EV Education: Whose Job Is It?
Kleiner Perkins managing partner Ray Lane perhaps summed it up the best when addressing the question of consumer, dealer, government and worker education.
"Electrification gives us choice." By that he meant the electrification of our transportation system, especially personal automobiles, allows them to be "fueled" from multiple primary energy sources instead of the current system based almost exclusively on petroleum. That's the essential message that needs to be gotten across to consumers, car dealers, government officials and even within the auto industry itself.
As to the controversial question of government investment in the industry, where the public is clearly divided over the wisdom of "government bailouts" for car makers, Lane explained that private capital has simply dried up. From his perspective as a venture capitalist, he considers the government's involvement vital to helping restructure the industry, creating, in essence, a new industry out of the old. Such investments are nothing new, he noted.
"The government has been a terrific partner," he said, adding that America has two key advantages over the rest of its competitors: speed of action and access to capital: public and private.
This panel, the last of the conference's plenary sessions on October 21, 2009 also features Ford Chairman Bill Ford, Jr.; Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, and DTE Energy Chairman Tony Earley, with David Cole acting as the moderator. To view the complete panel, click the BOOK icon and then Episodes. This video is divided into three parts.
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