Scenes from 2014 Green Fleet Conference “Ride and Drive” Event

Let me say that there are a lot of really good things going on 2014 Green Fleet Conference.  The innovation in the Green Fleet sector is simply amazing.  At this morning’s “Ride and Drive” event there were 20 companies on hand with their vehicles, ready for test drives and chatting.  Let’s take a look at some of them:

 

Volkswagen e-Golf

WAVE TROPHY 2014 e-Golf siegt auf groeter Elektrofahrzeug-Rallye der Welt, courtesy of VW

I’m using a stock image from Volkswagen, because this was one vehicle that was always out.  It was never standing still, so I couldn’t shoot it, much less drive in it.  For fleet purposes, the eGolf or the Passat TDI are great vehicles for companies to use for automotive fleet applications.  The e-Golf is perfect as a local delivery car.  To me a plush Passat TDI would be a stylish and economical “black car” that could whisk me to and from.  Thanks to Mike Peterson, Fleet Account Manager at VW for the discussion and hospitality.

 

WM Green Tech Automotive

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This is Dennis Carter, Senior Director of Global Sales for WM GreenTech Automotive.  He’s standing next to the G2.  The G2 is one of the most innovative automotive stories anywhere.  The G2 isn’t much to look at.  It’s an EV.  It’s a classified as a low-speed vehicle, because it has no airbag–although the bumpers pass Chinese crash test standards.  And they could add an airbag, if they wanted.

You hear these facts and you think “it’s a glorified golf cart”.

Which is the brilliance of the G2.  It’s the perfect vehicle to replace corporate use of golf carts–outside of golf courses, naturally.  Right now across the globe, are probably tens of millions of security personnel driving around in golf carts.  Probably more.  In the rain, in the cold, in really hot weather.  There are tens of millions of physical plant people driving around large corporate campuses.  University campuses.  There are law enforcement professionals driving around jails and penitentiary facilities.  The G2 allows them to turn up the heat, turn up the air, provide protection against rain and wind.

The G2 isn’t much to look at.  It’s an EV.  It’s slightly more expensive than a golf cart, before maintenance.  But it’s significantly less than a sub compact for the same use.  The G2 is an enclosed and controlled environment that offers more in terms of usability, life expectancy, and value.  It’s a vehicle and a company to pay attention to.  This is the first of many markets for WM Green Tech Automotive and the G2.

 

The Vector System, by Optimus Technologies

Optimus Technologies at 2014 Green Fleet Conference

This truck runs on advanced biofuel.  Think something light-years better (and more legal) than the stuff you heard that powered Willie Nelson’s tour bus.  Now think about a company that can uses biofuel in concert with diesel (called “bi-fuel”) to extend range. They’ll also work with you on conversion of your existing fleet, AND help you navigate RINs to ensure you enjoy all available energy credits.

Does it work?  Yep.  According to Mike Glatz, VP of Sales and Business Development for Optimus, they tested the EPA-approved biofuel conversation system with a Pittsburgh based fleet partner.  In winter 2013, one of the fiercest winters in recent memory.  The Vector System worked flawlessly.  Here’s another company to keep an eye on.

 

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

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Today is a chilly day in Schaumburg, IL.  I had talked with a few people at this part of the Conference, and I was heading in to warm up.  Then I saw this B-Class Electric Drive.  I rushed over to the Mercedes table and struck up a discussion with Robert Dresner, National Account Manager for Fleet Operations.  The fleet application of a B-Class EV are the same as those considering an e-Golf.  Only more stylishly and with Mercedes craftsmanship.  Maybe shuttle the mucky-mucks around the corporate campus in the B-Class, and the rest drive e-Golfs.

 

 

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Sebastian James

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