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Decarbonization: The power of ‘and’

This fireside chat recap is from the FreightWaves virtual Net Zero Carbon Summit.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The power of and for battery-electric and hydrogen trucks

DETAILS: Larry Burns frequently uses the term “the power of and” when describing technologies or even everyday personal dilemmas. Why, asks the former vice president of research and development at General Motors and current author and business adviser, should we limit ourselves to a single solution to a difficult problem? 

SPEAKER: Larry Burns, business adviser and former General Motors vice president of research and development and strategy

BIO: Larry Burns is an author who advises organizations on the future of mobility, logistics, manufacturing, energy and innovation.  At General Motors, Burns was corporate vice president of research and development and planning from 1998-2009. He was a consultant at Waymo on the Google Self-Driving Car project from 2010 to 2021. He also was a professor of engineering practice at the University of Michigan and director of the Program for Sustainable Mobility at Columbia University.

KEY QUOTES FROM BURNS

“We know truck traffic goes along corridors, so you don’t have to put [hydrogen] everywhere in order to get started. And if you get high utilization, especially when we get to autonomous trucks that can operate 24/7, then you can get supply and tailor the actual infrastructure to the operations of the trucking fleets.”

“We need capital to be deployed toward renewables and not toward the perpetuation of the hydrocarbon system. But that’s asking an awful lot of the energy companies to manage that — to take their capacity of one asset and bring up the rest.”

“We’re at a point now where technology is absolutely ready for these new opportunities to come forward. We can’t afford to let politics tear us apart. We’re all losers if we don’t solve 1.3 million deaths a year on the world’s roadways. And we’re all losers if we don’t get on with climate change. And the market has to be part of this solution.”