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The last time the Olympic Games were in Los Angeles (1984), something miraculous happened, there was no traffic due to exceptional planning. If the Transportation Electrification Partnership has its way another amazing transportation event will occur during the 2028 Olympics – a huge reduction in greenhouse gases and air pollution following its zero emissions road map.

The public and private partnership is lead by the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator (LACI). Michelle Kinman, director of transportation at LACI explains how the process is working and how they are creating a better cleaner future when the world looks at Los Angeles during the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

LACI started in 2011 as an economic development initiative of the City of Los Angeles Department and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), but now is a separate non-profit organisation to create an inclusive green economy with transportation as a main priority on the campus, says Kinman.

LACI’s CEO Matt Petersen realised that during the 2028 Olympics the world will be paying attention making it a great time to make change happen, says Kinman.

While athletes are shooting for their goals, the partnership’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution an additional 25 per cent beyond existing commitments. In order to accomplish that a public and private partnership was formed in May 2018.

Leadership groupe

The leadership group of the program includes executives from the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, California Air Resources Board, Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power, LA Metro and Southern California Edison. There is also an advisory board that includes major automobile makers BMW, BYD, Tesla, Nissan North America, Audi and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“By using the deadline of the Olympics in 2028, we can use the LA region’s can-do attitude along with California’s leadership to make things possible that were never before,” says Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board.

port of los angele aerial view

Last year, the partnership created its first zero-emissions road map with a second road map coming out in September this year. Working groups in people movement, goods movement and energy/transportation nexus met to discuss issues and create solutions.

“The partners recognise the Olympics can be a powerful motivation. We can also embrace using the Olympics to create charging infrastructure for electrification and zero emissions,” says Kinman who notes the partnership is proposing the goals of 20-45% of all light-duty private vehicles on the road to be zero emissions and the installation of 60,000 to 130,000 electric vehicle chargers.

One of the major problems of installing EV chargers is the permit process, the partnership is working with local municipalities to make the permitting process easier.

“We continually take surveys because much work needs to be done and we are collaborating to achieve the goals of the zero-emission road map,” says Kinman.

For example, the goods movement working group is exploring making zero-emissions zones for last-mile delivery areas using cargo bikes and other methods. They’re working on the feasibility and a framework to make it happen and expect to test feasibility at a local campus.

Forty per cent of the goods coming to the U.S go through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The partnership set goals to have 10-40% of heavy-duty trucks, 5-25% heavy-duty long haul trucks and 25-50% of medium-duty trucks to be zero emissions by 2035. The major route from the ports to warehouses in the Inland Empire where the goods are shipped across the country is the 710 freeway.

“We want to install chargers along the 710 freeway,” says Kinman, “We are also requesting information from the trucking industry for zero admission goods movement pilots and concepts as well as finding funding for these projects.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity with the partners to affect range. I’m inspired by the level of commitment for electrification to transform the market and strengthen community,” says Kinman.

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