It was a busy day 2 at the virtual Midwest Green Transportation Forum and Expo. We kicked off our virtual expo with a session from 9-10 am featuring Freewire, Greenlots, Chargepoint, and Power Charge. Each provider brought a unique value proposition to the EVSE market and you can learn more and connect with them through Whova.
Next, the 10:30 am session, “Energy Markets: A New Normal and Beyond,” featured a strong panel of top thought leaders - Jason Miles from Volvo Financial Services, Nick Nigro, Founder, Atlas Public Policy, Tucker Perkins, Propane Education and Research Council, Dan Gage, NGVAmerica, and Kaleb Little, National Biodiesel Board. Panelists expressed strong agreement that concerns about sustainability and health are driving unprecedented action by companies, including those with fleets and in the transportation sector. If anything, COVID has accelerated this transition as it’s highlighted the impacts of air quality and climate on health, especially in black and brown communities. Furthermore, investment is critical to our future in local, state, and federal policy in order to demonstrate that the U.S. is prepared to remain a leader in the world.
Caimin Flannery from Lordstown Motors delivered a keynote over the lunch hour. Mr. Flannery's address highlighted key points about the work being done at Lordstown, such as: the diverse and experienced team leading the company, the jobs being created for the "Voltage Valley," and specifics about the new Endurance all-electric pickup truck. The Lordstown Motors plant occupies 6.2 million square feet of factory space that can produce over 420,000 Endurance trucks per year - which will boast a 250 mile-per-charge battery, a 75 miles-per-gallon equivalent, 7,500lb towing capacity, and zero carbon emissions. The truck is being marketed to local government and corporate fleets for a wide range of needs. The Endurance pickup also offers major cost-savings benefits - one vehicle can save the end user up to $21k on total cost of ownership - and up to five times better fuel economy than traditional ICE pickup trucks. Apart from the excellent specs of the Endurance, Mr. Flannery highlighted that it is also "fun to drive," as it is the lightest full-size fleet pickup on the market with the ability to travel from 0 to 60mph in just 5.5 seconds. Lordstown Motors went public with an IPO that utilizes the sign "RIDE," homage to their company slogan: "Ride with Lordstown." The Endurance will make an appearance in Ohio on September 23 as part of a broader marketing tour. Contact Clean Fuels Ohio to learn more.
Then, at 1 pm, the conference program continued with the “CNG Peer Fleet Experiences” panel, moderated by Rick Price of Pittsburgh Regional Clean Cities and featured Mike Lickert, retired fleet manager from Giant Eagle, Michael McDonald, Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs with UPS, and Peter Morano, Business Development Manager with South Jersey Industries. This lively panel discussed lessons learned and insights gained from implementing CNG vehicles. All three have had strong operational and economic success. All stressed the critical importance of picking the right drive and duty cycles for CNG vehicles, especially heavy-duty, as well as planning ahead and properly training staff. In keeping with comments made in other sessions, all leaned hard into renewable natural gas (RNG) as the logical and easy next step. Michael said UPS is now using 250M GGE of RNG annually and is providing not only huge carbon reductions but significant cost savings at this point.
Finally, the 2:30 pm session, “Proven Best Practices and Innovations for Retail EV Charging,” featured Kelly Waters from PowerConnect as moderator and one of the presenting sponsors, plus Charles Satterfield at Atlas Public Policy, Todd Allums from Georgia Power, and Lisa Perry from Walmart. Charles discussed a detailed analysis produced by Atlas demonstrating the strong value proposition for retailers for installing EV charging for customers. He framed a tradeoff for retailers: Those who own and operate station equipment can leverage greater value and revenue (including in-store purchases) by controlling billing and timing for charging sessions, but in order to do this they take on greater responsibility for operations. Todd stressed Georgia Power’s hands on approach to customer support that includes electricity supply upgrades where needed, even striping and landscaping in some cases. Their program has driven great success for retailers. With 1,200 charging stations across the U.S., Walmart is the leading retailer in deploying EV charging stations. Lisa discussed their evolving approach, which includes both level 2 and DCFC assets. She discussed Walmart’s developing strategy that includes possibly becoming an owner of stations at its stores.
The day ended with a Virginia Clean Cities stakeholder meeting, hosted on Whova, our virtual conference app, and led by Alleyn Harned, Executive Director at VCC.
In case you missed any of these sessions, recordings will be available on the Whova app for all registered attendees. Registration is free at www.MidwestGreenTransportation.com. Check back within 24 hours.