As a CleanTechnica reader, you are forced to attend the upcoming EV Transportation & Technology Summit — literally, forced.
Okay, let’s just calm down a little bit. More seriously, the upcoming EV Transportation & Technology Summit in Cocoa, Florida, looks like it’s going to be an excellent EV education and networking opportunity, and I hope to see some of you there. I’m not saying that it looks like an excellent event just because of my role as a presenter and panel moderator — even though I do hope to offer some unique insight and stimulate valuable discussions in those three sessions. I was actually stimulated to write this piece after looking at the schedule and getting a bit too excited about the other sessions. Even if I totally bomb, this is going to be a great event.
The first annual EV Summit was a great conference in its own right, and it gave me a deeper look into:
- what several utilities are doing to promote and purchase electric vehicles,
- GM’s electrification history and future,
- leading EV advocacy programs,
- autonomous vehicles,
- the West Coast Electric Highway + PlugShare,
- how EVs work + EV standards,
- and more.
However, while I was looking through the list of currently confirmed speakers for 2016, I realized that Doug Kettles (the lead organizer) has done an even better job this year and has planned an excellent sequence of topics and speakers.
EV Summit Day 1*
First of all, the conference actually kicks off this year with in-depth workshops. The first day is fully dedicated to an “EV and Battery Technology” workshop and an “EV Powertrain, V2G Technology, and EV Case Study” workshop. Each workshop is 2½ hours long. I’m curious what will be presented in these sessions and will be taking a lot of notes, but nothing can replace being present yourself, so hopefully some of you can make it.
EV Summit Day 2
The next day, after the opening comments, I essentially kick off the show with a presentation on “EV R&D and the Future.” I will present an overview of the EV market, will share where I think it’s going in the near and long term, and will present findings from our extensive 2016 surveys of EV drivers.
I’m followed by Scott Miller of EV charging giant ChargePoint, and I’m genuinely very curious to see what he says about “EV Charging at Scale.” I’m sure I will pick up several insights, and I’ll do my best to drill him with some tough questions in order to uncover more. 🙂
After lunch, Leslie Eudy of NREL will talk about a favorite topic of CleanTechnica readers: “Electric Transit Buses: Clean, Quiet, Efficient!” I think we can basically assume what this will tell us — electric buses are much better for drivers, nicer for passengers, a huge boost for public health, key to climate action, and cheaper over a lifetime ownership basis. This is definitely going to be a cheerleader session, but as you know, CleanTechnica loves being a cleantech cheerleader. I imagine I’ll also pick up several stats and charts to use for future pieces highlighting how obvious of a choice electric buses now are for cities across the world. (Any bets that BYD & Proterra will be mentioned in this session?)
Regan Zane of Utah State University’s Center for Sustainable Electrified Transportation (SELECT) follows the buses to discuss a hot topic of ongoing debate — “Wireless EV Charging Systems.” Is wireless charging the future of EV charging? Will it remain a niche option forever? Will wireless charging also stimulate my brain cells and inspire better CleanTechnica articles? Are we really so lazy (or busy) that we can’t spend 2–3 seconds plugging in our cars when we get home?
The final individual presentation of the day looks like a fascinating one. Omer Tatari of the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center (EVTC) will talk about “Driving the Decision, Life-Cycles of EV Transportation.” Hmm, sounds interesting … but wait, what does that mean? The summary is: “Return on investment is a primary concern in the deployment of EVs. Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) can impact this analysis through the consideration of economic, environmental, regional, and societal influences. LCAs are employed in many project and financial assessments and are applicable whether a passenger vehicle, a transit bus, or a delivery truck is being considered.” Doug summarized it even further for me: “In short, it’s a very sophisticated ROI.” It looks enticing to me.
Panels are being incorporated into the conference this year, which I’m excited about since they can be so dynamic and can stimulate so much more discussion around complex topics. Also, I’m going to be moderating them, which will make them extra fun for me (and hopefully attendees). The first day ends with a panel on “Technology and Planning.” If you want to toss questions my way to throw at the panelists, feel free to do so in the comments below!
EV Summit Day 3
The third day has another attractive lineup that fills out the policy side of the EV revolution.
After opening comments, Doug Kettles of EVTC (the lead organizer of the event, and the CleanTechnica commenter represented by an adorable baby face in his profile pic) will introduce us to “EVs and TPOs.” The city planner in me is drooling about this one — if you’re not a planner, though, you probably have no idea what a TPO is and this session may not be the most titillating for you, so be forewarned!
The next speaker will be an official from the US Department of Transportation and will present about “The FAST Act, Funding Future Transportation.” This is the money side of the equation that too many people don’t want to pay attention to. We should.
Next, either a ghost or an undetermined speaker will inform us about “Legislative EV Perspectives.” I’m definitely interested in what kind of goodies I can collect there to share with EV advocates worldwide — especially if they’re shared by a Florida ghost!
As a Floridian (I apologize for that), the after-lunch presentation “Envisioning Florida’s Transportation Future” looks particularly interesting to me. Hopefully everyone isn’t falling asleep from lunch hitting their brains, but hey, that would be fitting for retiree-dominated and overly sunny Florida, wouldn’t it? For the sake of Tim Chapin of FSU, the presenter, let’s hope it’s a light enough lunch and people drink enough coffee to keep the eyelids open and soak up the useful information. Naturally, I’m expecting many of the points in Tim’s presentation could be applicable to other states and countries as well.
Among all of these wonderful sessions, this is one of the presentations I’m most curious to see: Cornelius Willingham of Nissan wraps up the day’s individual presentations with “An OEM’s Perspective.” Hmm, I’m very curious what Nissan will share. GM’s presentation last year was an excellent one. I’m guessing I won’t hear a lot about this or this, though.
The day concludes with a panel discussion on “Policy and the EV Future” that I will moderate. Watch out — I’m going to try to make this one super useful, utterly fascinating, and fun! (And if it isn’t, I’ll be sure to blame the panelists, of course.) Again, if you have suggestions for questions or prompts for this panel, I’d be happy to check them out in the comments below.
EV Summit Day 4
Yes, this beast of an EV conference has 4 days. The last day focuses on one of my favorite EV subjects, but one that doesn’t actually get a lot of attention (even here on CleanTechnica) — fleets.
Nick Bleich of US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) will start the day talking about the “Workplace Charging Challenge.” Then, Richard Raustad of EVTC will present on “Real World Workplace Charging.”
One of my favorite presenters last year, BMW i3 driver Peter King of Drive Electric Florida and Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA), will talk about “Drive Electric Florida’s Workplace Charging.” Based on his presentation last year, I can guarantee this one will be great. I’m looking forward to learning more about the initiative and seeing Peter present again.
*By the way, EV Annex co-founder Matt Pressman will be in attendance on this day
, and I hear he’s going to be giving away a ton of Tesla center consoles (with cupholders)! Okay, just to be extra clear, the “free stuff” bit is a joke, but Matt will be there if you want to chat about aftermarket Tesla gear, what it’s like riding in the already historic Tesla Model 3, and the coming book Getting Ready for Model 3, which I imagine most of you will want to buy.