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Dana CEO Looks Back to the Future, Infrastructure Panel Looks to 2040

May 3, 2023

Source: ACT News

Day two of ACT Expo kicked off with a packed house for the Dana keynote presentation, followed by a deep dive into the future of zero-emission infrastructure with the executive roundtable.

After a quick welcome and intro by GNA CEO Erik Neandross, Dana CEO Jim Kamsickas took the stage with a history lesson that seemed to be repeating itself. Looking back close to 200 years ago, Kamsickas reflected on the early days of the mobility industry. Inventors at the turn of the 20th century were confronted many of the same challenges the engineers of today are facing, including infrastructure, fuel sources, and costs.

“Remarkably, the history of electric vehicles reaches back nearly 200 years,” said Kamsickas, discussing Scottish inventor Robert Anderson, who introduced a horseless carriage with single-use batteries. “It was a true inspiration for the inventors who would follow him. Throughout the mid 1800s, as the need for more efficient movement of people and goods continued, electric innovations persisted with the prototype electric carriages and locomotives, and rechargeable batteries were introduced in 1859.”

Highlighting the innovations and advancements made in social media, online shopping, and artificial intelligence, Kamsickas admitted that the mobility industry does not always come to mind in terms of rapid technological shifts, but that is changing.

“We are in the midst of disruptive change in commercial transportation,” said Kamsickas. “The convergence of innovative technology around us has influenced the way we develop our vehicles, with software becoming the defining force for connectivity, autonomy, tracking, and predictive maintenance.”

To make this change, Kamsickas called for immediate and courageous action. With increased government mandates, corporate investment in developing new technologies, and industry trade associations setting new standards, the industry is in a prime position to move forward, according to the Dana CEO, adding, “we are in it together.”

Innovative Stakeholders Lead Infrastructure Discussion

Led by Sherry Sanger, executive vice president of marketing and chief marketing officer for Penske Transportation Solutions, the panel included stakeholders from the broad spectrum of fueling providers, vehicle manufacturers, and utilities, some with their own fleets to consider when looking to reach zero-emission goals.

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