Conference: The Road to Energy Independence: New York City’s Alternative Transportation Future

The Center for Sustainable Energy convenes its 3rd Annual Conference on Alternative Vehicle Technology on the historic campus of Bronx Community College. Coinciding with the College’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the Conference brings the best of the past together with the technology of the present on our way to a sustainable energy future. The Road to Energy Independence is a gathering of alternative vehicle policy makers and stakeholders focused on getting energy efficient vehicles on New York City’s vast network of streets and highways. Concerns over energy security, climate change, economic development, and environmental justice make the time right for a new city alternative vehicle strategy. This conference will convene New York City’s alternative vehicle community to take stock of the progress made toward sustainable vehicular transport.


8:30 a.m. – Registration

9:00 a.m. – Introduction / Remarks / Keynote Address

Tria Case
, Executive Director, The Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College, The City University of New York

Carolyn G. Williams, Ph.D., President, Bronx Community College
Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City Department of Transportation
The Honorable José E. Serrano, Member of Congress, 16th District of New York

Keynote Address
MaryAnn Wright, Chief Executive Officer Johnson Controls-Saft Vice President and General Manager Hybrid Systems Group Johnson Controls Inc.

10:00 a.m. – Session 1: Alternative Vehicle Technologies

What’s New Under the Hood: An overview of the technologies of alternative vehicles. What are they and how do they work?

Speaker: Rick Teebay, Chief of Fleet Management, Los Angeles County Panel Discussion
Moderator: Luis Calcagno, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation

Roger Slotkin, Odyne Corporation
Josh Lepage, Sales Manager, International Truck and Engine Corporation
Rick Teebay, Chief of Fleet Management, Los Angeles County

11:00 a.m. – Break

11:30 a.m. – Session 2: Policy Challenges and Incentives

How Fast, How Far: An overview of policies and opportunities for getting people behind the wheel of alternative vehicles?

Speaker: TBD

Panel Discussion: Getting Behind the Wheel and On the Road Moderator: Tom Lubas [invited], PANY&NJ and Chair, NYC Chapter, National Association of Feet Administrators

Peter Schenkman, Assistant Commissioner, New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission
Rachel Beckhardt of Environmental Defense

12:30 – 2:30 pm – Lunch with Facilitated Table Discussions / Case Studies / Awards 

Table Discussion
Topics Include:

  • How to get Hydrogen Vehicles in NYC
  • Facing the Unpleasant Facts on Energy Supply
  • Advanced Transportation Technology/Hybrids
  • Realities of Alternative Vehicle Maintenance
  • Legislative Hurdles and Regulatory Challenges
  • Meeting Expectations of Fleet Managers
  • Fleet Vehicle Leasing vs Buying
  • What’s new with CNG
  • Today’s Biofuels
  • All Electric Vehicles
  • Congestion Pricing
  • ….and much more


Case Studies
Ron Gulmi of Keyspan Energy on CNG
Steve Levy of Sprague Energy on Biodiesel

Award Ceremony
CSE presents Sustainable Pioneer Awards in the categories of private citizen, private business and public entity in recognition of their efforts in support of alternatives to the prevailing fossil fuel economy. Sustainable Energy Pioneers are recognized for their commitment and contributions to a sustainable energy future: parties whose work reduces our consumption of energy as it spurs economic activity and employment, reduces pollution, and lessens our dependency on imported energy.

  • Better Cars… hybrid, biodiesel, electric…
    NOT a solution. As long there are private autos there is autosprawl. Sprawl is something city dwellers don’t think about a lot. But sprawl is what is killing the biosphere.

  • gecko

    With climate change, any vehicle that moves more than a half ton of steel and glass to move a single person is not sustainable. The vehicles are unsustainable and the infrastructures required to support these vehicles are unsustainable and if things continue the way they are going they will likely end up as spare parts in a future of real “Road Warrior” scenarios.

    Besides being completely unsustainable and extremely wasteful, current transportation and systems do not work, or work well with automobiles as the poster child killing 1,250,000 annually — the greatest cause of death to people under thirty — and a major contributor to the rapid destruction of an environment capable of supporting life on earth as we know it.

    Immediately prior to 911 there were people “with their hair on fire” warning about the potential for disaster and the current administration did nothing.

    With climate change the situation is infinitely worse with many times more people in-the-know with their “hair on fire”.

    Yet, this conference is business as usual and does not speak to the extreme urgency of climate change.

    None of the vehicles at this conference’s website come even close:

    Even worse, this conference by all appearances will be quite boring.

    No mention is made of human-scale and hybrid human-electric transport and transit which can provide the type of positive disruptive change to developed world transportation and systems and being fully scalable to use in the developing world will greatly mitigate its disastrous roll in the accelerating climate change crisis.

    One-half billion people used human-scale transport in China to bring it into the twentieth century. Copying the disaster of developed-world transportation threatens to set it back further than from where it started and along with the rest of the world.

  • Almost all wars and terrorism in the world can be stopped. Almost all dictators and tyrants can be rendered powerless. All we have to do is to stop paying them. An alarming amount of the money Western nations pay for oil is going into the coffers of people who terrorists and dictators. All we have to do defund the world’s most violent criminals is to become energy independent.

    In the first phase of energy independence we get as much energy as possible from resources which we own or which are in the hands of friendly, stable nations. First we build new nuclear power plants in every state. If the French can make nuclear work what excuse do we have? In addition, we drill for oil off all our coastal waters and we build new refineries and pipelines in every state. Existing energy companies are making plenty of money in the current climate of false scarcity. We will have to find away around them. Usually way around greedy energy companies would require political will. However, almost all existing politicians are in the pocket of the energy companies. This includes democrats and republicans. So every politician currently in office needs to be thrown out. Anyone who works for or who owns an existing conventional energy company is in my view disqualified for public office. We already know from the Bush/Cheney experience that such politicians will work in a way contrary to the national security of the United States and will start pointless wars for oil.

    Merely having new politicians willing to clear the legal minefields laid down by oil bought senators and congressmen might not be enough. We might have to get a little bolder. Therefore I suggest that we build terawatts of new nuclear power plans and miles of new oil refineries in Mexico and that we send the power back to the states via pipelines, power lines, hydrogen, or whatever works. This will provide work for Mexicans and energy for us. The Mexican government will have a large incentive to make the plants secure and this increased security might even spill over to the borders and make our borders more secure.

    While phase one is going on we need to start on phase 2. In this phase we bring online as many green and renewable technologies as are currently viable and put as much money as is needed into producing more. I would suggest that the model cities be built in the west and south—anywhere that it does not get cold enough to snow. The idea is to build small towns or cities that will go cold turkey. There will be no fossil fuels of any kind allowed in these cities. All vehicles and houses will be powered by wind, solar and bio-mass. The best locations would be those that have year around wind, sun and enough farming in the area to produce the bio mass. These experimental towns would be off the power grid. The only way to get power to them would be to make the green and renewable technologies work. Volunteers who truly believe that the future is green would be invited to apply for residency. We would probably take engineers and farmers over other types because we would need people who were skilled in keeping the power conversion machinery going and others who don’t mind the get your hand dirty hard work of farming.

  • Dave H.


    While I agree a few of the things you said, you might be going a little overboard here, don’t you think? All politicians need to be thrown out of office? Should we guillotine them too?

  • P

    I’m sure Mexico will be thrilled with their nuclear power plants…

  • glennQ

    poetryman69: “The idea is to build small towns or cities that will go cold turkey. There will be no fossil fuels of any kind allowed in these cities. All vehicles and houses will be powered by wind, solar and bio-mass.”

    Extremely naive plan… At least now.
    With an aggressive development initiative, we are probably still at least fifty years from eliminating “fossil fuels” completely.
    How close do you think we are to alternative powered aircraft? A L-O-N-G way.
    I do agree we need to harvest our own oil reserves, and implement nuclear for the short term (


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