E041 - Proterra CEO Predicts EV Adoption Timeline with Ryan Popple


Manage episode 201901688 series 1325109
By SolarWakeup Live! With Yann Brandt and Yann Brandt. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
What Happened: In this edition of the SolarWakeup Live! podcast, Yann Brandt sat down with Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra, an electric vehicle manufacturer currently focused on building buses and driving and discussed: why China is so far ahead of the United States in EV development, how Tesla made it from being a small startup to the electric vehicle behemoth it is today (Popple was present at the creation), and how soon will there be an EV in every driveway (OK, that last one's made up, but they do talk about how quickly mass-transit EVs will be adopted) SolarWakeup’s View: I will never tire of listening to energy visionaries describe the future in terms that I, with my limited understanding of my day-to-day life let alone the FUTURE, haven't even conceived of yet. And so I listened with great interest to Managing Editor Yann Brandt's podcast interview with Ryan Popple from Proterra, an electric vehicle (EV) company dedicated to putting electric, mass transit buses in all U.S. cities in the near future. The whole interview is worth listening to, but as you can see from the bullets above, three things really captured my imagination: First, Popple talks about what it was like to be present at the creation (or at least the early years) at Tesla. What I was most interested in, honestly, was his contention that you don't necessarily have to have the best technology when you first start a business as long as you have the top intellectual talent throughout the company to get you there eventually. It's a sentiment Popple shares with Jim Collins, former Stanford Business School professor and best-selling author of the book Good to Great: Put the best people you can hire in key positions first; then the products will follow. Second, Popple talks about why China is so far ahead of the United States in EV development. His explanation will be obvious to anyone who ever sat in their college dorms at 2 a.m. discussing the merits of communism vs capitalism and coming to the conclusion that ultimately, capitalism wins - eventually. Third, Yann asks Popple when he thinks EV development, at least on the mass transit front that Proterra serves, will hit 50% of all the purchases of those types of vehicles. Your jaw may well drop when you hear his answer (I know mine did). Oh, and he has a prediction of what long-haul trucking will look like in 20 years that will blow your mind.

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