|| Print ||
|On the Scene|
|Wednesday, May 26, 2010|
BY ANGELA WEBBER
The first thing I noticed at Tuesday’s Estar electric van launch was that they were serving salmon, for free. The next was that I was one of just six women in the crowd.
But then, I’m not a truck person.
Navistar selected Portland to be the host for their initial market launch of the new Estar electric van. The van, a real “category creator” in the words of one excitable booster, can go 100 miles on one 6-to-8-hour charge and carry 4,000 pounds. It produces zero tailpipe emissions–in fact, it doesn’t even have a tailpipe. And its battery can be replaced in 20 minutes. (For the record, the vehicle costs $149,000).
Navistar’s vans were designed, from inception to launch, in 24 months. The project was funded in part by a stimulus grant from the U.S. government, and was the first project to produce a product with the stimulus money for sustainable vehicles.
Those in attendance at the launch were mostly potential buyers: fleet managers looking to see if the new electric van really was what they were looking for.
I met one of those prospective buyers, Franko Martinez, Engineering Facilities Services Manager for Port of Portland. He said he was looking for “sustainability and viability.”
“We have a need for vehicles that will go no more than 100 miles a day, mostly between 20-25 miles per hour... and can carry 2 plus tons.”
The presentation of the van was impressive. There was music, there was driving of vehicles inside, there were large, exciting visual aids, and those cool clear teleprompters that Obama uses. Jim Hebe, Navistar's VP for North American sales operations, spoke, and then Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Gail Achterman and Portland Mayor Sam Adams took the stage.
Adams spoke on Portland’s vision for a green vehicle future, and about the plan to fast-track installation of 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations in Oregon in the coming months.
“This is an amazing vehicle. I look forward to being a purchaser of these vans, on behalf of the taxpayers, as part of our fleet’s transition from fossil fuel to electric vehicles.”
But Navistar’s goal is to move beyond relying on government support and environmental controls.
“It doesn’t take a government mandate [to motivate the company’s innovations]," said Hebe. "Competition is our strongest motivator.”
Angela Webber is the online editor for Oregon Business.
|Child care challenge|
|Is there life beyond Reed?|
|Back to School|
|Ninkasi grows to NY|
|Eco challenges facing Oregon|
|Adidas produces special shoe for upcoming Timbers/Sounders match|
|Intel invests $60M in drone company|
|Congestion should be expected|
|How many devices are using Windows 10?|
|Aftermath of the Ashley Madison hack|
Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.