Los Angeles, Now the ELECTRIC Car Capital of America | EVS26

photo by Ulrich Standish

The Electric Vehicle Symposium, EVS26, is a conference where electric vehicle makers can meet and exchange knowledge. There are four days of presentations from a variety of panels of experts. Engineers present their latest research and results of current projects, which is fascinating for those of us interested in finding out the very latest news in electric vehicles. The expo floor is primarily filled with EV suppliers. Electric motors, batteries, wireless charging, controllers, battery management systems, and everything you need to build an EV or a conversion is represented here. Qualcomm used this Formula E racecar to show off their wireless charging system. Siemens, the event sponsor, had the largest booth as they’re now in the business of making motors for passenger vehicles. In this video, I interview their Electric Car marketing chief Michael Siebert.

Mayor Villaraigosa was at Monday’s opening Plenary to accept an award from the EDTA on behalf of the city, as the American city to have done the most to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles. What’s interesting is that while all the major automakers (and motorcycle makers) have R&D facilities in Southern California, most startup electric automakers are based elsewhere. I wonder if moving here would help them attract more experienced engineers and designers.

EDTA’s Brian Wynne stated that 10% of EV’s sold in the US are in California, and that by 2020 there could be as many as 450,000 EV’s rolling through the streets of Southern California. The e-visionary award goes to America’s city that’s implemented the most EV infrastructure, fleets, and policy. Villaraigosa stated that personal transportation is the most critical component of his green goals for the city. This would explain the massive increase in bicycle infrastructure and public transit since 2005 when Villaraigosa entered the office.

photo by Ulrich Standish

On Sunday, for only $10, the public was invited to walk the expo floor and test drive the cars. Hopefully the next EVS will do a better job of promoting this, as one automaker told me there was a much smaller turnout than they’d hoped. There was even a workshop moderated by Chelsea Sexton, highlighting the sorts of careers available in the EV industry. On Monday, Toyota unveiled their long-anticipated all-electric Rav4. You can read all about it here.

photo by Ulrich Standish

Susanna Schick

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders. Occasionally she deigns to cover automobile events in Los Angeles for us as well. However, she dreams of a day when Los Angeles' streets resemble the two-wheeled paradise she discovered living in Barcelona and will not rest until she's converted the masses to two-wheeled bliss.