New Website Launched In Era of Unprecedented Growth

By John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART

Welcome to CALSTART’s new website. With this new interface, we are hoping you will find it easier to learn more about our work and the unprecedented opportunity for the fast growing clean transportation technology industry.

Why do I call this period “unprecedented”? There are a number of reasons. First, the pace of technology development in our industry is moving ahead faster than it ever has before. Silicon Valley has connected with Detroit – and vice versa – and what’s emerging is truly exciting. We have better batteries for electric vehicles, in large part due to the advancement of computers, cell “phones,” and other portable devices. We will see battery prices continue to decline rapidly, and are watching carefully to see when and where the next breakthrough will occur.

Meanwhile, traditional light-duty combustion engine vehicles are safer, cleaner and more efficient than ever, spurred – in part – thanks to technology-neutral national fuel economy and emissions standards. And firms like Tula Technology in San Jose, CA, are working to get even more miles-per-gallon out these vehicles with advanced computer controls and software that make engines more efficient at a competitive price.

From a global perspective, the demand for improvement in transportation technology and systems has never been greater. Every nation in the world is currently signed-up to the global Paris Climate Accord. Several mayors around the world are creating low or zero emission zones in city-centers. The future direction is all about ultra-low and zero emissions. Our 190+ member companies are leaders in this global movement. They see the opportunity. We are working every day to find ways that we can help them move faster to address the challenges and grow market share.

Lastly, the amount of investment pouring into our industry is truly amazing. Huge investments are being placed in energy storage. We’re watching to see which nations will be the leaders in this space. OEM’s and suppliers are debating on not whether but how much to increase their investment in R&D. There is serious debate among our members about whether to focus their investment on continued efforts to improve the internal combustion engine, or go all-in on zero-emission strategies. Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, there remains significant public investment. In the U.S., in the past two years, Congress has increased funding for zero-emission buses by $30 million for an annual allocation of $85 million. In the past two to three years, California’s investments have increased considerably and there is over $1 billion available for an array of clean vehicle purchase and RD&D programs.

Reflective of all of the above, now in its 27th year, CALSTART is growing as never before. This year we opened an office in Michigan, expanding our national influence to four different states. Our staff headcount grew by 30 percent last year, and we see similar growth in the next two years. Please see the “Careers” page on our new website about opportunities to join our team.

And, please let us know what you think about our new website!