October 22, 2014

Navigating Fuel Transitions and Technological Progress

Karen Hamberg, Westport Vice President of Strategy, has been working in the area of fuel transitions and alternative fuel adoption for over a decade.

In this one-on-one interview, she shares her thoughts on three important questions around fuel transitions, sustainability and leading collaborations evaluating the use of natural gas in transportation.

Join us for this one-on-one session with one of the industry’s leading thinkers as she shares her unique insights on three key questions:

Why are fuel transitions difficult?

Karen discusses the following subjects in relation to fuel transitions:

• Natural market barriers

• Fuel availability

• Vehicle availability and product choice diversity

• Unintended consequences of new technology (i.e. etiquette considerations to electric vehicle recharging)

• Public policy challenges of energy transitions

• All fuels have trade-offs

• Technological progress uncertainty

Why is sustainability important to fleets?

• Unique considerations of fleets

• Looking at large fleets like McDonald’s, UPS, IKEA

• Aversion to risk

• Changes in sustainability over the past 10 years

• Looking closely at UPS’s ‘rolling laboratory’ of alternative fuel trucks and Sustainability Reporting

What working groups or collaborations have emerged over the past few years to tackle sustainable transportation and mitigating impacts?

Karen talks about Westport’s involvement in collaborative studies, such as: the National Petroleum Study on Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future and the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Gas Methane Leakage Study, Business for Social Responsibility on the Future of Fuels working group.

Useful links:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee

UPS Sustainability Report

EDF Natural Gas Methane Leakage Study

Business for Social Responsibility – Future of Fuels Working Group

UC Davis, Institute for Transportation Program, NextSTEPS Program

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