MWGT Big Picture Panel Sessions Frame Key Issues Facing Transportation

The 6th annual Midwest Green Transportation Forum and Expo is designed to be the most accessible event Clean Fuels Ohio has ever hosted. With 30 panels over the course of 10 days, MWGT 2020 is fully customizable for the attendee. No sessions overlap. The Whova application will help attendees leverage the maximum educational and connectivity value of the event. The agenda has already started, but you can still join! Register here and download the Whova App to access the event. Three of the sessions are “big picture” panels that provide high-level perspectives from industry leaders on the status of the transportation sector and advanced technologies currently, then looking toward a post-COVID-19 world. The first is focused on the new status quo developing across the market. The second examines the future of freight and work vehicle movement. The last session will address the state and future of people movement and transportation systems. Kicking off the conference was “Energy Markets: A  New Normal and Beyond,” a session moderated by Clean Fuels Ohio Executive Director Sam Spofforth. He and Jason Miles of Volvo Financial services discussed the impact of COVID-19 and the volatile and uncertain transportation energy, especially petroleum, markets in the U.S. and globally. Nick Nigro of Atlas Public Policy, Tucker Perkins from the Propane Education and Research Council, Dan Gage of NGVAmerica, and Kaleb Little from the National Biodiesel Board joined the conversation discussing EVs, propane, natural gas, and biofuels. They explored the benefits of each type and strategies that are needed to maintain progress and growth in each in changing markets. This session took place on Tuesday, September 15th at 10:30am. A recorded version of the session will be available in the Whova app. Attendees focused on goods movement and work trucks have much to gain from tuning into the “Future of Freight Movement and Work Vehicles,” session. Steve DeNunzio, Director of Master of Business Logistics Engineering (MBLE) Program at the Ohio University Fisher College of Business, will moderate. Dave Schaller, Industry Engagement Director at North American Council for Freight Efficiency, will share insights on gains in efficiency and prospects for electrification of goods movement. Debbie Ryan, Senior Manager of Transportation for Abbott Labs, and Taki Darakos of Pitt Ohio will discuss how carriers of components and finished products will move forward. Panelists will discuss pandemic impacts on goods and supply chain movements, and prospects for embracing sustainable technologies. Doyle Sumrall will share these insights related to work and delivery fleets. This session takes place on Thursday, September 17th from 10:30am-12:00pm. Aslyne Rodriguez, Director of Government Affairs for Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) moderated the “Future of People Movement and the Transportation System,” She discussed her position with COTA, as well as her former role as CEO of EmpowerBus, a shared mobility services provider that enabled low-income employees to get to and from jobs. EmpowerBus was just beginning to deploy electric shuttles, then the pandemic devastated operations, driving them out of business. Director of Sustainability for Lyft, Sam Arons, talked about Lyft’s commitment to go fully electric by 2030. Chris Atkinson, Director of Smart Mobility and Professor of Engineering at The Ohio State University, discussed how smart mobility solutions can make the sector more responsive to needs and more sustainable. Dominic Mathew, head of the Paradox Prize at Fund for Our Economic Future, shared insights from real-world innovative mobility projects they have funded. Pete Metz, from the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, offered employer perspectives to the challenge of mobility access and sustainability. This session took place on Wednesday, September 16th from 10:30am-12:00pm. A recorded version of the session will be available in the Whova app. Taken as a whole, this trio of sessions provides a framework for where transportation sectors are today and where we will be as the pandemic lifts. Attendees are gaining insights into how advanced and sustainable technologies will evolve and gain traction, based on economic, market and social factors, along with progress in technologies themselves.

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