We put together a list of transportation-related events we’re looking forward to in the first half of 2019! There are many diverse conferences and events taking place all over the country, connecting transportation professionals, showcasing the latest technology, and sharing new ideas and practices. Just in the first few months of 2019, there are conferences covering general transportation, clean transportation, energy, fleet management, grid, work trucks and more. Take a moment to consider marking these on your calendar!
2019 NC Transportation Summit | January 9-10 in Raleigh, NC
North Carolina’s projected growth requires consideration and careful action, especially regarding population growth. In fact, the state’s population is expected to increase by 3 million people by the year 2040. That impressive number is equivalent to the entire state of Kansas relocating to North Carolina. While a remarkable statistic, this growth has the potential to create new challenges. The Summit is an exceptional opportunity for people to gather and consider these fast-approaching and disruptive shifts. In attendance will be policy makers, transportation and industry experts, and representatives from city/county governments. The Summit is anticipating 500 attendees from across the state. The gathering will also include exhibitors who will demonstrate and display cutting-edge technologies, advances in engineering, as well as services in multiple disciplines.
Energy Independence Summit 2019 is the nation’s premier clean transportation policy summit. The Summit provides a unique opportunity for Clean Cities Coalitions and leaders in the clean transportation industry to network and build partnerships with each other, and with key Congressional and Administration policymakers in Washington, DC. The agenda includes:
• Outlook for the Alternative Fuels Industry: Roundtable of Clean Transportation Industry Leaders
• Clean Transportation Policy Accomplishments in 2017 and Congressional Outlook for 2018
• Partnering with Utilities to Advance Clean Fuels and Vehicles
• The Volkswagen Settlement: How to Leverage Alternative Fuels Investments
• Innovative State and Local Clean Transportation Programs
• What Smart Cities and Smart Mobility Mean for Alternative Fuels
The 2019 Mid-year Appalachian Energy Summit will be hosted by the University of North Carolina Greensboro on Thursday, February 28. The Mid-year Summit brings together students, faculty, and leaders in academia and business to exchange ideas and share best practices in support of a clean energy economy. Since 2012, the Summit has provided a platform through which UNC System campuses have worked together to avoid almost $800 million in utility costs.
The NTEA Work Truck Show is North America’s largest work truck event is your once-a-year chance to see all of the newest industry products. The Green Truck Summit offers cutting-edge solutions at the forefront of technology. The Fleet Technical Congress is an event where fleet managers can explore the latest technology solutions. A conference for commercial truck manufacturers, upfitters, distributors and body builders of all sizes.
NAFA Fleet Management Association 2019 Institute & Expo | April 15-17 in Louisville, KY NAFA’s annual Institute & Expo, the largest event of the fleet management industry, introduces several exciting improvements to the 2019 event to fit attendees’ goals more fully than ever before, offering registrants access to groundbreaking education in fleet and mobility, as well as the opportunity to increase their networking power and learn of new fleet products.
Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo 2019 | April 23-26 in Long Beach, CA The Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, North America’s leading conference and expo showcasing the real-world application of the latest transportation technologies, drive trains, and clean fuels. ACT Expo combines the best educational content in the industry with a cutting-edge trade show floor showcasing the most innovative technologies on the market today. Connected vehicle technologies, fuel efficiency improvement strategies and equipment, and drivetrain electrification will be key focal points for the 2019 show, set against the backdrop of increased use of alternative fuels, innovative powertrain solutions and economic & environmental fleet sustainability.
2019 State Energy Conference | April 30-May 1 in Raleigh, NC
The State Energy Conference provides actionable insight into the business of energy, connecting technical innovation, diverse resources and industry opportunity to help drive North Carolina’s regional energy economy forward with national impact.
The top electricity stakeholders, from regulators, ISOs, and utilities to technology providers, academics, and government agencies, put their heads together to determine how we will modernize the electric sector: the Grid Evolution Summit. The Summit will give you an opportunity to create solutions that will leave a lasting impact on our energy future.
The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference will showcase the latest and greatest technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, and propane arenas. The conference will also have a strong focus on data-driven decisions and technologies. With 50+ speakers and 40+ exhibitors, this event will highlight the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities.
Industry experts discuss the present and future of alternative fuel vehicles
Fleet industry professionals, alternative vehicle experts, and sustainability advocates from around the country gathered recently for the 2018 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo in Durham, NC.
More than 50 speakers presented their practices and ideas at the two-day conference, including fleet managers, technicians, company presidents and CEOs, university professors, researchers, analysts, nonprofit managers and more. With all of the varying backgrounds in transportation, there seemed to be a definitive consensus on alternative fuels – whether electric, propane, biofuel or natural gas – the industry is moving forward, and the future looks bright.
“The electrification movement and the movement to diversify our source of fuels – it’s happening. There’s no point of return now,” said Tony Posawatz, industry leader and keynote speaker on day one of the conference. “The costs are coming down; the ecosystem is being built. But it will take some time.”
Keynote speaker Posawatz; who is recognized as an industry leader in product innovation and electrified vehicles as Vehicle Line Executive/Director for the Chevrolet Volt (and founding member), Avalanche, and Cadillac Escalade; kicked off the conference on Wednesday morning.
Posowatz noted the alternative fuel market has steadily risen each year, and more and more choices have become available to consumers.
“It’s important for the industry to grow and for customers to be satisfied,” Posawatz said.
“The Triangle Research area is an important area for taking transportation where it needs to go,” Posowatz said. “It’s an area for emerging technology, automobile, mobility as well as energy and environment altogether.”
Posawatz noted that while the industry is obviously improving, it’s still impossible to predict.
“The future of mobility is before us,” Posawatz said. “It will surprise us all, even myself. Anyone who tells you they know what it will look like… they’re wrong.”
The three conference tracks included Connected Fleets, Alternative Fuel Solutions, Deployment and Lessons Learned, while 12 breakout sessions covered Predictive Analytics; Electric Vehicles; Solutions for Port & Freight; Smart Mobility; Propane; Local, State, Federal Policies & Resources; Managing for Fleet Efficiency; Biofuels; Sustainable Garage & Facility Operations; Smart Cities & Smart Grid; Natural Gas; and Idle Reduction.
The first plenary panel, Future of Sustainability, featured Stuart Weidie, CEO of Alliance AutoGas; Loreana Marciante, Low Carbon Mobility Strategy Manager at Paul Allen Philanthropies; Scott Phillippi, Automotive Maintenance and Engineering Manager at UPS; and Scott Curran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Phillipi compared the current state of the industry as a ‘big sandbox with a lot of different technologies.’
“We’re in a time in technology where perfect is a moving target,” said Phillippi. “As technology evolves, we may find that different things come to the forefront.”
While the plenary panel all came from different backgrounds, they agreed each alternative fuel and technology has its place and application.
“We’re seeing change happen more rapidly,” said Rick Sapienza of NCCETC. “There’s not one set solution. Use all the tools available to you.”
At the VW Settlement Plenary Panel, Michael Buff of Electrify America; Michael Abraczinskas of NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDEQ); Alexa Voytek of Office of Energy Programs at Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEQ); and Debra Swartz, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; discussed settlement funds coming from Volkswagen.
Over 40 exhibitors showcased their products, services, and vehicles in the Expo Hall. Plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Chevy, and Chrysler were on display, as well as other vehicles fueled by natural gas and propane, including a heavy-duty Freightliner CNG trash roll-off hoist truck.
“The conference was a great success,” said Rick Sapienza, Clean Transportation Director at NCCETC. ” It brought together transportation professionals to exchange ideas on clean transportation technologies with a good mix of what is working today, and strategic thought-provoking discussion to consider and prepare for what might be coming tomorrow.”
“As we deploy new technologies and new companies come on board, the one thing that is certain is there are going to be bumps along the way,” Phillippi said. “This is not going to be easy, but it will be worth the effort.”
WHAT: The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo, organized by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and the N.C. Department of Transportation, offers this event for fleet managers and transportation-related decision-makers at organizations of all sizes. The conference will showcase the latest on technologies in the biofuels, natural gas and propane arenas. There will also be a strong focus on data-driven decisions and technologies.
WHEN: August 22: 8:30am – 6:00pm; Reception 6:00pm-7:30pm
August 23: 9:00am – 4:00pm; (2:30pm-4:00pm NC Smart Fleet Awards/Keynote)
WHERE: Durham Convention Center
301 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701
WHO: Keynote speakers include:
• Scott Curran, PhD, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• Robert Gordon, DeKalb County, Georgia Government Fleet Management Department
• Tony Posawatz, automotive innovation leader
• Chris Werner, Director of Technical Services, NC Department of Transportation
Plenary panel speakers
Future of Sustainable Transportation
• LoreanaMarciante, Smart City Challenge Initiative
• Scott Phillippi, UPS Corporate Automotive Engineering
• Stuart Weidie, Alliance AutoGas
• Scott Curran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
• Michael Abraczinskas, NC Division of Air Quality
• Michael Buff, Electrify America
• Alexa Voytek, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Energy Programs
• Debbie Swartz, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
• Joe Annotti, Glandstein, Neandross & Associates (moderator)
Over 50 speakers will present their expertise in Breakout Sessions with three tracks including Data & Solutions; Alternative Fuels & Advanced Technologies; Policy & Technology. View Agenda
Over 40 exhibitors will showcase products, services, and vehicles in the Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference Expo Hall. Vehicles on display will include plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Chevy, and Chrysler. Other vehicles fueled by natural gas and propane will be displayed, including a heavy-duty Freightliner CNG trash roll-off hoist truck. View Exhibitor List
The City of Raleigh has more than 2,000 registered vehicles in its fleet used for a wide variety of services, including the police force, garbage, maintenance and repairs, public utilities, water and sewer and more, according to Fleet Services Superintendent Travis Brown.
Along with the wide range of vehicles, Raleigh also has a large number of alternative fuels and alternative vehicles to match.
The City, which isn’t new to the 100 Best Fleets list, uses 385 vehicles with B20 biodiesel, over 1,000 E85 flex fuel-compatible vehicles, 223 hybrids, 18 electric powered neighborhood vehicles, 25 vehicles that use propane, and 7 that use natural gas.
Brown, who has worked with the City of Raleigh for 16 years, said the City has been working to transform the fleet even before he arrived, when the City was already using biodiesel.
Brown said that so many alternative fuels have been introduced into the fleet because they help to reduce emissions, improve air quality, promote domestic energy production, help decrease fuel costs, and can help farmers.
The goal of the City is to take care of its citizens, Brown said – and using alternative fuels is a part of that.
“It’s about being a good steward of a city, and trying to do the right thing,” Brown said.
Raleigh also uses anti-idling technology in many of the police fleet vehicles. The Energy Xtreme Law Enforcement anti-idling system allows vehicles to operate their full electrical system (including lights, camera and radio) without using the vehicle’s engine, according to the City of Raleigh website.
After the first quarter of the anti-idling technology usage, about 962 gallons were saved from 29 vehicles that used it, according to the website. The projected annual savings were estimated at $63,199.
Previously, many City police vehicles were driving Ford Crown Victorias, and now they’re driving hybrid sedans – which Brown said saves a lot of money when it comes to fuel. The Crown Victorias were getting around 13-18 miles per gallon (MPG), he said, and the hybrids get around 30-38 MPG.
“It’s been a good investment on return, going that way,” Brown said.
In addition to alternative fuels, the City schedules vehicle replacements every year to ensure the fleet is kept modern.
Raleigh also uses a maintenance management system, which provides GPS information for departments on engine faults, idling, equipment and accountability.
The most challenging part of managing a fleet, Brown said, is communicating and educating – getting the word out to all staff about changes and plans, and educating on new ways of doing things and how those changes are beneficial.
Brown said he addresses it as much as he can by having meetings with service departments and providing data on fuel usage.
When running a fleet, Brown advises doing research, networking with those in the same industry to see what works for their fleet, looking at your own to figure out what could work for yours, and attempting to do some forecasting.
“There’s so much technology out there, and the automotive industry is changing so much,” Brown said. “Don’t look at necessarily what’s happening today – try to find what’s coming up three years down the road. You don’t want to get something approved, and then it’s outdated.”
Looking ahead, Brown said Raleigh hopes to push more telematics, eventually adding the technology to all vehicles being used. Currently, Raleigh uses a maintenance management system, but the City would like to upgrade to a web-based system so they can provide more transparency to users and customers.
Learn more about the City of Raleigh’s alternative fuel use by visiting the website here.