Alliance for Automotive Innovation Hosts Latest ‘Future Driven Forum’ with Industry Leaders

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Alliance for Automotive Innovation (Auto Innovators) today hosted a discussion with industry leaders about the opportunities and challenges of accelerating the electric vehicle (EV) market in the United States.

Joining Auto Innovators President and CEO, John Bozzella, for the digital discussion were Scott Keogh, CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America; Celina Mikolajczak, Vice President of Battery Technology at Panasonic Energy of North America; Swati Daji, Senior Vice President of Customer Solutions and Strategies at Duke Energy; and Dustin Krause, Director of E-Mobility at Volkswagen Group of America.

“The EV transformation is about a greener way to move,” said Auto Innovators President and CEO John Bozzella. “But it is also about our economic and competitive future – who develops and builds the vehicles of the future and who sets the global rules of the road. In other words, it’s bigger than any one company, industry, or government policy.”

“As an industry, our future is electric,” said CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America Scott Keogh. “American drivers are the ones who will lead this progress with their hearts, their heads, and their hard-earned dollars. This moment calls for serious commitment and serious investment.”

Panelists weighed in on the challenges their companies are addressing to realize the benefits of increased EV adoption.

“There’s a whole shift that has to happen in the raw material supply chain to make these materials much more efficiently,” said Celina Mikolajczak, Vice President of Battery Technology at Panasonic Energy of North America, “If U.S. automakers want to be selling not just in the United States, but around the world, that means that we have to be very competitive in the United States in manufacturing electric vehicles. And if you’re going to be competitive in that area, you have to have some control over your supply chain.”

“When we are thinking about infrastructure, we are thinking about workplace and home charging, so we are thinking not only from production to grid, but even beyond the meter to see what we can do to make it convenient in an ecosystem of offerings for our customers,” said Swati Daji, Senior Vice President of Customer Solutions and Strategies at Duke Energy. “We as a utility feel very strongly that it is our role to jumpstart this market with parity for all, affordability for all, and making sure everybody has equal access to electricity.”

“The good news is that we’re headed in the right direction. Customer sentiment is going that way too, but it’s going to be a long-term initiative,” said Dustin Krause, Director of E-Mobility at Volkswagen Group of America, “The three most important things to solve for EV adoption are: getting to an affordable price, getting to a real-world range, and solving the charging equation for most people.”

Automakers and suppliers will invest over $250 billion in electrification by 2023, driving advancements in plug-in hybrid vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles. Even with more than 50 EV models available to consumers last year, EVs accounted for only two percent, or roughly 300,000, of the 14.5 million vehicles sold in the United States. Panelists discussed the reasons behind these trends and what steps will help to expand EV adoption in automotive markets, such as federal and state purchase incentives and boosting the number of EV charging stations.

The auto industry is in a period of extraordinary transformation. Cleaner technology as well as automated and connected technologies and services are making personal transportation cleaner, safer, and smarter. Read the EV Agenda to learn more from Auto Innovators about the transition to a market with greater numbers of EVs.