From August 30th to September 2nd, the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo took place in Long Beach, CA. This conference is North America’s largest advanced transportation technology and clean fleet event, and provides insight into the latest trends, policies, and technologies driving fleets to invest in clean transportation solutions. Edison Energy’s Mark Gooden, Analyst, Transportation Electrification, attended the event and shares his key takeaways below.
ACT Expo 2021 was my first opportunity to represent Edison Energy since joining the Transportation Electrification team in July. It was also the first in-person event for many professionals since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But despite the combination of firsts, 250+ vendors and 5,000 attendees made for a spectacular week of learning, networking, and enlightenment.
Ultimately, I came away from the conference with three main takeaways:
1. Innovation spurs industry growth
2. Communication is critical
3. Networking, networking, networking
Innovation and Industry Growth
The expo was brimming with advancements in alternative fuels technology and infrastructure. Electric, hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG), renewable natural gas (RNG), propane, hybrids, and many other solutions were all vying for attention on the expo hall floor. Attendance was at an all-time high, even with the ongoing pandemic.
It was fascinating to hear the conviction of each speaker as they spoke about what the future of the industry holds. The seminar series outlined various technologies and the promise of each technology pathway. As an example, electrification is a technology proven today as a clear alternative for many gas vehicles. At the same time, hydrogen is a promising technology and indicative of a future pathway, particularly for heavier vehicles.
In upcoming blog posts, the Edison team will detail the technology landscape and future market applications.
Communication is Critical
The anticipated growth of the clean transportation sector was something the speakers were excited to share. All emphasized that now is the time to implement change. Many also highlighted the importance of “meeting people and fleets where they are” when it comes to the technology landscape.
Because knowledge, timelines, and expectations are different for every fleet, we as industry experts are responsible for disseminating accurate information in a digestible format. Our Edison Energy team excels in this kind of work.
One of my favorite speakers was Lauren Skiver of Sunline Transit, who shared the realities of executing a clean fleet agenda. While attempting electric and hydrogen solutions, her company adapted to what worked best for the region and service territory. She detailed successes, struggles, and diversions along the way, all while maintaining a fiery optimism about the future.
Networking, Networking, Networking
The importance of networking stands out as one of the greatest lessons gleaned from the expo, along with the recurring theme of strategic partnerships. As our industry shifts back from virtual to in-person, we are all re-learning how to build relationships via soft skills instead of Zoom meetings. The expo offered the Edison team an opportunity to meet many of our partners and clients face-to-face.
The clean transportation industry is growing, offering significant opportunities to collaborate. As an industry leader, Edison Energy works to build these opportunities and deploy a diverse array of top solutions.
Attending the ACT Expo made me proud to be part of the clean transportation sector. I firmly believe that leveraging shared ambition can create lasting change, and that the spirit of collaboration will be critical for a new clean transportation economy.