The University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation (UCCONNECT) hosted a symposium on Achieving Zero-Emission Mobility: The Role of Innovative Electric Vehicle Companies on April 28, 2016 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, CA. The symposium was co-sponsored by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
“It was a wonderful conversation between company CEOs, high-level government representatives, industry group leaders, and academic leaders, who shared thoughts on how to further the market transformation toward vehicle electrification of bikes, scooters, motorcycles, neighborhood EVs, cars, and buses for greater efficiency and reduced climate impacts from the transportation sector," says Tim Lipman, Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) Co-Director. “It was great to have all those voices in one room aiming towards zero emissions.”
Symposium participants discussed the latest electric vehicle technology and system implementation advances and challenges. The focus was on expanding zero-emission mobility and providing better and cleaner transportation services across the United States, while leveraging the momentum building in battery and electronics technology, autonomous vehicles, and shared-mobility areas.
The symposium also explored the benefits of non-traditional approaches to provide Zero-Emission mobility solutions by innovative companies, and what they mean for the National and State dialogue on zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including plug-in electric vehicles (EVs).
Participants revealed innovations developed by smaller, trend-setting EV companies, and how these can add value and contribute to the national dialogue on the transformation needed to achieve zero-emission transportation. The event also covered policy questions, with the goal of identifying strategies and incentives that could potentially broaden the clean-transportation conversion by increasing ZEV access to all income groups.
Concepts and strategies discussed at the symposium included:
- What are the latest innovations in ZEVs and what are their characteristics?
- What challenges do manufacturers of these vehicles face and how can public policy help address the issues and barriers for manufacturing and retailing?
- What innovative finance mechanisms can help organizations and individuals from all economic backgrounds adopt cleaner modes of transportation?
- What are the urban infrastructure / planning issues currently raised by the expanded use of light EVs?
- What synergies exist for the use of ZEVs and public transit systems?
- What non-traditional EV markets are being overlooked (e.g., law enforcement, freight, etc.)?
- What strategies exist to help enable EV charging at multi-family dwelling units (apartments and condominiums) and other areas normally considered challenging to address?
- What insight into key research questions could help with implementation next steps?
Institute of Transportation staff and faculty also participated in the symposium, including: Alexandre Bayen, ITS Director, Timothy Lipman, TSRC Co-Director, Susan Shaheen, TSRC Co-Director, Scott Moura, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Betty Deakin, Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning and Urban Design, and Mike Cassidy, UCCONNECT Director.
Other speakers included high level authorities in the Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Federal Sustainability, Plug-In America, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Caltrans, White House Council on Environmental Quality, Office of Federal Sustainability, Arcimoto, Lightning Motorcycle, Genze, Proterra, Swiftmile, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, AllCell, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Local Motors, Robert Bosch LLC, Scoot Networks, Zero Motorcycle, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.