NREL: Podcast Brings Clean Transportation Conversations to Life

A new podcast produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in partnership with the Clean Cities Coalition Network presents a fresh way to highlight how we can bring more affordable, accessible, and sustainable transportation to the streets today, while exploring strategies to improve the mobility options of tomorrow. On the Go: An On-Road Transportation Podcast with Clean Cities gives listeners insight into the U.S. transportation ecosystem and how the deployment of emerging transportation technologies is transforming the present mobility landscape.

“The podcast is leveraging Clean Cities’ long-time expertise in deployment of sustainable transportation technologies by bringing knowledge and training to communities around the country in an engaging, portable format,” said Mike Laughlin, technology manager at the Vehicle Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy.

On the Go provides an easy way to stay informed on the latest research, trends, tools, and news in the world of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. Episodes explore trends in electric vehicle (EV) charging, options to reduce vehicle pollution, strategies to mitigate congestion, and 2020 transportation developments like effects of the pandemic on e-commerce, interest in transportation electrification, expansions to alternative fuel corridors, and more.

The podcast provides a new avenue to share information quickly and reach new audiences who are interested in learning how they can adopt new transportation technology, such as electric vehicles and fuels other than gasoline, to combat climate change.

“There is a heavy focus on clean mobility in the current transportation landscape, and a lot of people are just starting to dip their toes into alternative fuels,” said NREL project leader Abby Brown, a recent guest on the podcast talking about electric vehicle charging. “The podcast is a great way for those people to start learning about different options as they are considering incorporating these technologies into their fleets or companies.”

Leveraging New Strategies To Deploy Transportation and Mobility Projects Across the Country
On the Go is backed by decades of deployment work by NREL and Clean Cities to advance adoption of alternative transportation technologies. Clean Cities is the on-the-ground operative of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office working to deploy alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in communities around the country.

“The podcast takes the state of industry and relevant news appertaining to a certain topic and rolls everything together into one resource for listeners,” said Wendy Dafoe, NREL senior project leader and Clean Cities veteran. “By telling the story of technology deployment, On the Go offers an exciting new way for Clean Cities to produce content that engages listeners and allows them to absorb important information in a more accessible, convenient format.”

More than 75 coalitions covering nearly every state provide support to fleets, industry, local governments, and other transportation stakeholders to implement alternative fuels, fuel-saving technologies and practices, and new mobility choices.

Clean Cities is “moving the needle on mobility by identifying and executing new projects to address local issues, bringing people together to drive strategy and innovation, and making transportation more sustainable, cost effective, and equitable in who it serves,” said NREL project leader Mollie Putzig, who oversees podcast content development. “I’m confident the podcast will drive these efforts by increasing accessibility of this information for a broader audience.”

Tapping NREL and Clean Cities’ industry connections and resources, the podcast adds to a wealth of existing resources available through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office Technology Integration Program, which builds partnerships to advance affordable, efficient, and clean transportation fuels and technologies.

“The success of Clean Cities can be attributed to the wealth of resources and the network of coalition coordinators, industry stakeholders, and researchers from national laboratories, empowering coalitions to engage with their communities and deploy emerging transportation technologies locally. The podcast is broadening the audience and accessibility of those resources,” Laughlin said.

The Beginning of a New Era in Alternative Fuels
The third and latest episode, Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Trends, focuses on the rapidly changing EV charging industry. Listeners can learn about the current state of the industry from a series of electric vehicle charging reports that analyze data from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator to provide insight into industry changes and trends. Report authors joined On the Go to talk about charging infrastructure growth, how the United States is measuring up to projected demand in 2030, and what to expect from future reports.

“The podcast is the result of creativity and innovation, where we are always thinking about what we can do differently, how we might improve and expand current efforts, and what our audience needs from us,” Dafoe said.

Between NREL’s partnerships with alternative fuels industry stakeholders, members of the research community, and Clean Cities coalitions, the NREL team expects a wide variety of new topics to cover and emerging information to share. Future episodes will focus on environmental justice and equity, two increasingly critical aspects shaping transportation and mobility improvements, among others.

“The podcast is further positioning Clean Cities as the go-to resource for boots-on-the-ground stakeholders to get the information they need to make their projects more successful,” Putzig said.

On the Go is available for free on most podcasting and music streaming apps, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Also visit the Clean Cities website to stay up to date on new episodes.

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