The Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Virtual online event series kicked off this week with two action-packed days of fleet-focused learning and networking—including talks from top executives and fleet leaders, advanced transportation product announcements and technology demonstrations, video networking roundtables, a virtual exhibit hall, and more! With 17 more educational episodes planned through November 19, there is still time to secure a ticket at www.Act-Virtual.com.
The first-of-its-kind event series was launched following the postponement of the annual ACT Expo, North America’s largest advanced transportation and clean fleet event, which gathers attendees from around the globe at the Long Beach Convention Center each May. While we’re experiencing a time when in-person events are limited, fleet owners and operators, decision makers, and stakeholders are still hungry for insights into the latest technology advancements, industry education, and opportunities to network and collaborate.
Here’s a small snapshot of what this year’s ACT Virtual attendees were able to participate in during the series’ first two episodes:
ACT Virtual brought together nearly 1,000 attendees, including leaders from top fleets throughout North America. There were 49 virtual booths, including eight product debuts and technology demonstrations.
The Main Stage | Episode 1 – The Opening ACT
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
ACT Virtual kicked off with welcome remarks from Councilmember Judy Mitchell, board member of both the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board. She noted, “Normally, I would have had a chance to meet up with many of you in Long Beach for what was expected to be the biggest in-person showing of clean transportation fleets and industry champions that this nation has ever seen. But I’m glad to see that’s turned out to be true, even in a virtual setting.”
The key takeaway she offered attendees: Our work to clean the air is not done: “It truly takes a village to transform air quality and each of you play an incredibly important role in getting us there.”
Attendees then heard an inspiring keynote from Volvo Trucks North America President Peter Voorhoeve on the company’s continued commitment to zero-emission transportation solutions, including a spotlight on the innovative Volvo LIGHTS project they are leading in partnership with 15 other organizations to successfully commercialize Class 8 battery-electric trucks.
Volvo will have commercial production starting in just a few weeks at their Virginia assembly facility and will be offering short-term trials to support fleets in embarking on an unpaved path toward electrification. This includes adding 70 more Class 8 battery-electric trucks as part of a joint initiative with the South Coast AQMD and EPA Targeted Airshed. You can view Peter’s keynote presentation here.
The day’s agenda ended with an evocative virtual panel discussion from Kary Schaefer at Daimler Trucks North America, Ryan Laskey from Dana, and Craig Harper from JB Hunt. What did these heavy hitters have to say about the current state and future of the industry?
- The industry saw some pretty big impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has also reinvented the way we do business. And it’s amazing to see how people worked together to deliver on the promises for customers.
- Traditional powertrains have achieved tremendous strides in recent years. And we all have to remember that environmental and economic sustainability are both important and need to go hand-in hand. You can’t achieve environmental goals if you don’t stay in business!
- Grants and incentives are critical and will be for some time. Without incentives, new tech will be out of reach for many fleets for years to come.
- We have to proactively help fleets and the community embrace electrification—in the words of Ryan at Dana, “We can’t turn our backs on it and expect they’ll figure it out.”
- All three speakers agreed: the future is before us and it’s exciting to see the progress that has been made and the work that will be done. In the words of Erik Neandross, CEO of GNA, we need “continued innovation, investment, progress, collaboration and partnership” to advance the industry and grow adoption of clean transportation technology.
Virtual Expo Hall & Press Events
Finally, ACT would not be what it is without delivering the latest technology advancements to our fleet attendees. The virtual Expo Hall enabled attendees to visit with advanced technology and clean fuel suppliers at their digital booths to source the latest products and services for their future fleet investments and connect with exhibitors through one-on-one text and video chats. Product videos and brochures also allowed fleet attendees to gather more information to assist with their purchasing decisions.
ACT Virtual features the industry’s leading suppliers—including Shell New Energies, Agility Fuel Solutions, Allison Transmission, Bosch, BYD, ChargePoint, Daimler Trucks North America, Dana Inc., Kenworth, Lion Electric, Meritor, Navistar, Peterbilt, Propane Education & Research Council, Quantum Fuel Systems, Siemens, Southern California Edison, U.S. Gain, Volvo Trucks North America, Ballard, Bauer Compressors, Black & Veatch, CalAmp, Eaton, Geotab, Hino Trucks, IntelliShift, PLM Fleet, Proterra, Romeo Power Technology, ROUSH CleanTech, Toyota, Thermo King, Tritium, Velocity Vehicle Group, WSP, Xebec, and XL Fleet. Attendees also had the ability to connect with top industry associations including the Electrification Coalition, North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVA), and the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA).
The first day of ACT Virtual ended with the launch of the virtual expo hall and two exciting product debuts from Tritium and Agility.
The Main Stage | Episode 2 – On the Road Again with Transportation Innovation
Thursday, August 20th
On the second day of ACT Virtual, attendees split out into three breakout sessions with speakers from top fleets and industry—Amazon, FedEx, Shell, Quantum, Toyota, Lion Electric, BYD, Aramark, Electrify America, the Climate Group, California Energy Commission and Meritor—who tackled the following topics:
- Transforming Emissions from the First & Last Mile – How to clean up emissions from the first and last mile—and the impacts COVID-19 has had on those plans.
- Electrifying Heavy Duty Applications – The unique aspects of creating heavy duty equipment for specialized applications.
- Doubling Down on Hydrogen Infrastructure – How we can build a stronger hydrogen infrastructure network for the onslaught of commercial fuel cell vehicles.
Conversations in the ACT Lounge
Attendees had the opportunity to participate in video networking roundtables called, “Conversations in the ACT Lounge” to build the relationships that will propel their clean fleet strategy. The facilitated video chat topics included first and last mile electrification, electric refuse, and hydrogen fueling.
Virtual Exhibit Hall & Technology Demonstrations
The day wrapped up with a series of technology demonstrations that incorporated electric refuse vehicles (BYD), electric aircraft (Black & Veatch), renewable fuels across fuel types (U.S. Gain), electric trucks (Lion Electric), commercial vehicle powertrains (Bosch), and managed charging (Siemens).
And That’s a Wrap!
All in all, the last week brought some much-needed energy and momentum to advance the clean transportation industry. And although it has been a long and bumpy road to transition from our in-person show we expected in May to a virtual one, we are excited about the opportunity to continue building and advancing clean transportation technology while helping fleets achieve their economic and environmental sustainability goals.
Whether you are looking to see the latest technology firsthand, network with peers and industry leaders, or learn about the future of transportation, ACT Virtual has something for you. To learn more and register to attend, visit ACT-Virtual.com.