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Southern California Alt Fuel & Advanced Vehicle Technology Center Work

By February 12, 2014 No Comments


The Southern California Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Center (“Center”) team will create a Southern California Center with two physical and one virtual locations. The physical Centers will be strategically located in Downtown Los Angeles and in central San Diego, The application team (“Project Team”) is led by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation with support from key partners including the California Center for Sustainable Energy, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, University of California-Los Angeles Smart Grid Energy Research Center and Luskin Center for Innovation, California State University-Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.

This Project team will leverage its extensive network of formal and informal partners to incorporate the rest of Southern California’s counties into the Center’s reach through vigorous outreach, regional meetings through the creation of a virtual on-line center. California Energy Commission funding and match dollars provided by the Project Team and its key partners will provide support for the development and operational funding for the Physical Centers and the Virtual Center. All other Center activities will be supported by other current and future sustaining funding sources.

The primary goal of the Center is to provide a central clearinghouse for public information and a framework and process for stakeholder coordination to advance the adoption of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies (AFAVT) on a consumer and producer basis. Currently, the Southern California region boasts tremendous assets in the size of its early adopter consumer market and regional industries, especially logistics (including goods movement, ports, airports, warehousing, etc.), manufacturing, defense industry, tourism and agriculture. This Center will initially focus its efforts on growing the opportunities for alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technologies in these specified industries as well as driving general consumer adoption. In order to achieve the ambitious operational goals laid out for this Center, we have chosen to focus efforts on the following alternative fuels: electric, gaseous fuels (e.g., natural gas and propane), hydrogen, biodiesel, and biogas, which are all solutions that we believe the Center can meaningfully promote and accelerate adoption of in this region. The proposal also aims to address the following areas of advanced vehicle technology: conversion of traditional fleet vehicles to alternative fuel; pilot production of electric fleet vehicles; alternative fuel infrastructure and systems development (e.g., waste to fuel and electric vehicle charging infrastructure linked to smart grid); vehicle component development (e.g., batteries and “connected car”). Furthermore, each of these energy sources have development and application potential for the Southern California region and can spur growth with new and existing companies, organizations, and research entities.

Specific Working Goals:

  1. Develop and launch virtual and physical Center locations.
    • Maintain daily office hours for members of the public.
    • Develop virtual Center to house content of physical Center locations and provide public education opportunities.
    • Create marketing and branding materials for the Center.
    • Ensure Center presence at external events to showcase and promote alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies, especially those produced in Southern California.
    • Hold technology showcases and ride and drives.
  2. Outreach to and convene members of the public as well as critical stakeholders.
    • Convene fuel technology informational sessions.
    • Assemble Southern California Database of contacts for outreach.
    • Create and distribute a newsletter for public consumption.
    • Launch a special programming series with specific and specialized programming.
    • Conduct public workshops.
    • Conduct webinars.
  3. Facilitate regional coordination on alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technology in workforce development and planning.
    • Facilitate regional coordination related to planning activities.
    • Coordinate and collaborate for more successful integration of advanced vehicle technologies in workforce development activities.
  4. Provide a central location for companies, researchers, and public agencies to collaborate on alternative fuels, technology development, intellectual property protection, prototyping, and technological needs.
    • Facilitate pilot projects.
    • Convene and grow a Research, Development, and Demonstration (RDD) Council to discuss upcoming trends (in the development of technology, regulatory pressures, etc.) and share technology needs.
    • Conduct hack-a-thons to spur collaboration and coordination on technology.
  5. Ensure the Center is sustained with strong organizational development to promote and grow alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies’ development, production, commercialization and export in the region.
    • Convene and grow membership of an Advisory Council to provide operational guidance and direction to the Center to ensure its success.
    • Secure grants across local, state and federal agencies as well as private sources with a specific focus on alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technology workforce development needs, consumer adoption, research and development, and employment growth.