Transportation & Innovation Expo 2019
by Mahanth Joishy, Superintendent
On May 23, 2019 Fleet teamed up with Wisconsin Clean Cities and Alliant Energy to co-host the first-ever Transportation & Innovation Expo in Madison, Wisconsin at the Alliant Energy Center. The inaugural Expo featured over 30 of the latest vehicles on display and available for the afternoon Ride & Drive in the back parking lot. The hall was stuffed with cutting-edge green fleet technology, most of which have never been available to the public in Madison before to sit on, sit in, or drive.
Colorful displays dotted 70,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space and included a variety of Tesla, Audi, GM, Honda, and Nissan electric vehicle (EV) models, two Zero electric motorcycles (a fan favorite), a propane Ford Explorer, compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks belonging to Dane County, hybrid-electric Ford Fusion Madison Police Department cars, an ethanol E-85 Ford F-150 owned by the American Lung Association, Trek BCycle electric bicycles, an active Madison Fire Department Demers ambulance with anti-idle technology, City of Madison trucks and sweepers running on biodiesel, a hybrid Madison Metro bus, a New Flyer electric bus, and much more. Ringed around the outer wall of the expo hall were another 40 exhibitors with booths full of information about the green revolution underway in the transportation and fleet industry.
Besides the cars and trucks, there were expert speakers and panelists from across the Midwest and beyond. You can read all of the bios here. A packed slate of breakout sessions covered a wide range of environmentally sustainable and innovative transportation and fleet management topics. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway presented the opening welcome remarks along with Wisconsin Clean Cities Executive Director Lorrie Lisek, and Alliant Energy Vice President Joel Schmid in the morning. Fleet Superintendent Mahanth Joishy, Traffic Engineer Yang Tao, Transportation Planner David Towbridge, and Jane McCurry of RENEW Wisconsin walked audience members through City of Madison’s ambitious plans for a greener and smarter future in urban mobility. Other topics included EV charging infrastructure, EVs, anti-idling, propane, natural gas, biodiesel, and more.
The show was well-attended with several hundred guests enjoying the first such show of its kind in Madison and over 70 participating in the Ride & Drive of electric vehicles. Attendance at the Expo was free to the public, though there was an optional charge for lunch and the speaker series. Corporate and government sponsors were also instrumental to the event and we’d like to recognize Lakeside International Trucks, Wisconsin State Office of Energy Innovation, Renewable Energy Group, BTC Power, Crossroads Mobile Maintenance, Kwik Trip, and Time Transport.
We would especially like to thank Lorrie Lisek and the Wisconsin Clean Cities team, celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, along with Gilbert Nunez and the Alliant Energy team for being great to work with. The idea for the expo began as a quick conversation between Gilbert, Lorrie, and I. We managed to put the show together in just 2 months. We expect this tradition to continue and grow in the years to come with the help of our partners.