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Photo: Southeast Alternative Fuels Conference

Transportation is a central issue for anyone interested in advancing sustainability and tackling the looming problem of climate change. Billed as the largest gathering of its kind this year East of the Mississippi, the Southeast Alternative Fuels Conference, organized by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (formerly the NC Solar Center), will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center from the 22-24th of October. Featuring 400 attendees, over 50 exhibitors, 100 speakers and 20 ride and drive vehicles, this looks set to be an important event for sustainable transportation advocates.

Keynote speakers will include U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary Reuben Sarkar; Jim Mottavalli, a contributor to the New York Times, NPR’s Car Talk and author of several books on transportation; and General Duncan McNabb, former commander of U.S. Transportation Command and member of the Energy Security Leadership Council. Additional industry related speakers include Joe Jobe, CEO National Biodiesel Board; Joe Thompson, President ROUSH Clean Tech; Adam Monroe, President Novozymes NA; Susan Alt, Senior Vice President Government Affairs Volvo Group NA; Brendan Jones, Electric Vehicle and Infrastructure Deployment, Nissan NA and Genevieve Cullen, Vice President of the Electric Drive Transportation Association.

Besides hearing about key challenges and opportunities in the sustainable transportation sector, attendees will also have the opportunity to drive and/or ride in innovative alternative fuel vehicles including a natural gas powered boat, a VIA Motors electric vehicle, a Tesla Model S, Ford propane vehicles and a Thomas Built alternative fuel school bus. Not only that, but all registrants will be entered into a drawing to win a 2-year lease on an all-electric Nissan LEAF. (Registration for the conference is not necessary to be entered into the drawing.)

Here’s how Anne Tazewell, transportation program manager at the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center and conference planning committee lead, describes the event:

“The three day conference will be a one-stop shop for fleet and transportation related decision makers to learn about return on investment, efficiency and alternative transportation fuels such as biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, propane and natural gas.”