The future takes center stage at ACT Expo

By Steve Marshall | Chief Growth Officer

Event organizers of the 2021 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo called this year’s conference The Future of Fleet. They promised four days of conversation and experiences surrounding the most advanced vehicles, fuels and technologies – and they delivered.

Throughout the week, I attended breakout sessions covering a broad set of topics at the center of our clients’ businesses. These included industry-wide sustainability efforts, the latest EV battery technology, the advancements and deployment of electric trucks, the state and future of autonomous fleets, and propelling the adoption of clean technologies, among many others.

I came away with several key observations:

  • OEMs are hyper-focused on their customers’ EV adoption journeys and the unique challenges of each market vertical.
  • Charging solution providers are concentrating on market share, standardization and the need to offer ultra-fast solutions.
  • Fuel cell electric trucks and buses can perform commercial and industrial fleet duties, but infrastructure development is still needed to move this technology forward.
  • Brands are focused on sustainability and the impact technologies have on achieving a cleaner tomorrow but are at very different stages of effectively telling that story.

From an experiential standpoint, I loved the Ride and Drive event. There were a variety of battery-electric, fuel cell, hybrid and natural gas trucks, cars and micro-mobility vehicles available in the convention center parking area to explore and test, as well as an amazing indoor expo featuring the latest innovations from more than 200 global brands.

The week ended with several fleet operators being recognized with awards for their roles in leading advanced clean transportation. Winners this year included:

  • Leading Carrier Award – Purolator 
    • Purolator has deployed all-electric step vans and showed how EVs can maintain uptime even with the surge in deliveries caused by the COVID pandemic.
  • Leading School Fleet – Fulton County Schools
    • Fulton County Schools converted more than 400 of its vehicles to propane and used the savings to increase pay for its drivers.
  • Leading Private Fleet – Anheuser-Busch
    • Anheuser-Busch has increased its usage of CNG vehicles and has committed to purchasing electric and hydrogen-electric trucks going forward.
  • In It for the Long-Haul Award – Penske Truck Leasing
    • Penske continues to build its electric fleet and is leading its category in real-world use.

I can’t imagine a more comprehensive showcase event on clean transportation. It’s an opportunity to meet executives and experience technology from OEMs as well as business, government and non-profit innovators at every junction of the conversation. I’ll be back next year.