Event Planning: Clean transportation and advanced vehicle technologies conferences to consider attending

Clean transportation eventsWhile summer vacation is in the air, it’s time to start planning for events and conferences. Here are significant events in clean transportation and advanced vehicle technologies over the next year that I look forward to attending (or at least covering). The challenge will be attending all of them in September and October – some of them are back-to-back in scheduling. I will be moderating a speaker panel at

Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition’s 6th annual Fall stakeholder meeting on Oct. 15 where panelists will be discussing autonomous vehicles, intelligent highways, the Hyperloop, and carsharing services. I hope to see you there.

Fleet Technology Expo
August 24-26, 2015
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, CA
Green Fleet Conference & Expo has been expanded into Fleet Technology Expo. This conference and exposition will feature the latest information on maintaining and adopting alternative fuels, maximizing data for efficient fleet management and best practices for heavy duty fleets.

North American Natural Gas Vehicle Conference & Expo
Sept. 15-17, 2015
The largest gathering of NGV industry professionals in North America is expected to feature more than 100 exhibitors, 1,000 attendees, and 70 speakers and panelists. Highlights include OEM technology, fuel cost savings, emissions reductions, fuel station infrastructure development plans, federal and state funding options as well as how natural gas is driving innovation and economic growth. Attendees can participate in a Ride & Drive and attend the 2015 NGV Achievement Awards celebrating innovation and leadership.

AltCar Expo
Sept. 18-19 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Santa Monica, Calif.
The 10th anniversary conference will feature NAFA (Pacific Southwest Chapter) workshops and the first annual ”Best Sustainability Awards Recognition Program.” Other speaker events on Friday will focus on autonomous vehicle technologies, Multi-unit dwelling (MUD) and workplace charging; a presentation on Saturday showing of trailer from the documentary “My Lunch With Obama”, followed by a Panel Discussion with the director, Kelly R. Olsen, the subject of the film, Paul Scott and some of the people that appear in the file. The discussion will first focus on what led Paul to be willing to pay $32,400 to speak to the President for two minutes about EV policy and the events that unfolded after he was accepted to the luncheon with the President.

Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition’s 2015 Clean Technologies Forum
Oct. 15, 2015
California Automobile Museum, Sacramento, Calif.
Details will be released soon on the sixth annual Fall stakeholder meeting for Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition. As mentioned, I’ll be moderating a panel of speakers for “The Future of Transportation Technology.” Experts on the topics will discuss autonomous vehicles, intelligent highways, the Hyperloop, carsharing services, and other advanced technology developments.

Meeting of the Minds 2015
Oct. 20-22, 2015
Berkeley and Richmond, Calif.
This leadership summit on smarter urban systems is being convened in the San Francisco Bay Area in October. Now in its 9th year, the annual summit brings together professionals for opportunities to think critically, ask questions, share tools, and build lasting partnerships — which make smarter and more sustainable cities possible. Meeting of the Minds 2015 is sponsored by Black & Veatch; Royal Bank of Canada; The Federal Reserve Bank of the US; Qualcomm; CBRE; Toyota; Cisco; Wells Fargo Bank; Microsoft; Itron; University of California, Berkeley; and others.

Telematics West Coast 2015
Oct. 26-27, 2015
San Diego, Calif.
Telematics Detroit (now called TU-Automotive Detroit) has expanded to the west coast with this San Diego event. Topics will include cyber security, big data, car communication systems, and Renovo Motors, the maker of the first all-electric American supercar. Christopher Heiser, CEO of Renovo Motors, will be one of the speakers. Automotive Digest Publisher Chuck Parker and I will be attending and interviewing executives; for those interested in scheduling an appointment, please email me. Along with the name change, away from telematics and into TU, the focus of these events is expanding: “Telematics, Autonomy, Mobility,” is how the TU-Automotive Detroit site is labelled.

High Horsepower Summit
Oct. 27-29, 2015
Dallas, TX
The HHP Summit presents natural gas as a solution to high horsepower equipment operators aiming to significantly reduce fuel costs, improve environmental performance, and comply with important air quality regulations. It’s managed by Gladstein Neandross & Associates, which organizes the annual ACT Expo conference.

Connected Car Expo
Nov. 17-19, 2015
Los Angeles
Connected Car Expo (CCE) at the LA Auto Show has grown enough in attendance to transition from its Los Angeles Convention Center space and will occupy virtually the entire JW Marriott at the adjacent L.A. Live entertainment complex. More than 25 speakers will be there from Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, Google, Volkswagen, Continental, Movimento, Redbend, J.D. Power, Pebble and other companies.  Selected by the CCE Advisory Board, this year’s conference topics focus on issues such as autonomous vehicles, car sharing, cybersecurity, 3D printing, over-the-air updates, and much more.

Long Beach ePrix
April 2, 2016
Long Beach, Calif.
The FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Motor Sport Council recently approved the calendar for the second season of the FIA Formula E Championship, with Long Beach scheduled as the sixth of 11 rounds in the Formula E series. Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “We’re very pleased for Formula E to be returning to Long Beach in 2016. Our first Californian ePrix was a fantastic success and brought a new generation of race fans to the iconic streets of Long Beach. We’re looking forward to building on this, as well as continuing to promote the message of sustainability so that California remains the number one market for plug-in electric vehicles.”

ACT Expo
May 2-5, 2016
Long Beach, CA
The largest clean transportation industry event will be returning to the Long Beach Convention Center next year. Details on the event will be released later this year.

How AltCar Expo has become a workable event model

AltCar Expo logoChristine Dzilvelis, one of the partners who organizes AltCar Expo in Santa Monica, Calif., has a different perspective on what constitutes a successful community event than what I wrote about recently. For example, on Friday afternoon, September 20, during AltCar Expo, a speaker panel on electric vehicle charging stations at multi-family housing units led to action being taken by stakeholders. The intensive three hour discussion led to a planned installation in Santa Monica; key players like Schneider Electric began working out the details.

Dzilvelis said the feedback the organizers are getting is appreciation from local residents and from stakeholders such as automakers on hosting a grass roots, hands-on annual event. People are overwhelmed by all of the new technologies, and AltCar Expo makes it easier for fleets, industry, and the public to experience the vehicles and have their questions answered. “AltCar Expo is not a business to make money,” she said.

What seems to be working best is strong local/regional events. Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo and Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS) have been receiving kudos, but other national events like Green Fleet Conference & Expo and Plug-in 2013 are only getting small-to-medium attendance that are very supplier-intensive. ACT Expo is getting better feedback, but there’s still a lot of concern that it’s dominated by CNG vehicles. AltCar Expo, now in its eighth year, gets positive feedback for playing a role in pushing alternative fuel vehicles forward by bringing together leaders in government, fleets, automakers, and infrastructure, along with local residents who are very interested and supportive of having this event each year. This year, they especially loved seeing and driving the Chevrolet Spark EV, Dzilvelis said.

Dzilvelis is part of two other events with similar goals for public education and bringing stakeholders together. The first annual Northern California AltCar conference will be taking place March 14-15, 2014 at the Craneway Pavilion (a former Ford plant) in Richmond, Calif.; it’s sponsored by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. On March 28-29, 2014, the fifth annual Texas AltCar conference will be held at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas, and is being sponsored by Dallas Fort Worth Clean Cities. (Next year’s AltCar Expo will be taking place Sept. 19-20, 2014.) AltCar Expo organizers are being contacted regularly by stakeholders in cities across the country that want to get their own AltCar conference going. It does seem to be the most realistic event model for bringing the technology and experience to a lot more people.