Leaders in the Automotive Industry Gather at Leadership Summit to Discuss Future of Alternative Energy
On July 27 & 28, suppliers, public sector energy experts, academics, and other automotive value chain participants met in Michigan to discuss how best to accelerate the commercialization and widespread adoption of advanced vehicle technologies in order to meet growing consumer demand and ambitious national goals for reducing oil dependence and combating climate change. Following the speaker session, attendees were able to view the vehicles and meet the Teams in the running for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE at the Closing Ceremonies event at the Michigan International Speedway.
Here’s what some of the attendees had to say:
“I was energized by the connections with innovative thinkers, technology and market developers pushing the limits on how we responsibly transport ourselves. I did not view the event as the completion of the challenge, but rather as the beginning of the next stage of change - and I came away more committed than ever to driving that change.” – Bill Van Amburg, Senior Vice President, CALSTART
“For me, the Leadership Summit was both inspiring and practical. I had the opportunity to learn from so many others, from various sectors, who are also working toward sustainable transportation. I gained perspective I couldn't have gained so quickly without the Leadership Summit.” – Maggie Striz Calnin, Program Manager, Kuntzsch Business Services/Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities
“The Leadership Summit was an excellent exchange of information from a diverse group of experts.” Rick Woodbury, Commuter Cars Corp.
Two days of very engaging conversations at the Leadership Summit resulted in these initial 10 actions that vehicle innovators and industry leaders should take to bring advanced vehicle technologies to market:
Top 10 Takeaways from the Leadership Summit:
David E. Cole is the Chairman of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was formerly Director of the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation (OSAT) at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. He has worked extensively on internal combustion engines, vehicle design, and overall automotive industry trends. Dr. Cole's recent research has focused on strategic issues related to the restructuring of the North American industry and trends in globalization, technology, market factors, and human resource requirements. He was formerly a member of the Energy Engineering Board of the National Research Council and the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Pact Select Panel. He is also a director of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, as well as a director of six automotive supplier companies. In addition, Dr. Cole is a member of the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and was recently appointed by Michigan’s Governor to the Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board and the Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission.
SPEAKER – July 27, 2010:
Dr. Richard G. Newell was sworn in on August 3, 2009 as the seventh Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As Administrator of EIA, Richard is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policy-making, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. EIA provides a wide range of information and data products covering energy production, stocks, demand, imports, exports, and prices. Richard is responsible for the preparation of analyses and special reports on topics of current interest. Richard is on leave from his position as the Gendell Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Previously he served as the Senior Economist for energy and environment on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He also holds a M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.S. in materials engineering and a B.A. in philosophy from Rutgers University.
Business Panel, July 27, 2010:
Infield Capital places an emphasis on those technologies that will define the future powertrains used in all segments of the transportation industry, from personal mobility and lawn and garden, to automotive and heavy-duty applications. This focuses particular interest on a range of technologies that include: next-generation internal combustion, stored energy, mobile energy transmission, new materials, nanotechnology and “lightweighting,” and alternative fuels and systems. Over the past two years, David Moll has established himself as a vocal consumer advocate and expert on the issue of spyware. As CEO of Webroot, the leading provider of privacy, protection and performance solutions for Internet users, Moll is responsible for the company’s strategic direction, setting development priorities, and managing business operations. Moll also is the co-founder of Infield Capital, an angel fund operating in Boulder, Colorado. Moll holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business.
Scott Painter is passionate about cars, direct-to-consumer businesses and technology – and his expertise lies where those three converge. He’s drawn to big, game-changing ideas that solve big problems or make an experience better. He has raised hundreds of millions in venture capital for dozens of companies over the past 15 years, pushing changes in auto retailing that bring new-car pricing into the open – and enable the industry to finally function as a free market. Painter is founder and CEO of Zag, a technology and services company that has created a better way to buy a car. Zag operates a robust auto shopping, research and pricing technology platform that saves buyers money by concentrating group buying power, while providing a better car buying experience by connecting buyers with select dealers that provide great upfront pricing and a no-hassle delivery process. In 2008, Painter took the next step toward his goal of total pricing transparency by announcing TrueCar, which shows car buyers and dealers what people actually paid for every make, model and trim level of every car in every market – so they can know exactly what a good price or a great price is. In 1998, Painter founded CarsDirect.com, leading to the first generation of online car sites, and propelled the world’s major automotive manufacturers and their franchised dealers to embrace the Internet. Under Painter’s leadership, CarsDirect.com secured more than $350 million in funding and played a principal role in the transformation of the automotive retail industry into one driven by consumer expectations, customer service and trust.
Bill leads major programs and oversees teams in five program areas: heavy hybrids; new fuels; technology commercialization; fleet analysis and consulting; and industry services. A key role is with the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF), a national program to speed the commercialization of heavy-duty hybrid trucks, operated in a partnership with the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center (NAC). Bill brings more than 30 years of experience in marketing and market development, technology commercialization, communications and environmental markets, including emission credit trading. He has a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, a certificate in Brand Management from the Stanford Alumni Association, and is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Prior to joining CALSTART in 1993 he was an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist covering science, technology and the environment.
Technology Panel, July 28, 2010
Jason has over 10 years of international business management and leadership experience in strategic planning, corporate communications, crisis stabilization, and financial restructuring for companies in a variety of industries, including automotive, high-tech, bio-tech and medical devices, internet, management consulting, and financial services. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Energy, he offered small and middle-market companies and their investors innovative and strategic insights into financial management best practices, organizational transition and the application of performance accountability principles. A graduate of Colby College (BA) and Georgetown University (MBA; Cert. in Project Management), Jason joined the U.S. Department of Energy in April 2008. As Special Assistant to the Deputy CFO, the Department’s highest-ranking career financial manager, he served as the Deputy CFO’s senior advisor and directed priority initiatives for the CFO front office. Following his tenure with the Deputy CFO, he helped lead the effort to establish the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVMLP) and was responsible for shepherding the administrative processes necessary to begin operations. In his current role as Chief of Staff and Senior Investment Officer, Jason leads origination activities on a number of advanced technology vehicle and automotive component projects and oversees a majority of the ATVMLP’s administrative responsibilities.
Patrick Davis is the Program Manager of the Vehicle Technologies Program Office at the U. S. Department of Energy. The Vehicle Technologies Program supports over $310 million in annual research funding for hybrid drivetrains, advanced batteries, lightweight materials, advanced combustion and fuels, vehicle systems integration, and deployment activities. He is responsible for two major government industry partnerships, the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership and the 21st Century Truck Partnership. Patrick also serves on the Board of Directors of the American National Standards Institute. Mr. Davis is a chemical engineer and has over 25 years of experience in the development of vehicle, alternative fuel, and electrochemical technologies.
Jeff Kessen is the Director of Automotive Marketing at A123 Systems where he focuses on market strategy for the company’s Automotive Solutions Group. Prior to joining A123 in 2009, he spent 11 years at Bosch where he held leadership positions in program management, sales and strategic marketing for automotive control software. In 2007 he was appointed General Manager of Bosch’s U.S. business unit focused on software development tools. Earlier in his career Jeff also worked on chassis component development for Delphi. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from GMI Engineering and Management Institute and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Dana has served as Market Strategist at General Motors, Sales & Marketing Director of Stanley Tools, Marketing Director for Prince Automotive, as well as Director of Advanced Business Development for Johnson Controls before joining Faurecia in 2006. As Director of Advanced Business Development at Faurecia’s Westworks Innovation Center, Lowell is responsible for bringing new ideas to market and for identifying key partnership opportunities for innovation. Faurecia Westworks is a Cross functional product & business development team focusing on strategic innovation. Westworks employs a “lean” pre-development activity heavily focused on leveraging technology partnerships and existing development initiatives. Primary focus is to develop an advantaged portfolio of consumer driven product solutions for the automotive market sector. Dana has a strong interest in sustainability issues and was co-creator and contributor to the Sustainable Mobility Series at the Art Center College for Design in Pasadena, California.
Ann M. Schlenker joined Argonne National Laboratory in September 2009. She is the Manager of the Vehicle Systems Section for the Center for Transportation Research. Ms. Schlenker’s applied research area is actively seeking to reduce the transportation sector’s reliance on imported energy. Her responsibilities include evaluating the energy and environmental impacts of advanced technologies and new transportation fuels. She manages the testing of vehicle, component and engine control strategies for advanced technology vehicles, encompassing hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. Ms. Schlenker is also responsible for flexible modeling and simulation tool development, an approach to help manage the number of possible advanced powertrain configurations. Previously, Ms. Schlenker spent more than 30 years with Chrysler Engineering in Product Development. As the Director of Advanced Vehicle Engineering and Alliances, she administered the overall external research portfolio for the company.
Consumer Panel, July 28, 2010:
How he got into auto testing: "I was hooked early because my father was a tire engineer for Goodyear. I remember going to test tracks in England when I was 10 years old, and seeing the orange cones flying everywhere. My first car was a 1959 Austin 7, the first version of the original Mini. When compared to the modern Mini, its acceleration was slow, its brakes didn’t work as well, and it was crude and noisy. Most of all, I'm glad I was never involved in a crash while driving it! But what a fun car…not much power but you never needed to lift off, and it would go around corners as if it were on rails. Today’s Mini Cooper is a far superior car in nearly all respects, however.” Champion obtained a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Aston in Birmingham, England, and started his working career at Lucas Electrical ("the Prince of Darkness"), until, as he puts it, "I saw the light and it was dim at the end of a long tunnel." He then moved on to Land Rover where he tested vehicles in the Arizona desert and Nissans in California before joining the Consumer Reports auto-testing program in 1997. Work at Consumer Reports: Champion directs an auto-test staff of 21 that puts all vehicles to the test on CR’s 327-acre test track in East Haddam, Conn.
Accomplished auto designer Larry Erickson joined the College for Creative Studies in August 2008 as the Paul and Helen Farago Chair of Transportation Design. As chair, Erickson leads the College's Transportation Design department, the world's leading program in the education of automotive designers and designers of all forms of transportation. He will also oversee the College's Master of Fine Arts in Transportation Design program when it launches in fall 2009. Erickson joins CCS from Ford Motor Company where he most recently served as chief designer in Ford's Strategic Design Group working on advanced vehicle development. Prior to that he was chief designer on the 2005 Mustang Design team and chief designer in Ford Motor Company's Small and Medium Car Vehicle Center (SVC) Design Studio in Dunton, England. He serves on the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Board of Directors.
Walter McManus is an economist at the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and leader of the Automotive Analysis Group. McManus has been a member of the UMTRI faculty since March 2005. Prior to joining UMTRI, he was Executive Director of Forecasting and Analytics at the global marketing information company, J.D. Power and Associates. His business experience also includes nine years with General Motors in forecasting, marketing analysis and strategy, and new-product development. (He also spent a year as a production supervisor in a GM manufacturing plant. He began his career as an academic. He was Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Florida (1983-88) and then Associate Professor of Economics at Baruch College (1988-89). McManus graduated from Louisiana State University (BA 1977) and earned a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (PhD 1983). A research leader in the behavioral aspects of energy and transportation, McManus has a record of research accomplishments in consumer behavior and market competition in the transportation sector. He has an enthusiasm for working with multiple diverse stakeholders to generate knowledge through excellent research to help design effective policies.
Chad Schwitters has pursued alternative fuels and clean transportation for over a decade. Formerly a mobile software executive, he is now on the board of Plug In America, trying to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles. He lives in Redmond, WA where he and his wife both drive electric vehicles, and his teens share a plug-in hybrid--all powered by the wind.