage. This dual-purpose model is designed to bring new exhilaration to both the street and the trail for a more modern multi-terrain experience.  

The Can-Am Pulse is a balanced and agile motorcycle designed to immerse riders in the energy of the city and transform their daily commute into an electric joyride. Both models feature stunning, modern design, built to showcase state-of-the art technology, like the high-performance LED headlamp, a unique visual signature. 

While both have their own unique design and features that can benefit users in many ways, however, they both are powered by the new Rotax E-POWER technology. 

The Sea-Doo Rise on the other hand, is another unique model and is designed with innovative and dynamic features that transform the board as riders gain experience over time. Full specs are expected to be revealed in August 2023. 

Verizon and NEC announce partnership on distributed optical fiber sensing trial

Verizon and NEC announce partnership on distributed optical fiber sensing trial

Verizon has teamed up with NEC to test fiber sensing on its already existing fiber network. The proof-of-concept (PoC) field trial used Verizon’s existing fiber optic cables as distributed optical sensors to collect information on city traffic patterns, road conditions and road capacity information. 

The trial used new optical sensor technology developed by NEC with software underpinned by artificial intelligence for traffic monitoring including the measurement of vehicle density, direction, speed, acceleration and deceleration, and other information. 

Using existing fiber that’s already in the ground means that Verizon wouldn’t have to trench in purpose-built fiber to gather the same type of information. Fiber trenching is both costly and disruptive, especially in urban areas. 

In addition to traffic monitoring, the data gathered from the distributed optical sensors could also be used to support public functions such as helping first responders detect and find where gunshots have been fired. 

“This test marks an important milestone for technology that could provide a huge leap forward for those building smart cities and those tasked to manage them,” said Verizon’s Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of technology planning and development, in a statement.  

“Instead of ripping up tarmac to place road and traffic-sensing technology, cities will be able to simply piggyback Verizon’s existing fiber optic network.” 

The trial used a fiber sensing system that worked with the existing wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) communications channels on the same fiber with minimal impact to the data communications capacity, which would make it suitable for use even in traffic congested networks. 

Verizon and NEC said the trial marked the first time that a 36.8 Tbps transmission system and distributed optical fiber sensing were demonstrated together on an operational telecom network. 

The two companies also said the trial marked the longest distance that such sensing data has been collected via an operational telecom network. AI tools such as convolutional neural networks (CNN) and software vector machines were used in order to take advantage of distributed intelligent traffic informatics (DITI). 

“The results obtained from this joint research program with Verizon are a great advancement for smart city business opportunities, especially for safer city solutions such as the conservation of roads and the utilization of traffic information,” said Atsuo Kawamura, executive vice president of NEC, in a statement. 

“We are confident that these cutting-edge solutions will provide meaningful new value for optical fiber networks.” 

The West Virginia Department of Transportation has just completed a preliminary plan to add more electric vehicle charging stations

The West Virginia Department of Transportation has just completed a preliminary plan to add more electric vehicle charging stations

The West Virginia Department of Transportation has just completed a preliminary plan to add more electric vehicle charging stations in hopes of bringing more travelers to the Mountain State. West Virginia is anticipated to receive about $46 million over the next five years to assist in the development of charging stations and electric vehicle infrastructure.
 

“You see the economy starting to move into a newer economy with all of the above types of energy,” said Mark Nestlen, GreenPower vice president of business development and strategy.  

However the question still remains as to whether consumers will make the switch away from petrol-powered vehicles.  

“It would be huge for our state,” Jamie Spears, president and co-owner of Astorg Auto Charleston, said. 

 “For our state to get that, it would make a difference in whether we might or might not sell an electric car. They might go buy a competitive brand or they go somewhere else. It just puts us at a competitive disadvantage.” 

The department has said that over the next five years, around  900 charging stations will be installed along all West Virginia interstates, significantly expanding the charging network.
 

“There are 200,000 charging stations across the country, but there are only about five in West Virginia, and there is no place to charge, even for people driving through from Ohio or North Carolina,” Spears said. 

In addition, with electric motor companies crossing state lines, the state Department of Transportation surveyed members of the public, and 59% indicated they support switching electric, while 41% said they oppose it.
 

“Everybody’s scared, everybody is afraid to run out. It’s kind of like running out of gas. You run out of electricity, you sit on the side of the road, so there’s gotta be a place to charge,” Spears said.
 

While charging stations may appear in West Virginia in the coming years, the debate of whether electric vehicles are the way of the future persists.
 

“It’s money savings. It’s cost savings. It’s healthier for the people who ride those vehicles, and at the end of the day, it’s a boost to the economy and job market in the state of West Virginia,” Nestlen said. 

EvoCharge partners with AmpUp for Smart EV charging solutions

EvoCharge partners with AmpUp for Smart EV charging solutions

Picture: EvoCharge

EvoCharge has announced its partnership with AmpUp to offer simple, convenient charging options for electric vehicle drivers, charging station owners and fleet managers. AmpUp’s innovative software allows individuals, organisations, and fleet operators to monitor and manage their EV charging infrastructure to simplify charging schedules and optimize energy consumption.  

EvoCharge and AmpUp’s preconfigured charging stations provide customers with a turnkey solution, valuable up-time, and a cost-effective charging station setup. 

This solution provides users with real-time analytics, monthly reporting, user management and payment controls. EvoCharge Level 2 charging stations with AmpUp software are available through EvoCharge and electrical distributors nationwide.  

The new partnership follows early success from AmpUp’s award-winning Community Manager solution, which has served workplaces, universities, multi-unit dwellings, retail, municipalities, and light-duty fleets to date.  

AmpUp’s charging network powered over 340,000 electric miles in 2021, an estimated 142 metric tons of CO2 saved. The company’s software is used by several Fortune 500 companies across North America. 

“The AmpUp partnership offers a unique opportunity for stocking and distribution of commercial units preconfigured and tested to run on the AmpUp network. “We are delighted to further deliver on our go-to-market strategy with AmpUp.” said Manish Virmani, vice president of sales and marketing for EvoCharge and its 102-year-old parent company, Phillips and Temro.  

The partnership directly contributes to our goal of putting reliable and simple charging solutions in the hands of new station owners across North America,” said Tom Sun, CEO & co-founder of AmpUp. 

CEO of Women and Drones talks global expansion and industry opportunities ahead of MOVE America!

CEO of Women and Drones talks global expansion and industry opportunities ahead of MOVE America!

“The company was established in 2017, and what started as an idea to connect women in the United States to network at industry conferences, has quickly grown over the last few years to an international network…What we do day inane day out is about elevating the presence of women in the industry”- Sharon Rossmark
We had the great pleasure of catching up with Sharon Rossmark, CEO of Women and Drones, to talk about the inspiring work the company is doing to get women involved in the industry, not only in the U.S, but also through their new international chapter Women And Drones Africa!
Sharon will be going us at #MOVEAmerica2022 to talk on navigating the regulatory framework for drones and UAVs!
Get your ticket to #MOVEAmerica2022 at 50% off when using code WOMEN50 – this week only: https://lnkd.in/e7R457a
To find out more, watch the video below or head to: https://womenanddrones.com
Laura Fox: the impact of micromobility on the road to net-zero!

Laura Fox: the impact of micromobility on the road to net-zero!

Q&A with Laura Fox!

Laura Fox is currently Lyft’s General Manager and Senior Director for Citi Bike, where she oversees strategy, growth, operations, marketing, new product launches, and the local P&L – as well as community engagement and the public-private partnership with New York City and New Jersey.

Laura is passionate about cities, climate, tech, and cultural entrepreneurship – and has shaped a multi-faceted global career that combines long-term strategic perspectives with the nuts-and-bolts experience to make things happen.

We had the great pleasure of talking to Laura about how micro mobility is a key part in creating more sustainable cities and how Citi Bike is paving the way for this change.

 

Q: Tell us about Citi Bike  

A: Citi Bike is part of Lyft and is a core part of delivering on the Lyft mission to deliver the world’s best transportation. In 2019, Lyft committed $100M to doubling the size of the Citi Bike service area, and we’re mid-way through that dramatic geographic expansion now. Already Citi Bike has the largest number of bikes and stations of any bikeshare system in the world outside of East Asia and will surpass or rival the small handful of larger systems by the end of 2024.  

To help contextualise that scale a bit further – in 2021, Citi Bike had nearly 28 million rides from 1.3 million unique riders (and to date has more than 157 million lifetime rides). If Citi Bike were a public transit system, it would be the 25th largest in the United States based on ridership last year, with more than the SF BART system and nearly as many as the PATH train in New Jersey and New York.  

All of these stats are important as they speak to micro mobility as a transportation system, that – through strong public-private partnerships – can be an instrumental, resilient, healthy part way that people get around cities. 

  

Q: What has been the impact of Citi Bike and has the impact changed since COVID? 

A: Citi Bike is the fastest growing transportation system in New York City’s history and that allowed it to help meet the moment during the pandemic. In 2020, we saw tens of thousands of critical workers turn to Citi Bike as their primary mode of transportation, and hospitals shot up to the top of the most used stations list. Interestingly, we also saw leisure rides expand significantly and bring in a significant number of new riders to bikeshare for the first time, many of whom are now becoming regular users. This includes a growing number of low-income and BIPOC riders. Our Reduced Fare Bikeshare program has more than doubled in size and 61% of our riders now identify as being part of a racial or ethnic minority group.  

 Overall, we saw the resilience of bikeshare as a key theme. Bikeshare ridership returned to and surpassed previous highs much faster than other modes of transportation, feeding off the global Bike Boom, and playing an important complementary role as part of the regional transit system.  

  

Q: How important do you believe ebikes and micromobility to be on the road to net-zero and to more sustainable cities? 

A: Bikes, ebikes, and micro mobility overall are essential to building more sustainable cities. There’s a lot of hype over “big EVs” like Tesla and others dominating news cycles. But big EVs can only reduce emissions from a standard gas-powered car by 50% (compared to an ebike at 92%). There are a lot of dependencies there: (1) how “clean” the grid is, and (2) grid capacity. For example, it’s estimated that upgrading the grid in the U.S. to support EVs will cost $125B; currently $5B is dedicated to this work in the U.S.’s largest infrastructure bill in decades. So, we need to focus on reducing individual car ownership overall, and getting folks onto more sustainable models – from ebikes to walking, public transit, shared rides, etc.  

To wax poetic about ebikes for a moment as the fastest-selling electric vehicle of any type in the US: at Citi Bike, we see ebikes used for longer trips (almost double the milage on average), they make up over 60% of trips across bridges despite being 20% of the fleet, they’re great for commuting as you don’t break a sweat, and they can take you in directions that the buses or subways don’t go where you’d otherwise need a car. To that point, a number of national studies have found that after people start riding ebikes, they replace 70% of their vehicle miles with ebike usage. So, they’re an incredible car replacer.  

  

Q: What do you think will be the next big thing in the mobility industry that we will see over the years?  

A: First, I’m hopeful that we see more cities want to replicate the success of micromobility networks like Citi Bike, to build long-term, resilient active transportation networks that help people get from point A to B faster, cheaper, greener, and healthier.  

 With the rise of micromobility ridership for both personal use as well as for delivery (with cities like NYC seeing 3.6M+ package deliveries per day), I hope that we’ll start to see more (and faster) road infrastructure changes roll out that support these light eclectic vehicle form factors – from more dedicated lanes, to lower car speeds, congestion pricing, and more.   

  

Q: Is public-private ownership the way forward to grow the system? If so, how? 

A: Definitely. For example, our relationship with NYCDOT is critical to the important role Citi Bike plays in helping New Yorkers get around. Our public-private partnership has a number of foundational elements to make the program successful today and into the future. Just to name a few of them: 1) Station density – anywhere within the network needs to be within 5 min or less of a Citi Bike station, and NYCDOT plays a critical role in helping us site stations; 2) Robust transit connections – our joint planning process with NYCDOT ensures that we facilitate first/last mile trips from public transit, and cluster density near those stations. As a result, more than 90% of Citi Bike riders use a bike to get to/from transit. 3) Protected bike lanes – there are nearly 600 miles of protected lanes in NYC today, and Mayor Adams just committed to building nearly $1B worth of more over the coming years. We’ve seen consistently that protected bike lanes bring out larger and more diverse groups of riders.   

  

Q: What can we expect to see from Citi Bike in the next few years? 

A: We’ll soon have more than 40,000 bikes throughout the Citi Bike network, covering 60% of the NYC population and 70% of NYCHA residences. While on this fast-paced growth, we’re also committed to rolling out new products that riders love — most recently, this includes our next-generation ebike with a more powerful motor (for easier bridge riding), retroreflective paint (for better visibility at night), and double the battery capacity so that bikes are available more often and can be ridden even further.   

  

Q: What are you excited for about MOVE America? And what topics will you be addressing when you’re there? 

A: It’s great that MOVE covers so many types of mobility – from micromobility to freight and more. I’m looking forward to discussions with folks across sectors, and to trying out lots of new products as well. My keynote will address many of the points above. 

 

Laura will be joining us at MOVE America in Austin this September to talk about how micromobility is playing a crucial role in creating greener cities. 

To find out more head to: MOVE America

To find out more about Lyft and Citi Bike head to: Citi Bike or Lyft

Biden-Harris Administration announces all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico have submitted plans for National Electric Vehicle charging network

Biden-Harris Administration announces all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico have submitted plans for National Electric Vehicle charging network

To keep up with President Biden’s commitment to build out a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030, the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy today announced all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have submitted EV infrastructure deployment plans as required under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program established and funded by President Biden’s Infrastructure Law. 

These plans are required to unlock the first round of the $5 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law formula funding available over 5 years to help states accelerate the important work of building out the national EV charging network and making electric vehicle charging accessible to people all over the country. 

“We appreciate the thought and time that states have put into these EV infrastructure plans, which will help create a national charging network where finding a charge is as easy as locating a gas station,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

“We will continue to work closely with all fifty states, D.C. and Puerto Rico to ensure EV chargers across the country are convenient, affordable, reliable and accessible for all Americans.” 

“Today’s milestone in our plans to build an interconnected national EV charging network is proof that America is prepared to act on President Biden’s call to modernize the national highway system and help Americans drive electric,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.  

“Our whole-of-government approach, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and coordinated through the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, will boost local economies, strengthen our independence from the volatilities of fossil fuels, and ensure that electric vehicle charging deserts are a thing of the past.” 

Today’s news follows the announcement earlier this year of nearly $5 billion that will be made available to states over the next five years under the NEVI Formula Program along with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on proposed minimum standards and requirements to ensure the national EV charging network is user-friendly, reliable, and accessible to all Americans. 

To access these new funds and to help ensure a convenient and equitable charging experience for all users, each state was required to submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation that describes how the state intends to use its share of NEVI Formula Program funds consistent with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidance. 

With all state EV deployment plans now submitted, the Joint Office and FHWA will review the plans and continue to work with states, with the goal of approving state plans by September 30. Once each state plan is approved, state departments of transportation will be able to deploy EV charging infrastructure through the use of NEVI Formula Program funds. 

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $7.5 billion for EV charging, along with over $7 billion to support critical minerals supply chain necessary to support domestic EV battery manufacturing. 

Indorama Ventures and Capchem evaluate proposed carbonate solvents plant to supply North American lithium-ion battery market

Indorama Ventures and Capchem evaluate proposed carbonate solvents plant to supply North American lithium-ion battery market

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, a global sustainable chemical company, has entered into a non-binding agreement with Capchem Technology USA Inc to study the opportunity to build and ond operate a world-class lithium-ion battery solvents plant at one of IVL’s petrochemical facilities in the U.S Gulf Coast. 

The proposed plant will supply the lithium-ion batteries industry in North America, which is boosted by significant growth in the development of electric vehicles (EV). 

The proposed facility will produce ethylene carbonate and its chemical derivatives, which are essential components of the electrolytes solutions used in lithium-ion batteries. IVL’s Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD) segment and Capchem USA, a subsidiary of Shenzhen Capchem Technology Co., Ltd., will study the proposal to develop and operate the plant. 

 Capchem is a global leading company in lithium-ion battery chemicals. It would significantly benefit the North American lithium-ion battery market, which currently depends on imports from Asia amid potential for accelerated growth in the EV industry. 

IOD’s transition towards downstream specialty products, increasing IVL’s opportunities in attractive end-market applications. Under its Vision 2030 ambition, IVL is building on its global integrated petrochemicals model through investing in adjacent businesses that offer High Value Add (HVA) products which contribute to a more sustainable world. 

The study will assess the opportunity to build a plant using Capchem’s established technology to produce ultra-pure ethylene carbonate, di-methyl carbonate, ethyl methyl carbonate, di-ethyl carbonate and derivatized electrolyte solutions. The study also includes an option to build a second module to meet expected growing market demand. 

“IVL is constantly looking for ways to enhance our sustainability programs towards our vision of creating a more sustainable world. This mutual study with Capchem USA not only helps us to achieve that, but also supports the adoption of zero-emission electric mobility.” Said Alastair Port, Executive President, Integrated Oxides and Deratives, IVL 

“Given our proven operational excellence, highly skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure, and access to captive raw materials, we believe we are well-placed to successfully implement the technology, which will help to reduce North American EV manufacturers’ reliance on imports.” 

The key raw materials for the proposed new plant, namely purified ethylene oxide and carbon dioxide, will be supplied from IVL’s integrated supply network as part the company’s strategy to enhance end-market exposure, technologies, and downstream portfolio breadth. The sequestered carbon dioxide used in the process has a positive sustainability impact. 

Robyn Marquis talks innovative developments for EV infrastructure ahead of MOVE America!

Robyn Marquis talks innovative developments for EV infrastructure ahead of MOVE America!

Robyn Marquis Q&A for MOVE America!

Robyn Marquis joined CALSTART in 2022 as the Director of Innovative Mobility. She oversees the Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program (CMO) team, which administers this first-in-the-nation program to provide zero-emission mobility to underserved communities and improve their quality of life.  

She also oversees CALSTART’s Innovative Mobility Working Group, a consortium of over 50 transit agencies, service and technology providers, and other key stakeholders advancing better mobility options to reduce climate impacts.

We had a great chat with Robyn about the amazing incentive programs CALSTART have implemented and some of the fantastic things we will be seeing from them in the future!

 

Q: Tell us about CALSTART 

A: CALSTART is a nonprofit organisation. We work nationally and internationally with businesses and governments to develop clean and efficient transportation solutions. We have offices all over the US. We are headquartered in California. I’m located in New York, another one of our offices, also in Michigan, Colorado, even central. And working with industry partners worldwide, we currently have about 300 member companies and other agencies that are innovating to help us build a prosperous, efficient and clean high tech transportation industry. 

Collectively we’re working on two pretty large goals in clean transportation. The first being, reducing US transportation emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. And then secondly, hoping to ensure that all regions are achieving federal air quality standards to support clean air for all. And we do this through a variety of mechanisms. 

We administer a lot of large-scale incentive programs on the vehicle side. On the infrastructure side, we convene industry working groups. We have a lot of advocacy work working with a lot of other partners in the clean transportation space, so that we’re all kind of rowing in the same direction and ensuring that we’re leveraging everybody’s efforts to have a greater impact, kind of the, some is greater than the parts. 

  

Q: California leads the nation with its EnergIIZE Commercial Vehicles Project, which provides incentives for zero-emission fleet charging infrastructure equipment. What has been the impact of this been on electric vehicle uptake? 

A: EnergIIZE in particular, which is for commercial vehicle infrastructure, has a series of funding rounds. And we recently launched the first of the funding rounds. We received over 60 applications, and it was fully subscribed within seconds or even milliseconds. So, we definitely know that the demand there is quite large.  The goal of that program in particular is to increase market acceleration but it’s a little too early for us to fully determine the effect that we’re having at a broad level. Based on the interest that we saw with that over subscription of the funding, um, the webinars that we’ve hosted people reaching out, emailing us about the program. 

We are very optimistic about the demand at large, and as far as we know, EnergIIZE in particular is the first of its kind and the largest, medium and heavy-duty incentive program in the market. So, we’re really hopeful that that’s going to continue to drive the uptake of electric vehicles. The industry is really evolving rapidly to address the concerns that we’ve been hearing particularly early on in some of these vehicle developments and deployments about range, anxiety and the different duty unique duty cycles, particularly in commercial vehicles. 

So, passenger cars kind of have a way that they’re typically driven and charged if you’re looking at commercial vehicles, it could be a delivery truck, it could be a garbage truck; it could be a bus. The ways in which those are utilised are quite different in terms of duty cycles. So, their charging needs are different as well and that has led to some issues in terms of transitioning fleets to zero emission. So, through this kind of incentive program, and then complimenting that with incentives on the vehicle side as well, we’re really hoping to drive a more rapid uptake in, in this transition to zero emission fleets. And hopefully it works because infrastructure is the key part of everything. 

  

Q: CALSTART have also announced a landmark at the UN climate change conference, where you said that you would have a hundred percent zero emission new trucks by 2040. How do you plan to implement this and how far along are you?  

A: This is something that we’re really proud to be involved in and really seeing a lot of progress as we shift from kind of the initial establishing beach head markets in terms of where would we see early adopter vehicles and starting to, to secure that policy alignment? So currently we have a group of 16 signatory countries and more. That we’re hoping to bring into the MOU as well. So really our top priority is to then turn those MOU targets that we have into concrete policies. How can we be supporting these signatories in really adopting this change through specific regulatory policy, implementation actions, figuring out how they can all individually and then collectively meet these goals. 

So that’s identifying their pain points. What are some of their policy prior? Who are key experts in the space that can help share their lessons learned. So those that maybe are a little bit further along, how did they work through the process and how can they transfer some of that knowledge back to those that are just maybe getting started? We hold quarterly calls with all of the countries, really around deep themes, economics, infrastructure, as we’ve been saying, regulations and incentive. There are many large markets that haven’t signed up yet. So, our goal is those that are in large markets for producing vehicles or maybe our lower and moderate-income C. To ensure that we’re securing a large set of stakeholders and diverse set of countries in this pledge. 

And then also looking at the industry side of it. So, this can’t be done without industry participation. We have, in addition to those 16 countries, 50 subnational governments and companies that endorse the ambition of the MOU. So, we’re recognising that national governments alone, aren’t going to be able to fulfill this. It’s really a broad set of stakeholders that need to participate. So that’s working with the leading manufacturer fleets to ensure that we are responsive to their pain points and market needs and things like the incentives and other programs that we’ve been discussing cumulatively can help transition them through the different stages of the strategy. 

Actually, not that long ago, we released the 2040 global roadmap, which has these six main steps of the strategy that are looking at the kind of different use cases, long haul versus cities establishing the backbone of the infrastructure. So, we are now going to be ensuring that the next piece is coming online to help those countries that have signed on and tracking their progress. So, we’ve built a dashboard for this, and it’s something that we’re hoping to release and discuss aat pop 26, actually.  

  

Q: What do you think will be the next big industry developments in the next 12-18 months? 

A: It’s such a large multi stakeholder or multi-jurisdictional issue. True to form I have a few tracks of thought here. In addition to the kind of technology and maybe traditional transportation mobility side of it, the big changes are going to need to come in land. 

Where people live, where their things are, how they are trying to get to school, job, etc. There are a lot of solutions that are working in certain kinds of markets that are maybe not are not as feasible. In some of the places in the U.S in particular where just structurally communities were laid out in response to auto ownership and auto usage. 

Looking at opportunities to do some infill in cities, bring some more of those things that they need closer to home thinking about transit-oriented development and c omplimenting the, kind of the big land use picture with more of the tech, in innovation and some of the disruptors that we’re going see at MOVE America in particular, needing to really look more multimodal, uh, and on the infrastructure side, looking beyond bike lanes,that’s a huge barrier. 

 

Q: What are you excited for at MOVE America? 

A: In addition to just really being excited to go to Austin, Texas, which has been high on my list as I’ve heard very cool cities and in particular places that are doing a lot on the mobility side, what I’m really excited about kind of across the board for MOVE America is just broad the programming is I think. the breadth of this, of the sessions really maps against CALSTART initiative areas. We’re working in everything from ultra-light duty to heavy duty and seeing the sessions kind of complimenting in terms of, you know, there is no silver bullet. There is all of these different approaches that need to be complimented. 

 

Q: What can we expect to hear from you there? 

A: My session in particular is focused on ways to make EVs accessible to all and getting at some of the core challenges in access and so CALSTART is part of the administrator team that implements the clean mobility options program in California, and this empowers under-resourced communities to better understand and overcome their mobility obstacles through either needs assessments, or ultimately the deployment of clean shared zero mission mobility service. 

That’s a pretty unique first of its kind program that’s really looking at. What does a community need? What do they want? How can they co-design the solution for them and ensure that those that are perhaps lower income or have other mobility challenges aren’t left out of the electrification component.

 

To find out more about CALSTART head to: CALSTART

Rep. Cindy Axne votes for Bipartisan Bill to increase American manufacturing and jobs

Rep. Cindy Axne votes for Bipartisan Bill to increase American manufacturing and jobs

Rep. Cindy Axne has voted to increase semi-conductor manufacturing in America to help supply chains create jobs, and save lowans money. 

Semiconductors are chips that are now found in a wide range of consumer goods, and are critical to the production of cars, computers, and other electronic goods. Production disruptions over the last couple years have led to shortages in America because only 12 percent of semiconductor chips are manufactured domestically. 

The bipartisan Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act is a bold, bipartisan legislative package that returns the U.S. to its status as a world leader in the semiconductor manufacturing industry to shore up their economic and national security. 

“I have been pushing for passage of this legislation that will boost American manufacturing and provide more good-paying jobs for Iowans for months,” said Rep. Axne.  

“Today I am happy to have voted with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to deliver these investments in our country for Iowans. Long term investments in research and technology will support American leadership for decades to come. Manufacturing more in America will boost our economy, keep our country secure, and save Iowans money.” 

The CHIPS and Science Act includes more than $52 billion for the CHIPS for America Fund to manufacturers to build, expand, or modernize domestic facilities and equipment for semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, advanced packaging, or research and development.  

The CHIPS and Science Act will provide significant resources to:  

  • Help companies build, expand, or modernize domestic facilities and equipment for semiconductor production, supporting 100,000 new jobs in America and lowering costs by ending the shortage of chips. 
  • Support development of next level mobile broadband and wireless technologies. 
  • Expand investment in public research and development to ensure American leadership in the future, including in critical technologies such as artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing, as well as boosting STEM education and regional technology hubs. 
Elle Hempen: How the Atlas for Cities has allowed local governments to make cities smarter and safer!

Elle Hempen: How the Atlas for Cities has allowed local governments to make cities smarter and safer!

The Atlas for Cities is a free online community which provides a space for local government leaders to view case studies, see what trends are out there and to source solutions. The Atlas has a sole vision to make cities smarter, safer and more sustainable. City officials must work quickly and therefore this space provides  

“We are, at the Atlas for cities, really part of the everyday learning experience for local government leaders. We are part of problem identification, solution identification…and that means we have unique insight into the parts and the minds and the problems that individual local governments are prioritising and individual government decision makers are prioritising.” Said Elle Hempen, Co-Founder and Executive VP of the Atlas for Cities. 

“This allows us to not only provide valuable information to our local government community, but on the back end we can track trends, track buying patterns and provide real time market intelligence that is missing right now” 

The company was founded by three women: Elle Hempen, Ellory Monks and Angela Murrell, all who are under the age of thirty. They are military spouses and have been former government officials themselves, so these ladies know the field very well. 

Women are a driving force in the U.S economy, 40% of business are women-owned in the U.S and these businesses are said to be generating nearly $1.8 trillion a year according to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

“I think women are often at times motivated to solve problems. Everybody wants to make money and be successful but often at times you see female founders get into it not because they wanted to be entrepreneurs when they were growing up but because they saw a problem and wanted to solve it” said Hempen 

“This is why Ellory; Angela and I came together. We saw a problem and we said there was an easy fix here, it’s not easy to build or easy to execute but it’s a pretty straight forward fix” continued Elle. 

The company provides an incredible platform for residents and local governments to work together efficiently and effectively to make their cities smarter. These three women are the creaters of a highly innovative community. 

The Atlas helps 1,000+ city officials each month find creative solutions to urban problems that have been proven in other communities around the world and has facilitated more than 3,000 new relationships to help cities jumpstart progress on the ground. 

Elle will be joining us at MOVE America this September in Austin to join our stream on Smart Cities and Infrastructure. to find out more head to: MOVE America

Watch the full interview will Elle below! 

To find out more about Atlas for Cities head to: https://the-atlas.com 

Beam Global receives $900k battery order to power delivery drones

Beam Global receives $900k battery order to power delivery drones

Beam Global announced a $927k order for Beam Global’s energy storage solutions to power autonomous on-demand delivery drones.  

The battery packs include Beam’s patented thermal management technology for superior safety, higher energy density and longer life. The customer is an American company that designs, manufactures and operates an automated delivery system. 

“The global market for drones is expected to grow at a fantastic pace over the next decade. Goldman Sachs is calling it a $100B market,” said Beam Global CEO Desmond Wheatley. 

“We are confident that drones powered by Beam’s advanced battery technology are going to be part of that growth and so will our patented UAV ARC rapidly deployed, off grid, drone recharging product. This is another good example of how our acquisition of a highly differentiated battery technology company puts us in a leadership position for the future of electrified transportation.” 

The drones powered in this case perform delivery services for a range of applications from Fortune 100 retailers to startups and global partners. Powering their automated delivery system with safe, clean, efficient energy storage solutions from Beam Global allows the customer to safely and reliably deliver products while reducing fossil fuel use, improving air quality and decreasing road traffic. 

The drone package delivery market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 49.0% from 2022 to 2030. Increasing private investments in drones and increase in e-commerce sales and demand for contactless delivery post-pandemic are some of the factors fueling the growth of the market.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, various countries have realized the potential of drone technologies and have provided relaxation in terms of their regulation. 

Kosovo signed $236.7 million agreement with U.S government agency to support energy sector

Kosovo signed $236.7 million agreement with U.S government agency to support energy sector

Kosovo has signed a $236.7 million agreement with the United States government agency to support its energy sector, promote women’s participation and boost development.  

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani’s office on Thursday said the deal with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, or MCC, was signed a day earlier at the American Congress in Washington. 

“Today, the USA through the MCC, reaffirmed its steadfast support for our new republic and its willingness to help us advance further in terms of sustainable economic development,” Osmani said. 

She also said it was the “biggest energy investment in our country for decades” and will help Kosovo create flexibility and stability in the electricity grid by enabling greater integration of renewable resources.  

This will also aim to develop skills and strengthen the engagement of women in the energy sector and the labour market.  

Kosovos energy production is mainly based on coal and is therefore confronted with a deep issue due to the rising global energy prices.  

This, however, will push the country to find better renwable energy resources to provide power for their customers. 

“This signing represents … our commitment to work together to build modern, sustainable energy solutions which will benefit nearly 2 million Kosovars,” said MCC head Alice Albright. 

Two years ago, the MCC implemented another $49 million program to support Kosovo. 

El Cajon school district launches pilot with tech company Nuvve and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. marks the nation’s first “vehicle-to-grid” project to go online.

El Cajon school district launches pilot with tech company Nuvve and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. marks the nation’s first “vehicle-to-grid” project to go online.

A fleet of electric-powered school buses in El Cajon are able to send electricity back to California’s grid, thanks to first-of-its kind technology developed by a San Diego company and a partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric.  

And soon other school districts in the area will be able to do the same.  

“These buses are like storage on wheels,” said Gregory Poilasne, chief executive of Nuvve a technology company that specializes in advancing what’s called vehicle-to-grid projects. 

The bidirectional technology is known as V2G and it enables electric vehicle batteries that charge up during the day when solar energy is abundant on Californias power system to then discharge emission-free energy back to the electric grid when it is needed the most.  

In the case of the Cajon Valley Union School District, its fleet of eight all-electric school buses earlier this month successfully deployed the V2G technology as part of a pilot project in collaboration with Nuvve and SDG&E. As part of a five-year effort, the utility installed eight 60-kilowatt direct current fast chargers in the school district’s bus yard in El Cajon. This is the first V2G project to come online in the U.S. 

“This is another distributed energy resource that’s mobile, that’s on the road,” said Miguel Romero, SDG&E’s vice president of energy innovation. “There’s a significant amount of capacity in these batteries.” 

The Cajon Valley buses have a battery capacity of as much as 210 kilawatt-hours. That’s five times more than a typical electric car.  

Scott Buxbaum, the school district’s assistant superintendent of business services, said the buses typically charge overnight when electricity prices are low. After the buses pick up and drop off students and drivers complete other chores, the batteries quickly get recharged and can then send electricity back to the grid. 

“We can charge a bus in two to three hours from fully drained” using the fast chargers, Buxbaum said. “That’s really important to have a fast-charging process.” 

In an effort to reduce the risk of power outages when the grid is stressed, an Emergency Load Reduction Program in SDG&E’s service territory pays business customers $2 per kilowatt-hour if they are able to export power to the grid or reduce their usage during energy emergencies. 

The program at Cajon Valley was approved along with SDG&E’s Power Your Drive for Fleets program which builds charging stations and other infrastructure to take medium-and heavy-duty trucks that are powered by gasoline or diesel and replace them with electric vehicles. 

Justin Holmes, Zipcar, talks all things car sharing ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Justin Holmes, Zipcar, talks all things car sharing ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Justin is Zipcar’s VP of Marketing and Public Policy where he leads efforts to promote Zipcar’s brand of “wheels when you want them” to Zipcar members, city leaders, media and other stakeholders.

Ahead of MOVE America 2022, we spoke to Justin about Zipcars vision for the future and what we can expect to hear from them in Austin this September!

 

Q: Tell us about Zipcar and what services you provide. 

A: Founded more than 20 years ago, and acquired by Avis Budget Group in 2013, Zipcar is the world’s leading car-sharing network with operations in nearly 500 cities and towns. It enables people who have limited access to a car, or those who choose not to own a car in the city, with the ability to access the places and things they need and want, in and out of their city, in an easy, convenient, and affordable way. Once you join, you can reserve by the hour or day, on short notice or up to a year in advance.  

Zipcar’s affordable, self-service vehicles are available in conveniently located, reserved parking spots in neighborhoods where members live and work. Members can instantly join, access vehicles from their phone, and book a car, all without waiting in line. Zipcar also covers gas, insurance options and maintenance, and has recently expanded its fleet to 800 hybrid vehicles to serve increased travel demands.  

 

Q: What has the impact of car sharing been? 

A: Zipcar’s vision is to eliminate the need for personally owned cars (which sit parked about 95% of the time) by enabling simple and responsible urban living. People who do not own a car drive less and embrace more sustainable forms of transportation more often, which means less emissions and a more sustainable environment. Fewer cars on the road also means more space for people and the things they love like parks and green space; we also support transportation equity by adding cars in historically underserved areas where transportation is more difficult. 

Zipcar reduces members’ reliance on cars, which helps reduce emissions and decrease pollution and congestion. Once our members join Zipcar, they end up driving 40% fewer miles than they did prior, relying more on walking, biking, and public transportation. Together, our members each reduce their carbon footprint by up to 1,600 lbs per year, which is as much as planting about an acre of forest. 

Each Zipcar takes thirteen personally owned cars off the road, which reduces the need for parking spaces in our cities and frees it up for other uses. With thirteen spaces, you can fit four studio apartments, one community garden, twenty farmers market stalls or two hundred outdoor dining seats. 

Through partnerships like the ones, we have with NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) and NYC DOT (New York City Department of Transportation), we can add vehicles to lower-income neighbourhoods, expanding access to convenient and affordable mobility to underserved communities.  

 

Q: How do we try and make people give up personal cars and take alternative travel routes within cities? 

A: Urban centres play a key role in the fight against climate change and the creation of a more sustainable future. Critical to this future is a shift away from car ownership and towards shared mobility solutions that reduce the number of vehicles on the road, lowering emissions and decreasing congestion.  

We can encourage people in our communities to give up personal cars by making other forms of transportation easier, more convenient, accessible, and affordable, making them a better option than owning a car. Zipcar compliments a combination of shared mobility solutions – such as public transit, bikes, and scooters – by providing people with the ease, convenience, and accessibility to use a car when needed, and when other travel options may not work for the need. Zipcar also includes gas, insurance options, maintenance, a dedicated parking spot and 180 miles each trip, so the overall cost is much more affordable than owning a car. Based on a 2021 AAA report “How much does it really cost to own a car?” our members save $784/month on average. 

We also continue to work with our city and university partners to bring car sharing to more communities in major urban cities and towns.  

 

Q: What is the typical demographic of people that use Zipcar and what are you doing to cater to those who wouldn’t typically use your service? 

A: Our members are diverse urbanites of all ages 18+. Over 50% identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color), and almost 30% are college students. The commonality among them is that they don’t feel that owning a car in the city makes sense or is necessary. 75% of our members don’t own a car, and more than 40% would buy a car if Zipcar disappeared. For them, Zipcar delivers access without having to own a car, and offers them mobility solutions that fit their needs without the financial burden and mental worry of owning a car.  

In urban areas, cars are expensive, a hassle for owners, and clog city streets with congestion and pollution. All the while remaining unused 95% of the time. The fact of the matter is that urbanites don’t need a car to still have the freedom and convenience that a car provides. Car sharing through Zipcar delivers sustainable, cost-effective, on-demand vehicles that are available when you need one. 

 

Q: How is your 2035 vision to be all electric going? How far along are you? 

A: This summer, with the increased demand for travel, we added eight hundred hybrid vehicles to our fleet to meet demand and make sure we have greener vehicles incorporated into our fleet.  

 

Q: What will you be talking about at MOVE America and what are you excited about for the event? 

A: At this year’s MOVE America, I’ll be talking about how the end of car ownership can lead to a more sustainable mobility future, focusing on how urban areas are key to our fight against climate change. 

I’m most excited to hear from policy leaders in urban areas across the U.S. to learn more about how they’re leveraging technology and innovation in their plans to create a carbon zero future in their city. 

To find out more about MOVE America 2022 head to: MOVE America 2022

To find out more about Zipcar head to: Zipcar

 

Siemens partner with ConnectDER to offer Plug-in Home EV charging solution

Siemens partner with ConnectDER to offer Plug-in Home EV charging solution

ConnectDER, a company enabling consumers to decarbonise their homes by easily adding new electric service capacity, will supply Siemens with a proprietary plug-in adapter for electric vehicle chargers. The new device will allow electric vehicle owners to charge EVs by connecting chargers directly though the meter socket. By bypassing a home’s electric service panel, the adapter will save an estimated 60 to 80 percent of the charger installation cost by avoiding the need for electric panel upgrades. 

This new EV home-charging technology will be designed and manufactured by ConnectDER exclusively for Siemens. By allowing for a simple, 15-minute EV charger installation, the technology eliminates the need for complex and prohibitively expensive installations. 

Nearly half of US home panels would need upgrades to allow the installation of a typical Level 2 charger, typically a 7-11kW device requiring 40-60 Amps on a 240V line. This is a major roadblock for EV adoption, especially for low-and moderate-income homeowners. The adapter will be offered exclusively through Siemens. 

“Siemens invests in initiatives that help the world embrace electrified transportation, and we are pleased to partner with ConnectDER on this important effort,” said Chris King, senior vice president of strategic partnerships, Siemens.  

“While the EV industry continues to show explosive growth, to meet critical net-zero carbon emission goals like we have at Siemens, we must remove obstacles to broader adoption. ConnectDER’s innovative solution to simplify home EV charging helps overcome these challenges and we are excited to work with its team to rapidly roll out this product.” 

Whit Fulton, CEO of ConnectDER has also commented saying: “We are very excited to partner with Siemens, obviously one of the strongest and most storied electrical infrastructure providers on the planet. If we’re going to meet ambitious decarbonization targets, we simply must accelerate the adoption of EVs — the installation of EV chargers is a huge part of that equation. This technology saves homeowners thousands of dollars in electrical costs and will help make the move to electric vehicles considerably easier.” 

The partnership marks the latest step in the company’s strategic plan to meet the growing EV demand and increase transportation electrification job opportunities at all levels in the United States. 

Siemens eMobility solutions include AC and DC chargers deployed in all 50 states that range from in-home chargers to depots to charging infrastructure systems that power electrified bus lines in some of the largest cities in the country. 

Martin Larose talks electric fleet development ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Martin Larose talks electric fleet development ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Picture: LA PRESSE

Martin Larose joined the Volvo Group as a senior consultant before accepting a new role of Vice President, Program Management in April 2015. He was nominated as Vice President General Manager of Nova Bus in August 2017 and became President of Nova Bus in October 2021.

We had the great opportunity to chat with Martin ahead of MOVE America to talk about what we are expecting to hear from him in Texas, what he thinks the next big industry developments will be and much more!

 

Q: Tell us a bit about Novabus

A: Novabus is a public transit bus builder, our market is Canada and the United States, so we provide buses for all kinds of sizes of cities across North America, small, medium and large. Our public transit bus serves many thousands and millions of citizens on a daily basis. Our key customers across North America would be New York City, for example, Motreal here in Canada which is our home base, Vancouver out West and San Fransisco even on the west coast. So, we have a broad base of customers and we have been serving them now for more than 20 years. For the past 10 years we’ve been under the ownership of Volvo group.

 

 

Q: We are seeing fleets of Novabuses being bought everywhere. How important is it to electrify fleets across the country?

A: Well, we think it’s, it’s obviously quite important. Number one and foremost for the environment. So obviously our fully electric buses do not have any kind of direct pollution. We don’t have an internal combustion engine on most of these buses because they are fully electric, including the heating and ventilating in many cases. So obviously the environmental footprint is much less. Maintaining an electric bus with an electric motor and batteries is much simpler than maintaining a big diesel engine with all its moving parts. So, the maintenance costs go drastically down, which is all in all very positive over the whole life cycle of the product. So, we’re very proud to be in this market. And this is something that we’re pushing more and more for cities to be equipped with.

 

 

 Q: How impactful is the uptake of electric fleets in and North America?

A: Here in north America, I would say that there is really good support from different levels of the government. Now the governments on both the Canadian and the U.S. side have unblocked large amounts of money to push the cities, and even force the cities, I would say, to make the move and make the switch to electric buses. And this is very positive. So, there’s large sums of money that are being invested in all cities, backed by the government again, to push and go and make the switch, which is actually to be honest, going faster than we had thought.

 

 

Q: What are the next steps for mobility in the next 12-18 months?

A: I would say in the next 12 to 18 months right now, in terms of electrifying fleets, it’s all about execution with a lot of this available money, that I mentioned earlier, a lot of the available financing and funds from the different levels of government… It’s interesting to see that in North America, we have gone now from the phase of small tests with very small fleets, to buying larger amounts of buses in order to be really now able to replace existing diesel or hybrid or natural gas buses by the full electric buses. So, in the next 12 to 18 months, its really about getting things done, accepting buses in larger amounts and getting the whole charging infrastructure.

 

 

Q: Are you excited for MOVE America? What are we going to hear from you there?

A: I’m excited to see all the different players that are going to be present, to interact with different business leaders, exchange notes and see how things are going basically around the world. I think it’s a super opportunity to be able to do that. To also do some networking, compare notes, find out about new technologies. It’s all about meeting great people, and especially now at the, what we hope is the end of this pandemic, be able to interact with people face to face, shake hands, which is quite different than doing the teleworking aspect that we’ve been doing for so many years, too many years now. So, really looking to the networking, the human interaction and getting some great information and sharing some of our knowledge as well.

 

Martin will be appearing on a panel discussing how can we accelerate the transition to zero emission fleets at MOVE America this September, along side some of the most innovative names within the industry.

To keep up to date with MOVEMNT sign up for our newsletter here: MOVEMNT Newsletter