On February 5, AEE convened executives from 27 companies with an active interest in transportation electrification for a daylong session in San Francisco. The facilitated conversation focused executives on developing solutions to four roadblocks standing in the way of vehicle electrification on an accelerated basis: 1) speeding up charging infrastructure deployment, 2) lowering vehicle purchase price, 3) increasing public awareness of electric vehicles (EVs) as viable options, and 4) dealing with the rise of organized opposition. The forum challenged participants to clearly define the obstacles facing the electrification industry and to brainstorm potential solutions. During the reception the night before and a full day of dialogue, participants had the opportunity to network and build relationships among charging infrastructure providers, vehicle manufacturers, utilities, financial entities, and renewable energy developers.
Participants included representatives from ABB, Apex Clean Energy, AddÉnergie Technologies Inc./FLO, Audi, Bloomberg, Commonwealth Edison, EDF Renewables, Enel X, EV Box, EV Connect, EVgo, Guidehouse, Highland Electric Transportation, Hubject, Landis+Gyr, Lightning Systems, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Modern Energy, National Grid, NextEra, Greenlots, Schneider Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, SE Ventures, Southern California Edison, Tesla, and Uber. The forum was hosted and sponsored by Perkins Coie LLP and Incite sponsored the reception.
Company executives reviewed the enormous economic potential of electrification, distilled current market challenges into top priorities, and participated in breakout and full group sessions focused on developing collaborative solutions. Over the course of the event some themes emerged:
- Vehicle incentives are going to remain a critical tool over the next few years, in the run-up to purchase price parity.
- Over the medium-term, there is a substantial opportunity for the financial sector to explore mechanisms for capturing the total cost of ownership (TCO) advantage that EVs enjoy over internal-combustion vehicles in order to bring new, lower cost capital into the market.
- Public-private financing ventures and multi-state collaboratives could enable infrastructure deployment at scale, but substantial development is necessary.
- The highly fragmented nature of today’s electrification industry leaves it ill-equipped to face a well-coordinated and well-funded opposition – a challenge that participants asked AEE to tackle.
On that last point, stay tuned for more.
AEE convenes Executive Forums throughout the year under the premise that, when you bring together key stakeholders who are invested in a given topic, everyone brings expertise and all participants come away having expanded their knowledge and made new connections. These invitation-only events complement AEE’s public events, including our regional conferences Advanced Energy Now | East, to be held May 21 in Annapolis, MD (registration now open), and Advanced Energy Now | West, December 3 in Denver, CO.