Jon LeSage, Editor
Mark Duvall, Director of Electric Transportation, for Electric Power Research Institute, and the leading organizer of Plug-in 2012 (and the other annual events going back to 2008), says there are three main industry sectors that are laying the infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles to reach large scale – automakers, charging developers, and utilities. I’ll be attending the conference next week in San Antonio, Texas, and look forward to learning more and networking in this growing transportation system.
During an interview last Thursday on AV Clean Cities Radio (which is still available on archive to listen to), Duvall, made some more points about the future of electric vehicles. He says benefits of EVs creates four strong legs to support the chair – more freedom from petroleum dependency, reducing CO2 emissions, improving air quality, and US job creation making the cars, infrastructure, and electricity for this cost effective transportation fuel. (Editors note: special thanks to Brett Hauser of EVConnect for his commentary on workplace charging — see below.)
Some of this is about learning to speak the same language, Duvall said. Automakers and utilities come from widely disparate mindsets on what they’re doing and how they do it. Coordination is important – you must have the power sources and the vehicle. An extensive exhibit hall is part of the education, speaker panels featuring experts in their fields, an EV ride and drive, and a public night where the local community can access displays and hear educational presentations.
The Plug-in conferences have been in Silicon Valley, Long Beach, Calif., Raleigh, NC, and now will be in San Antonio. California has been an important region for EVs and the charging infrastructure, but there are other regions of the country with growth markets. San Antonio does have an interesting selection of green technologies being utilized by fleets, cities, and technology companies in the region. I’m interested in learning more about the “Texas Triangle” while visiting there.