Category: Main

LACI-Sponsored Bill To Create EV Authority Makes It Through First Committee In Bipartisan Vote

SB 551 (Stern/Hertzberg) Establishes Enhanced Coordination, Accountability, and Financing Tools To Reach California’s EV Goals 

SACRAMENTO, CA — Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) have called for the creation of a California EV Authority (CEVA), a concept developed by TEP members in April 2020 to address the policies and tools needed to achieve the ambitious yet achievable regional targets by the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as accelerate the progress statewide. The creation of CEVA would include the Governor appointing an EV czar in the California Governor’s Office to advance transportation electrification and zero emissions goods movement across state agencies as well as local government and the private sector. 

In response to TEP’s call for CEVA, California State Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) and Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) have introduced SB 551 to create the California EV Authority to build upon the work of the numerous state agencies, local government, labor, and the private sector by providing enhanced accountability and coordination, creating new funding and financing tools to address gaps to help finance the transition, and ensuring equity is prioritized across all programs while enhancing economic and workforce development. CEVA can also help secure the state’s recovery through the equitable deployment of EV programs in the coming years and ensure that California meets its critical zero emissions transportation and climate goals. On Tuesday, SB 551 passed its first committee with a 10-3 bi-partisan vote in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. 

Achieving the goals that Governor Newsom set for California in his September 2020 Executive Order N-79-20 creates enormous potential for economic growth, job creation, and equity. These goals also represent an economy-wide transition to EVs and requires an all hands on deck approach. Given budgets are strained, new and creative financial tools are needed that build on existing funding sources. SB 551 and the creation of CEVA a set of financing tools to support the transition and economic development, including examining where existing sources of financing can be enhanced and leveraged, while identifying new sources that can be used to unlock private capital. 

CEVA would prioritize equity across all investments, deployments, etc. as well as drive forth and leverage economic development and workforce development. Further, with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan that proposes $176 billion for EVs and charging, CEVA will also help California be more competitive for these federal resources when appropriated by the U.S. Congress (you can read more about TEP’s federal stimulus proposal here).

To learn more about the bill read the summary here. Over 60 organizations have signed on in support of SB 551 to create the California Electric Vehicle Authority, including:

LACI Welcomes Next Cohort of Cleantech Startups Into Incubation Program

Today, 13 startups join Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s (LACI) second cohort of its flagship Incubation Program, which helps founders grow their company and impact in Greater Los Angeles and beyond. From utilizing software analytics to reduce traffic congestion to diverting over 5 tons of waste from landfills using a rental clothing membership model, Incubation Cohort 2 founders are showing up with passion, grit, and inspiring leadership to enhance LACI’s commitment to building an inclusive green economy.

“LACI is committed to helping our startups improve their environmental, social, and economic impact—that’s why we are excited to welcome our new cohort of companies,” said Matt Petersen, LACI President and CEO. “Our startup Impact Framework measures and financially rewards founder diversity, hiring employees from disadvantaged communities, and reducing GHG emissions.”

In line with LACI’s mission to create an inclusive green economy, Incubation Cohort 2 represents 38 percent female founders, 38 percent underrepresented founders, and 8 percent veteran founders, a general increase from Incubation Cohort 1 metrics. 

Startups applied to LACI’s program following a recruitment push that articulated LACI’s specific technical priorities for the year.  Sector-wise 46 percent are focused on zero emissions mobility, 23 percent on clean energy, and 31 percent on circular economy.

LACI companies are stepping up to create an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles. For example, as the city and the rest of the state move towards 100 percent clean energy, there is much needed work to be done to decrease costs of solar and battery energy storage and advance data processing capabilities to create greater grid resilience. Widespread deployment of smart microgrids are the way of the future and LACI Incubation Cohort 2 startups have already begun the work. IQHi, Inc. incorporates data analytics tools to gain operational data thus improving battery technology development time and OpenEGrid applies emerging technologies to legacy Energy Systems to create ‘Smart Grids.’

By progressing the work of IQHi Inc. and OpenEGrid for example, LACI will provide a stepping stone for one of the solutions in addressing current complications in distributed energy resources (DERs) and addressing the ambitious climate and energy goals California has in place already. 

For the next two years, Cohort 2 startups will engage in an intensive 6 months of curriculum covering essential topics to prepare founders and teams for operational growth, product development, investor preparedness, pilot readiness, and strategies for going to market. Additionally, each startup team is matched with an Executive in Residence (EIR) who will support in setting a roadmap and holding teams accountable for achieving those milestones. Cohort 2 startups will build a network not only with their fellow Cohort members, but also with the greater LACI community to enable a collaborative and supportive environment for achieving growth towards a greener planet. 

Throughout the first year of our revamped Incubation Program, we’re proud to say that Cohort 1 startups are paving the way for what LACI can do to support cleantech founders, empower impact, deploy these innovative technologies all across the world. Since joining LACI, collectively Cohort 1 startups have raised over $7.5 million including Sparkcharge’s $1 million deal from SharkTank’s Mark Cuban. LACI’s workforce development program helped initiate ChargerHelp!’s pilot by training their first 10 hires and providing maintenance to 46 electric vehicle stations in Southern California and the company just raised $2.75 million from investors. In addition, Maxwell Vehicles is one of many partners and startups helping to excel deployment of the nation’s first-ever Zero Emission Delivery Zone, furthering LACI’s mission by lowering emissions and decreasing traffic.

We’re thrilled to support another Cohort of 13 innovative startups for the next two years. Read more about Cohort 2 startups below. 

ChargeNet Stations: LACI’s Innovators Cohort 5 startup, ChargeNet is a SaaS company helping fast food restaurants and property owners track consumer data and renewable energy to charge electric vehicles quicker and cheaper. 

Chargeway: Chargeway created a software platform, mobile app, and communication tool to help consumers understand how electric vehicles are charged, as well as helping the automotive industry sell EVs for easier adoption. 

ClearRoad: ClearRoad is leveraging smartphones and in-vehicle technologies to deploy the next generation of tolling and road pricing programs.

ElectricFish:  ElectricFish builds, deploys, and operates distributed energy resources integrated with 350kW Electric Vehicle chargers to bring clean, and robust sources of power to communities.

Gemini Electric Mobility Co.: Gemini Electric Mobility Co. is a sustainable mobility platform that provides affordable Electric Vehicles and convenient access to charging, for all, today. By starting with those who drive the most and have the biggest impact, we’re accelerating electric mobility adoption and getting closer to a pollution-free skyline!

GreenTek Packaging: LACI’s Innovator Cohort 5 startup, GreenTek Packaging creates compostable plasticware made from industrial hemp and corn byproducts.

IQHi, Inc.: IQHi builds advanced data analytics tool sets to help gaining in-depth insights from energy storage system operational data for better products and shorter developing time for their clients.

LAMAR, IoT: LACI’s Innovator Cohort 5 startup, LAMAR, IoT is developing new sustainable supply chain solutions to reduce costs, inefficiencies, and mitigate waste towards a zero emissions planet. 

OpenEGrid: Analytics platform to apply the emerging technologies in Big Data, Analytics, and Cloud Computing to legacy Energy Systems in order to significantly improve interoperability across Distributed Energy Resources in what is now emerging as the ‘Smart Grid’.

PLUS: Portable zero emission electric vehicles for round trips under 12 miles.

Rent-a-Romper: A rental clothing company for babies and toddlers because kids (out)grow so fast. Rent-a-Romper set out to build a community-shared closet, filled with great baby and children’s clothing, so that you don’t have to spend time shopping and looking for deals.  

Sensagrate: Sensagrate (which stands for sensor integrated technology) is developing an industry-defining, infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) communication platform that provides data to support intelligent decision making for both human-driven and autonomous vehicles to foster safer interaction as they navigate our roadways. 

Verity Packaging, Inc.: Verity is on a mission to eliminate waste from the beauty and personal care industry by making a circular economy approachable and affordable for retailers, brands, and consumers. We make reusable containers and offer a turnkey take-back service to collect, sanitize, and put containers back to use.

What Others Are Saying About the Zero Emissions Delivery Zone in Santa Monica

RELEASE: LACI Launches First-In-Nation Zero Emissions Delivery Zone with City of Santa Monica 

This week Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the City of Santa Monica have officially launched and deployed the first-in-the-nation voluntary Zero Emissions Delivery Zone (ZE Delivery Zone) in a one-square mile area of the city partnering with tech and delivery companies and community organizations. Here is what everyone involved is saying:

 

LACI CEO and Chair of the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) Matt Petersen

“With the explosion of last mile delivery of goods and food during the pandemic, the zero-emissions delivery zone in Santa Monica will help us both advance policy and technology solutions needed to reduce air & climate pollution, noise, and congestion while creating a blueprint for other cities to follow. In addition to helping advance the bold goals of the Transportation Electrification Partnership, the pilot will also help unlock innovation from startup entrepreneurs, strengthen local small businesses, and grow the green workforce.” – Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI and Chair of TEP 

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich
“To reduce and ultimately eliminate our carbon emissions, we need to look at all aspects of the transportation sector. This pilot with LACI will use smaller and cleaner technologies to deliver goods instead of the large diesel-fueled trucks we’re used to seeing on our streets. Beyond reducing carbon and congestion, the added bonus is that restaurants can keep higher margins of sales on delivered food items. This is coming at a critical moment in our recovery and we look forward to new insights on zero-emissions delivery and the possibilities beyond our one square mile test zone.” — Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
“The Zero Emissions Delivery Zone advances the vision laid out by the county’s Climate Action Plan to take actions that reduce air pollution, improve community health, and create sustainable jobs. I am hopeful that this model can be applied by cities across the county in ways that move our entire region toward a greener and more sustainable future.” — Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

California State Senator Ben Allen
“With this pilot, Downtown Santa Monica and its surrounding communities and businesses are showing that city streets can be cleaner, safer, more innovative. During the pandemic, package deliveries, e-commerce, and food deliveries have reached an all-time high. This program serves as a sustainable solution that lessens the impact of pollution from vehicles, while also providing support for our small businesses by helping them reach their customers. I’m proud to see these home-grown creative solutions from LACI and the City of Santa Monica.” — Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica)

California State Assemblymember Richard Bloom
“The Zero Emission Delivery Zone is an exciting initiative that will solidify Santa Monica as a leader in innovation on the world stage. This pilot will serve as a model for other cities to adopt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality for the health of their communities while also providing economic opportunity to small businesses.” — Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica)

ADVISORY + TEP PARTNERS

Nissan North America
“As Nissan accelerates our journey to carbon neutrality, we are proud to build on our partnership with LACI to support Zero Emissions Delivery Zone pilots. This pilot comes at a critical time as delivery service continues to increase. With the Zero Emissions Delivery Zone we will support local businesses and further our shared goal of reducing air pollution, GHG emissions, and improving safety.” — Rachel Nguyen, Director of Nissan Future Lab

ROUSH Clean Tech
“We at ROUSH Clean Tech are committed to advanced transportation solutions- as evidenced by our new BEV truck deployments and decades of experience in alternative fuel vehicles. The launch of the Zero Emissions Delivery Zone will provide the opportunity for our technologies to reduce emissions in the goods delivery sector- and then scale these solutions in additional communities.” — Chelsea Jenkins, VP of Government and Industry Relations.

Southern California Edison
“We are pleased to have supported LACI in developing and launching the Zero Emissions Delivery Zone pilot in Santa Monica. Innovative projects like ZEDZ will help bring California and our local communities closer to the 75% of electric vehicles that SCE believes need to be on the road by 2045 to achieve the state’s climate goals.” — Michael Backstrom, Managing Director of Energy and Environmental Policy

Urban Movement Labs
“Transportation technologies have the potential to address some of our region’s most pressing challenges, including sustainability and climate change, particularly when designed with community needs at the forefront” said Lilly Shoup, interim Executive Director of Urban Movement Labs. “UML is excited to work with LACI and the City of Santa Monica in developing new partnership approaches and identify opportunities to replicate elements of the zero-emissions delivery zone across the region.” — Lilly Shoup, interim Executive Director of Urban Movement Labs

COMMUNITY PARTNERS 

Ocean Park Association
“As deliveries continue to grow, the Zero Emissions Delivery Zone project in Ocean Park will bring innovation right to residents’ doors. Local deliveries will be faster and safer, and without the truck noise and fumes we’ve come to hate. That’s why OPA is so pleased to be a community partner to this exciting program. From Amazon to a snack from a local restaurant, more and more deliveries are coming our way. OPA fully supports the Zero Emissions Delivery Zone project as an innovative partnership to keep our air cleaner and our streets safer.”

Climate Action Santa Monica (CASM)
“Climate Action Santa Monica is honored that our city was chosen as the pilot location for LACI’s ZEDZ project.  This innovative program meshes perfectly with our city’s goals for carbon reduction, improved mobility and economic vitalization.  All of these are especially important during the Covid pandemic.  We are eager to see the ZEDZ ramp up and become a model climate solution for other communities.”

Main Street Santa Monica
“Main Street is super excited to be a part of this forward-thinking pilot program. We’re confident it will provide our community with an advantage. Even better, it will serve as a blueprint for green delivery initiatives around the country moving forward.” — Hunter Hall, Executive Director

Downtown Santa Monica
“Santa Monica prides itself on being a sustainable and innovative city that spearheads and embraces initiatives that have positive impacts on the environment at home and around the world. Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is thrilled to be working with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator to pilot their Zero Emissions Delivery Zone project in our community to help build a green network of delivery options for downtown businesses and residents, decrease congestion in the downtown core, and collect insights that we can share with other communities in our region.”

Santa Monica Spoke
“Santa Monica Spoke is truly excited to participate in this innovative pilot program that explores how zero emission and alternative delivery vehicles, like e-bikes, can help reduce congestion, GHG emissions and support local businesses as we all adjust to “a new normal.”  Exploring new models for mobility with merchants, community and neighborhood organizations in support of a more environmentally and economically resilient Santa Monica, we are looking forward to safer, more equitable use of public space and resources that benefit everyone.” — Cynthia Rose, Director

DELIVERY PARTNERS

Guayaki
“Guayaki Yerba Mate is excited to participate in the Santa Monica Zero Emission Zone by providing electric vehicle delivery of Guayakí products to Santa Monica. Collaboration between NGOs like LACI and brands like Guayakí Yerba Mate are critical for achieving a zero emission future.” — Gretchen Grani, Regeneration & Sustainability Lead

FoodCycle LA
“FoodCycle is a Los Angeles based nonprofit dedicated to feeding people – not landfills and to addressing the environmental impact of food waste.  An estimated 40% of food in the US is wasted – food thrown into landfills creates methane gas and contributes to climate change.  FoodCycle is leveraging technology to reduce the environmental impact of recovering food.  We partnered with Maxwell to incorporate sustainable vehicles that are produced by refurbishing gas or diesel vans and converting them into electric vans.   We’re dedicated to working collaboratively with other organizations looking for innovative solutions to environmental and social challenges and are proud to be part of this innovative program.”

Shopify
“We’re on a mission to reverse climate change which means we need to eliminate delivery emissions. We’re excited for the findings of the ZEDZ pilot and look forward to incorporating them into our sustainability work.” — Stacy Kauk, Director of Shopify’s Sustainability Fund

Alsco Uniforms
“Alsco Uniforms business model is laundering reusable uniforms and linen, so by nature we provide a sustainable service to the community. Adding electric fleet to deliver these products was a no brainer for us.” — Frank Lopez, General Manager Los Angeles branch

Axlehire
“AxleHire, a FedEx and UPS competitor for last-mile delivery services, is thrilled to be working with the city of Santa Monica in establishing a zero-emissions delivery zone. Santa Monica is one of many cities where AxleHire has leveraged its unique delivery methods and services to achieve net-neutral emissions. This latest success in Santa Monica proves AxleHire is well-positioned to help California pave the path to zero emissions by 2030.” — Daniel Sokolovsky, Founder 

IKEA
“At IKEA, we believe in a zero-emission transportation future. The Santa Monica ZEDZ pilot program will offer an opportunity to showcase the demand for zero-emissions delivery, and serve as an example to other retailers and cities looking for a model to replicate. Groundbreaking solutions begin with a simple idea, and we are excited to showcase these solutions with this pilot program.” – Steve Moelk from the Ikea Group

REEF
“At REEF, our mission is to cultivate sustainable, livable neighborhoods by bringing the world to your block. With our footprint of NBHRD hubs and zero emissions delivery and logistics solutions, we’re committed to being a key piece of LACI’s vision of creating an inclusive green economy. We’re thrilled to be participating in Santa Monica’s groundbreaking Zero Emissions Zone.” –Kley Sippel, General Manager for Southern California

TECH PROVIDERS: 

LACI COMPANIES

Automotus
“With cities around the world seeing a rise in delivery traffic, we’re incredibly excited to support this landmark effort to drive commercial adoption of electric vehicles right here in our hometown. We’re looking forward to working with an amazing cast of partners to build a playbook for incentivizing a move towards more sustainable vehicles.” — Jordan Justus, CEO

Maxwell Vehicles
“Maxwell Vehicles is incredibly excited to be a part of LACI’s zero-emissions delivery zone with incredible partner companies driving our eVans. Together, we’re making an impact with cost-effective, long-range, electric cargo vans on the streets of Santa Monica. Opportunities like this are essential to shifting the last-mile delivery boom and urban transportation paradigm to all electric.”

Freewire
“FreeWire is thrilled to offer our mobile charging solution as part of LACI’s Zero-Emission Delivery Zone project. LACI is rethinking the regional delivery model to reduce emissions, and we’re excited to integrate Mobi as a key provider of sustainable off-grid power. By employing a suite of innovative technologies, we hope this pilot will provide a template for cities to effectively transition towards a clean energy economy.” — Ethan Sprague, VP Sales & Marketing

Circuit
“Circuit applauds the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and the City of Santa Monica for their innovative thinking with the launch of the first Zero Emissions Delivery Zone in the US. We are excited to participate in the ZEDZ by providing electric last-mile parcel deliveries as an extension of our electric last-mile shuttle service in Santa Monica.”

OTHER PROVIDERS: 

Fluid Truck
“We are excited for the opportunity to partner with the LACI program on this pilot project as we hope that it will serve as the blueprint for other cities around the country as they look to drive their sustainability goals.” — James Eberhard, CEO & Founder of Fluid Truck

Rollo
“Delivery of food and goods has never been more important, and the Santa Monica Zero Emissions Delivery Zone is a great place to showcase Rollo’s healthy neighborhood delivery. Rollo technology empowers delivery. We have developed a zero-emissions delivery vehicle that can be driven autonomously, controlled by a remote operator, and ridden by a human. These operating modes along with Rollo’s unique form factor are key elements that enable faster delivery and operation of a relationship-centric delivery service that sustains restaurants’ connection to their customers. We are looking to grow our great set of forward-thinking Santa Monica partners.” — Ryan McLean, Co-Founder & CEO

Coco
“Coco is thrilled to partner with LACI and the City of Santa Monica to bring our zero emission, low-cost delivery service to the ZEDZ pilot.  With Coco, local restaurants and markets avoid the high fees, pollution, and traffic generated by traditional delivery services.  Our deliveries are also contact-free, providing our customers, vehicle pilots, and partner businesses, a safer option during the pandemic.  We believe the ZEDZ pilot will be a tremendous success and that other cities will be quick to follow!” — Zach Rash, CEO

Kiwibot
“Kiwibot is excited to join the ZEDZ pilot in Santa Monica. Our cute, cooler-sized kiwibots will accelerate the adoption of robotic delivery by creating an emotional link with Santa Monica locals. Our bots provide eco-friendly services for customer convenience. Amongst others, we have partnered with Shopify for order placement, and Blue Systems for operational data via MDS. Our primary mission is to support Santa Monica in reducing city emissions and developing a better infrastructure for the future.”

Motiv Power Systems
“Electrifying Alsco’s fleet is another important step in the fight to eliminate air pollution stemming from the combustion of fossil fuels. Motiv’s EPIC F-59 step vans are ideal for LACI’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone (ZEDZ) to help drive clean transportation. We hope the learnings from this project can be utilized to scale efforts nationwide.” — Matt O’Leary, Chairman and CEO

Lightning eMotors
“Deploying commercial zero emission electric vehicles now is an investment that is critical for workforce development, provides outcome fleet data by flipping the history switch and has positive health impacts for our local communities today and our future generations. Lightning eMotors is proud to support LACI and Santa Monica in this groundbreaking pilot and provide the blueprint for future zero emission zones to follow.”

Tortoise
“Tortoise remote-controlled sidewalk delivery carts that can carry 100+ pounds of groceries, meal kits, parcels, and retail goods will be a perfect compliment to the Santa Monica ZEDZ program.  Tortoise empowers any business, small or large, to offer their customers the magic of affordable zero-emissions same-day delivery. We couldn’t be more excited to work with the Santa Monica community to demonstrate how safe, friendly, and accessible remote-controlled sidewalk delivery can be!”

Blue Systems
“We are humbled and very excited to have been chosen to participate in this innovative project,” said Christophe Arnaud, Blue Systems CEO. “The mission of this project resonates with Blue Systems. Cutting edge zero emission vehicles and devices doing deliveries while being connected to our Mobility Manager Platform aligns with our mission of providing cities with smart mobility software solutions. In this case, it will allow LACI and Santa Monica to analyze the impact of electric mobility devices operating in a zero emissions delivery zone. It was hard to imagine even five years ago that robots would be making deliveries while City officials use a dashboard to visualize trips, analyze metrics and explore KPIs (including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions), and enact smart urban mobility policies based on the analysis. We are proud to provide our technology to LACI and the City of Santa Monica for this project.”

 

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LACI Report Lays Out Path to Create 600,000 Green Jobs Countywide by 2050

For Immediate Release
Contact: anthony@laci.org

Report Makes Key Recommendations Needed at Local, State Federal Level to Achieve Goal & Ensure an Equitable, Inclusive Green Economy

LOS ANGELES, CA – A new report released on Friday by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), researched by HR&A Advisors, and funded by the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB), and the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board, offers an in-depth analysis of the landscape of green jobs in Los Angeles County and lays forth a course of recommended actions on workforce investment to grow an economy in Los Angeles that is greener, stronger, and more inclusive.

Of the overall 40 percent job growth estimated by HR&A for Los Angeles County by 2050, the report finds that green jobs could grow nearly 80 percent, from 338,000 to 600,000 jobs over the same time period. The study also analyzes and details the makeup of the green jobs that exist across Los Angeles County today. For example, in addition to traditionally considered green jobs like solar installers, LACI and HR&A note that there is a broader spectrum of green jobs which are critical to supporting sustainability, ranging from electricians and contractors to engineers and software developers. 

The report also provides a breakdown of four recommended actions needed for green jobs, including how green jobs can drive an equitable recovery due to the COVID-19 economic crisis:

  • Accelerate Economic Recovery: Drive economic recovery and boost green job creation through increased public investment in infrastructure, such as the Transportation Electrification Partnership’s $150 billion proposed federal stimulus package.
  • Bolster the Workforce Pipeline: Change local, state, and federal funding criteria to update and bolster existing workforce training programs to better prepare individuals with green jobs knowledge and resources for growing sectors such as EV charging, and build capacity to create more responsive and nimble workforce training for future segments of the green economy.
  • Advance Equity and Inclusion: Increase underrepresented populations in green industries through project labor agreements and community benefit agreements, and support workforce training designed for underrepresented populations through paid apprenticeships, outreach programs, grants and scholarships, and soft skill development programs.
  • Clearly Define Green Jobs and Track Metrics: Improve evaluation of green industry performance metrics, including reassessing the Bureau of Labor Statistics industry and occupational classifications, and conduct a new and California-specific Green Goods and Services (“GGS”) survey to gather information about regional and statewide industry strengths. 

“LACI and our partners came together to study the future of green jobs in Los Angeles and what’s needed to ensure we create an inclusive green economy here in Los Angeles and beyond,” said LACI CEO Matt Petersen. “We will pursue the reports recommendations with policymakers at every level of government—including with our new partners in the Biden Administration—to invest in workforce development to create opportunity in every community as we pursue racial, climate, and economic justice.”

“Addressing the climate crisis is an environmental necessity, a moral imperative, and a massive economic opportunity with the potential to unlock widespread prosperity for a generation,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “LACI’s new report opens a window into what a more sustainable, equitable future might look like –– as long as we follow through on our commitments and make the right investments in building a green economy that works for everyone.”

“I’m really proud of the partnership we have with LACI and our work together. At the core of our relationship is a shared mission to create a pipeline for quality green jobs and make them accessible to communities that have been underrepresented in cleantech,” said California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles). “ I’m looking forward to scaling up this successful model especially during this time of change and opportunity.”

“It took a pandemic to get us clean air in Boyle Heights and other communities that live with the negative impacts of pollution — that shouldn’t have to be the case,” said California State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles). “This report shows that we can have clean air every day of the week if we move towards the green economy the team at LACI has laid out.”

The OurCounty Sustainability Plan envisions a prosperous LA County that provides opportunities for all residents and businesses and supports the transition to a green economy,” said Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Officer Gary Gero. “Understanding the pathways to promote inclusive growth across the changing economy is important and that’s why this deep dive analysis on careers that support family sustaining wages is a big deal.  We applaud LACI on the release of this report.”

“The findings related to job quality standards and community benefits for public investments are consistent with the high road agenda that has been adopted by the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and our regional, industry-based, worker-focused job training partnerships that bring together workers, employers, and communities to collaboratively address job quality and access in their industries, improve competitiveness in a carbon-constrained economy, and build economic, social, and environmental resilience for the state,” said CWDB Executive Director Tim Rainey. “We believe that all jobs will be impacted by climate change, and our High Road Training Partnerships use an equity, climate and jobs strategy in pursuing a just recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic, and serve as a national model for recovery that is necessary for the state to hit the goal of an inclusive and robust carbon neutral economy by 2045.”

At a virtual event held on Friday the report was discussed with a panel that included California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), California State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), and leaders in workforce development and business that are focused on expanding green job opportunities within Los Angeles. 

The clear message from the report is that public and private sector leaders must unite now to ensure that the post-COVID recovery bolsters a Southern California economy that is greener, more inclusive, and more resilient. 

Read the full report here at laincubator.org/greenjobsreport/.

Statement from LACI CEO on President Biden’s Executive Actions on Climate

LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator CEO and President Matt Petersen released the following statement in reaction to President Biden’s announcement of executive actions to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad, create jobs, and restore scientific integrity across the federal government.

“We applaud President Biden’s bold executive actions on climate today which make clear that our nation can and will tackle climate, economic, and racial justice together. We know that moving to zero emissions transportation and 100 percent clean energy is key to economic growth, green job creation, and climate action. Disadvantaged and frontline communities suffer the worst consequences of air pollution and the extreme heat and other climate impacts, yet also lack adequate transportation options. These important actions laid out by the White House will get us to the future our team at LACI is working to build every day.

“The order to replace the federal vehicle fleet with EVs moves the nation one step closer to a zero emissions transportation future and sends a powerful signal to the marketplace. As the former Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles, I know the purchasing power of the government and the power of the federal government’s purse is enormous. President Biden’s executive action will help create demand for EVs and reduce the fuel and maintenance costs for government agencies. 

“We look forward to working with the Biden Administration to reduce climate and air pollution, improve public health, put Americans back to work, and restart our economy through his $2 trillion Build Back Better infrastructure stimulus plan. That’s why over 75 local governments, utilities, labor groups, cleantech startups, incubators and corporations across 16 states are supporting the Transportation Electrification Partnership’s comprehensive $150 billion federal stimulus proposal for manufacturing EVs, installing charging infrastructure, supporting zero emissions public and active transit, accelerating workforce training, and unlocking innovation from startups, including underrepresented founders.”

LACI’s Leimert Park Pilot Increasing Zero-Emissions Mobility Options In South LA




E-Bike Rentals and Electric Shuttle Service Launched With Community Input

LOS ANGELES, CA –

LACI recently launched its fourth community pilot in Leimert Park with a consortium of community partners to bring zero emissions mobility to the South LA neighborhood. The pilot is the fourth pilot launched under the Zero Emissions Mobility and Community Pilot Project Fund, which provides clean and affordable transportation solutions as well as benefits of the green economy through workforce development and job creation. The Leimert Park Pilot provides courier and commuter e-bike rentals from Zoomo and neighborhood electric vehicle shuttles from Circuit. In addition, ghost kitchen and delivery service, Chewbox, is the third participating company that will expand their service offering to include Leimert Park’s own South LA Cafe specialties to patrons across LA County. 

Funded by the California State Legislature via GoBiz to support zero emission transportation in underserved communities, LACI selected and deployed technologies after deep community engagement in the Greater Leimert Park Village Crenshaw Corridor community that included outreach to local elected officials, business owners, and grassroots organizations to assess their greatest transportation needs. 

“The issues of racial, economic, and climate justice are inextricably linked–working hand-in-hand with one of Los Angeles’ historically Black communities, it’s our goal to create an inclusive green economy,” said Matt Petersen, LACI’s President and CEO. “ Launching this fourth community pilot in Leimert Park was quite special — especially because of the extraordinary input we got from so many community leaders who we are proud to call partners.”

“For far too long, people of color and poor communities have borne disproportionate harm from air and climate pollution. I’m excited that LACI and their community partners are launching this project in Leimert Park that lacks access to zero emissions mobility solutions,” said Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles). “I’m proud that the legislature and State is supporting this project, and hope that this community pilots program can serve as a model for other programs in underserved communities in the L.A. region.”

“I am thrilled to see this pilot in Leimert Park which continues to be a hub for creativity and innovation in South LA,” shared Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles). “This initiative is helping to revitalize our local workforce while offering timely options for our residents to travel safely during this pandemic. The courier shuttles and electric bikes provide solo transportation that helps protect our environment and the health of our communities.”

“LACI’s partnership with South L.A. businesses is the type of work that will help our Black and Latino entrepreneurs sustain through this pandemic. The small business community continues to innovate and serve our neighborhoods during these difficult times,” said L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (D-8). “Our city must continue to support small businesses and connecting them to new technology and transportation options is a great way to help them connect with residents.”

“It’s indisputable that the impacts of pollution are profound and that we need to move with a sense of urgency in our transition to cleaner, greener mobility solutions. I’m proud that not only are we piloting this potentially impactful initiative in Leimert Park with LACI, but that we’re doing it in a way that engages our entrepreneurs and supports our local workforce,” said L.A. City Councilmember District Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-10). “We don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and good jobs—we can and we must have both.”

Two of these local businesses, Ride On! Bike Shop and South LA Cafe, have participated in LACI’s Founders Business Accelerator, and are organizers and activists in their community. Another community partner is Ben Caldwell, artist, filmmaker, activist, and founder of KAOS Networkz. Caldwell is also a founding member of SankofaCity, a Leimert Park led initiative focused on afrofuturism designs for urban technology that include automated Neighborhood Electric Vehicles built locally. 

We Love Leimert, a local organizing group focused on creating sustainable opportunities for Leimert Park residents, was engaged to run a digital community feedback campaign on select zero emission mobility options. The Greater Leimert Park Village Crenshaw Corridor Business Improvement District (GLPVCC), Community Build Inc., Destination Crenshaw, and the Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) / Institute for Maximum Human Potential also helped with community outreach and project scoping. 

 The pilot program began in November and features technology from Circuit, a neighborhood electric vehicle shuttle service, offering both flag down and on-demand (via a mobile app) service within the designated pilot coverage area. Circuit was also recently accepted into LACI’s latest Market Access program. 

Chewbox, a software platform for ghost kitchens, is partnering with South LA Cafe. The South LA Cafe menu and eventually Market will be offered on the app and be delivered on set routes throughout LA County. This partnership will pilot their drink delivery service as well as be the first onboarded third-party restaurant which will test the increased revenue goals Chewbox aims to deliver. Chewbox is also a member of LACI’s latest Market Access cohort.


Zoomo
, e-bike rentals for couriers and commuters, is partnering with local Ride On! Bike Shop / Co-op to host the rental service. Ride On! Bike Shop / Co-op will not only be the location of service but also receive a revenue share. Complementary to the e-bike rentals launched for local couriers, rentals for commuters began at the end of the year. 

In addition to the technologies and services deployed in Leimert Park, this six month pilot will focus on local hiring for shuttle drivers, e-Bike mechanics, and operations staff. The pilot will run training and education workshops and seek to establish partnerships with local groceries and restaurants for food delivery to support local businesses during the pandemic and beyond. 

“We Love Leimert is proud to partner with LACI, Ride On Bike Shop, and Kaos Networkz to propel the Greater Leimert Park Village Crenshaw Corridor community into the future by providing access to clean and green transportation technology via the zero emissions mobility pilot,” said Kaya Dantzler, Co-Lead Organizer of We Love Leimert. “Our section of South Los Angeles is well known for our contributions to LA’s rich art and culture scene and we have so much to contribute to the development of our city beyond the creative industry. Given that, it’s exciting to contribute to an effort that  combats the destructive impacts of the systemic economic and environmental racism that has plagued South LA for decades and expands the green economy in our community.”

“Circuit is extremely excited to have partnered with LACI and the local community to provide an innovative and eco-friendly transportation option for a part of town that is currently underserved by public transportation, and we have seen immediate success,” said Daniel Kramer, Director of Operations and New Business at Circuit. “We look forward to building on this success and providing connections to public transportation in the area as the Leimert Park community continues to grow.”

“As the founder of ChewBox, and a native of both Watts and Silicon Valley, I am proud to leverage technology to empower hard working low income households with greater access to the gig economy. LACI was highly instrumental in helping us secure a pilot partnership with South LA Cafe, resulting in a rare symbiosis: where two black-owned companies join forces to expand their collective reach, resources, and reinvestment in the community,” said Kim Gaston, Comisar.io / Chewbox Founder. “As a result, we can offer discounts on chef made meals to families throughout LA County, and with every purchase delivered donated meals to those in need, all while providing jobs and gig work to low income families.”

Statement from the Transportation Electrification Partnership Regarding Governor Gavin Newsom’s Proposed 2021-2022 Budget

LOS ANGELES, CA – “On behalf of the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP), we applaud and thank Governor Newsom for including $1.5 billion for infrastructure and incentives in his budget proposal to implement the state’s bold zero emission vehicle goals to create jobs, advance equity, and electrify goods movement. This is a key step toward achieving our bold regional targets by 2028, and statewide goals by 2035 and beyond. We also look forward to working with the Newsom Administration and the Legislature to advance our proposal for a California EV Authority to ensure we meet these goals while growing our economy and ensuring all communities benefit from these proposed investments.

TEP is calling for the creation of a California Electric Vehicle Authority (CEVA) to enhance the coordination and financing tools needed to accelerate the transition for vehicles and charging infrastructure while boosting equity, job creation, workforce training, and economic development. The CEVA was introduced in the last legislative session via SB633 by Senator Henry Stern.

In addition, we need to work with our federal partners to support transportation electrification here in greater Los Angeles, across California, and throughout the nation. To help put people back to work, restart our economy, and clean our air, LACI and 74 companies, business organizations and labor groups across the country have advocated for a $150 billion federal stimulus proposal to be included in infrastructure stimulus in response to the economic crisis precipitated by the COVID pandemic.”

ABOUT TEP

The Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) is an unprecedented regional public-private collaboration to accelerate deep reductions in climate and air pollution by the time of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games by pursuing bold targets, pilots, initiatives, and policies that are equity-driven, create quality jobs, and grow the economy.

Current members include:

Leadership Group: Mayor Garcetti, CARB, County of Los Angeles, LADWP, LA Metro, Southern California Edison, LACI

Advisory Group: Audi of America, BMW Group, ENGIE Impact, Nissan of North America, PCS Energy, BYD Motors, Normal Now sponsored by Electrify America, Greenlots, Itron, Proterra, AMPLY Power, Burbank Water & Power, Clean Power Alliance, Culver City, East Bay Community Energy, Glendale Water & Power, Inglewood, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 11 / National Electrical Contractors Association Los Angeles County, Metrolink, Pasadena Water & Power, Santa Monica, Southern California Public Power Authority, Tesla

ABOUT LACI

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles by: unlocking innovation by working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies; transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market leaders in transportation, energy and sustainable cities; and enhancing communities through workforce development, pilots, and other programs. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past ten years, LACI has helped 236 portfolio companies raise $508 million in funding, $272 million in revenue, and create over 2,100 jobs in the Los Angeles region. Learn more at laci.org.

LACI Announces First Year of Investments from $5 Million Early Stage Impact Investment Fund

Exactly one year ago, LACI announced the LACI Impact Fund (LIF) for early-stage cleantech startups, as part of a relaunch of its cohort-based startup program. The $5 million LIF considers investment in LACI portfolio companies that are in good standing, have an active round of investment with a lead investor, and have demonstrated strong commitment to impact. The LIF provides our startups with an opportunity to have access to capital that aligns with LACI’s social impact priorities. In 2020, LACI invested in 6 companies, with a number of companies in its pipeline for future investments.

LACI-incubated startups are eligible to apply to the LIF if they: A) have an open and active round with a specified lead; B) secure a sufficient score based on their commitment to environmental, social and economic impact. Startups selected for this year’s incubation cohort will be eligible for investments as well. The application deadline is this Friday, January 15. Startups selected for LACI’s incubation program and for the LACI Impact Fund must focus on one of LACI’s Technological Priorities: Zero Emissions Transportation, Clean Energy and Circular Economy.

“Through the LACI Impact Fund, we are delighted to invest in our startup companies that are working day in and out to create an inclusive green economy,” said Matt Petersen, Managing Director of the Fund and CEO of LACI, reflecting on the investments to date.

The launch of the LIF included investments in Seatrec and FreeWire. Subsequently, 6 companies received funding from the Impact Fund in 2020, and continue to scale their products into markets across the country and world. All LACI Impact Fund companies are listed below:

  • Ampaire
    Founders: Kevin Noertker & Cory Combs
    Company Mission: Ampaire is designing and developing high performance zero-emission aircraft to help improve efficiency and reduce aviation’s impact on climate change.
  • Envoy
    Founders: Aric Ohana & Ori Sagie
    Company Mission: Envoy is committed to providing affordable, convenient and sustainable shared mobility to communities by offering Mobility as an Amenity™ where you live, work, or stay.
  • FreeWire
    Founder: Arcady Sosinov
    Company Mission: FreeWire Technologies provides clean, quiet mobile power and fast charging that’s easy to deploy, wherever and whenever you need it.
  • Nature Coatings
    Founder: Jane Palmer
    Company Mission: Nature Coatings transforms wood waste into high performing black pigments.
  • Pick My Solar
    Founders: Max Aram & Chris Blevins
    Company Mission: Pick My Solar is the first managed marketplace for the residential solar and energy storage market.
  • Repurpose
    Founder:
    Lauren Gropper
    Company Mission: Repurpose is a line of sustainable tableware that looks out for the health of you, your family, and the planet.
  • Seatrec
    Founder: Yi Chao
    Company Mission: Seatrec designs and manufactures energy harvesting solutions that generate electricity from naturally occurring temperature differences in ocean waters.
  • Xeal
    Founders: Xander Isaacson & Nikhil Bhardwaj
    Company Mission: Xeal accelerates electric vehicle adoption by making charging stations work anywhere for anyone.

The LACI Impact Fund will continue investing in new cleantech innovation throughout 2021. To find out more about the LACI Incubation Program or the Impact Fund, please visit LACI’s Incubation Program. Applications for the 2nd Incubation Cohort program are open until January 15th, 2021. 

Circuit Provides New Rochelle’s ‘Drive’ To a Smart & Sustainable City

The City of New Rochelle is in the middle of a remarkable once-in-a-generation redevelopment of its Downtown Corridor across 12 million square feet to build thousands of new units of housing and create an environment where New Rochelle can lead on culture, community, and innovation.  But like any new building, our redevelopment is also prioritizing the amenities and quality-of-life that come along with it, including doubling down on our transportation and technology strategy that New Rochelle is integrating into the very fabric of our transformation into a smart city, a key component to encourage and promote future growth. And one of the city’s “smartest” investments to date has been its new free, on-demand, electric shuttle service Circuit New Rochelle (NR).

Accelerating a Reliable, Clean Energy Future

This past summer California experienced extreme heat due to the climate crisis, exacerbating and challenging the electric grid to maintain reliable electric service. The result of raging wildfires and prolonged heat waves combined with other grid planning factors led to power outages and rotating blackouts that had not occurred since the 2001 energy crisis.  Severe weather conditions, like the summer heat wave, create new challenges in keeping the lights on, exacerbating grid weaknesses, and disproportionately putting vulnerable communities at risk. 

In response to the climate crisis which is impacting California at a pace ahead of scientific models, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced his commitment to explore accelerating the state’s decarbonization goals, including the goal of a clean energy grid by 2045. At a press conference in fire-stricken Butte County, Newsom stated, “I think 2045 is too late” to get to a clean energy grid. 

These distressing conditions can serve as a catalyst to develop an electric system that can better withstand the consequences of climate change, while accelerating our move to clean energy as well as transportation electrification. As such, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) supports the Governor’s commitment to accelerate the transition to a clean energy grid that was established by groundbreaking legislation in SB 100 and his recent Executive Order to accelerate the deployment of electric transportation. 

These market signals from California policy makers, along with a Biden Administration that is supportive of an ambitious and equitable clean energy revolution, call for innovation from our state’s entrepreneurs. At LACI, we are demonstrating how these clean technologies will enable this improved, resilient grid through startups, partnerships, and pilots.

Exactly one month before California experienced its first of two rotating blackouts, LACI launched a small-scale electric vehicle (EV) community car-share pilot that is illustrating resiliency on the electric grid. LACI, in partnership with community partner Pacoima Beautiful, Envoy – a LACI startup – and Nissan deployed EVs to a community center in the San Fernando Gardens housing development, while keeping the needs of the community front and center. At the core, the pilot provides affordable and accessible clean transportation options, which are critical to the low-income community that is also burdened by poor air quality and can lack access to transportation. 

To ensure resiliency, we incorporated an off-grid, solar-powered electric vehicle supply equipment with battery backup that can serve as an emergency source of power for portable devices in the event of a power outage.  As the public and private sectors work together to create a clean, reliable electricity grid, we need to think creatively about how we can incorporate these types of solutions across every neighborhood.

Along with off-grid and local clean energy solutions, a modern, reliable grid will also need to solve for utility scale technologies. California has done an incredible job of accelerating the adoption of solar energy with approximately 28,000 megawatts installed since 2005. As Governor Newsom moves to accelerate solar and clean energy ahead of 2045, the fast deployment of various forms of storage is necessary. Alumina Energy, another LACI startup, provides distributed and utility energy storage solutions that turn renewables into 24-hour dispatchable resources that are cost-competitive or lower than fossil fuels. Alumina’s technology is a packed bed thermal energy storage that has a 30+ years life cycle – making it cost-effective and a long-term solution. This type of distributed and utility-scale technology becomes even more critical when we think about the diverse set of solutions we’ll need to properly respond to the disruptive and different types of extreme weather events. 


(Pictured: the launch of Pacoima Electro-Share with
Pacoima Beautiful and Envoy in the early summer of 2020)

Lastly, when we think of grid resiliency, we also need to consider the energy-transportation nexus. California is a leader when it comes to clean transportation. The state has a goal for there to be 5 million EVs on California roads by 2030 and recently, the Governor signed an executive order to phase out the sale of new gas-powered passenger cars and trucks by 2035 and a transition to 100% zero-emission heavy duty short-haul drayage trucks by 2035 and other heavy-duty vehicles by 2045. 

LACI and the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) are working towards a target of 30% of all passenger cars in LA County to be electric by the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As we work with our partners to advance progress towards these goals, we are supporting the discovery of new technologies that are needed to enable greater use of EVs and the efficient dispatch of energy, as needed, to support the grid. AMPLY Power and NeoCharge are two LACI startups that demonstrate this insight. AMPLY Power offers customized charging solutions to commercial fleet operators that optimize grid conditions to maximize savings. NeoCharge optimizes EV charging solutions in a manner that makes charging more cost-competitive for apartments and condos, while also supporting the needs of the grid. Additional work is needed to ensure these types of vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-building technologies are incentivized to come online to support grid resiliency. 

As California establishes new climate goals, we need to keep in mind that we need to move aggressively and inclusively to meet the needs of a clean and reliable energy grid. These recent heat waves, combined with massive wildfires throughout the state, demonstrate that we need to act now. LACI will continue to drive forth solutions and innovations with the public and private sectors to ensure an equitable, clean, and reliable energy future.