The perennial driver shortage is real – and electric trucks will increase the driver pool by attracting drivers from a diversity of new groups. Increasing the number of entry-level drivers is already being facilitated with new technologies that improve the driver’s safety and reduce complexity such as AMT transmissions, collision avoidance systems, automated load boards, and vehicle tracking and reporting systems. Electric trucks can improve the driver’s work environment eliminating excessive noise, reducing or eliminating handling fuels and lubricants, reducing maintenance downtime and extending service intervals, packaged as a cutting edge, exciting new leap forward in trucking technology.
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Presented by Rick Mihelic, Director Future Technology Studies, North American Council for Freight Efficiency; Emily Conway, Fleet Sustainability Manager, PepsiCo; Jessie Lund, Senior Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute; and Denise Rondini, President, Rondini Communications
Rick Mihelic is NACFE’s Director of Emerging Technologies. He has authored for NACFE four Guidance Reports on electric and alternative fuel medium- and heavy-duty trucks and several Confidence Reports on Determining Efficiency, Tractor and Trailer Aerodynamics, Two Truck Platooning, and authored special studies on Regional Haul, Defining Production and Intentional Pairing of tractor trailers. President of Mihelic Vehicle Consulting LLC he has 38 years’ experience in the trucking and aerospace industries including 20 years in commercial vehicle development for PACCAR and Peterbilt. He was involved in the development of aerodynamic vehicles and groundbreaking systems including the Peterbilt/Cummins DOE SuperTruck and instrumental in developing compliance systems for EPA GHG regulations. He was awarded the prestigious SAE L. Ray Buckendale Award in 2016 and SAE Crawford award in 2020.
Emily Conway is the Fleet Sustainability Manager for PepsiCo North America, and has a background in sustainable transportation strategy, grant writing and management, emissions inventories, and project management. In her current role, Emily focuses on developing sustainable fleet strategies, including GHG emission reduction and fleet electrification initiatives. Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Baylor University and a master’s degree in environmental management and sustainable development from St. Edward’s University and Université Catholique de L’ouest. Before joining PepsiCo, Emily was the Sustainability Project Manager for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, supporting business case development and initiatives in energy efficiency, electrification, carbon neutrality, community engagement and alternative fuels.
Jessie Lund focuses on decarbonizing the heavy transport sector. In partnership with the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), Jessie brings together stakeholders from across the North American trucking industry to advance zero-emission freight movement by accelerating the adoption of electric truck technologies. Jessie is a key contributor to the organizations’ Electric Truck Guidance Report series, providing technical support, analysis, and stakeholder engagement on topics ranging from total cost of ownership to charging infrastructure.
Jessie earned a Master of Science degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University and El Colegio de la Frontera Sur and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Missouri.
Denise Rondini is president of Rondini Communications, a company specializing in researching and writing about the transportation industry. Here clients include Tier 1 suppliers, leasing companies, trucking industry publications, truck dealers, distributors, and trucking industry nonprofits.
Rondini has been covering the trucking industry since 1982 and served as editor of Successful Dealer and Truck Parts & Service magazines for 30 years.
She has experience interviewing fleets, truck dealers, parts distributors, independent repair garages, truck manufacturers, component suppliers and others associated with the trucking industry.
Rondini brings a wealth of industry knowledge and a wide network of contacts to her work. She holds a BA in communications from the University of Dayton and an Executive MBA certificate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.