There’s never been a better time to get on the electric bandwagon, or should we say highway? Alan Dowdell, CEO of REVO Powertrains, joins our host Donna Loughlin on this episode of Before IT Happened to talk about the $400 billion global environmental problem he and his company are working to tackle, converting existing, gas-powered trucks and buses to electric. Alan and his team are meeting this enormous challenge head-on with an integrated platform that retrofits large vehicles with electric systems. Join us and discover how a powertrain kit could be the key to taking our vehicles into the future.
Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the idea before it happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life.
JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:
(02:09) - Alan Dowdell, the engineer who left Louisiana to experience the world - “One of the things is raising your hand to go places and do things that are hard, and if they might be interesting, even better! So that sort of led me to the idea of joining the military out of university and joining the submarine force.”
(06:29) - What turned Alan on to EV - “The MIT group here in the Bay Area was holding lectures, and I saw my first presentation around connected and autonomous and electric vehicles, and I said, ‘Hey! That's interesting. That's going to be something.’ This was around 2016 and I started looking at Tesla and looking at some of the other startups in the area.
(10:42) - On REVO Powertrains - “REVO is all about building zero-emission, fully-battery electric kits, powertrain kits, that can go into existing vehicles to repower them from dirty vehicles and upscale them, recycle them, to fully-battery electric.”
(11:28) - Why it’s important to convert gas-powered trucks to EVs - “They represent about 4% of the vehicles on the road, but they burn about 25% of our fuel, mostly diesel, which makes up about 25% of emissions."
(15:52) -An added benefit of converting to electric - “Depending on where you live and what you're paying for kilowatt hours, you can cut your fuel costs down to a quarter of what you're paying, or a third of what you're paying.”
(19:09) - On California and other states pushing for electric conversion - “They are going to find a lot of advocates being very active in the cities and they need a budget. They need support, and they need city councils and state legislation to help with some of the incentives and advantages that they can give to the fleets to electrify faster.”
(23:19) - One REVO powertrain kit to fit them all - “There are the six-liter engines, eight-liter engines, nine-liter engines. And that's there to create the torque. One of the great things about our powertrain kit is it applies the same kit to six, seven and eight.”
(26:52) The relationship between electric and autonomous vehicles - "It would be ridiculous to have an autonomous vehicle pull up to a gas pump and have a person put gas or diesel in it. So I think they coexist together.”
(31:08) Thinking differently about electric charging - “Almost all of the trips that you make on a daily basis are way under the range of the vehicle, so, I think the mental block is part of the big problem, not necessarily the physics of the problem.”
Connect with Alan Dowdell on LinkedIn
Learn more about REVO Powertrains
See the numbers in Mordor Intellegence’s report on the electric vehicles market
Listen to Before IT Happened’s: The Future of Autonomous Trucking with Paula Bejarano
Listen to Before IT Happened’s: Reforesting the planet with Troy Carter
Listen to Before IT Happened’s: Smarter Buildings, Smarter Planet with Mark Chung
Before IT Happened is produced by Donna Loughlin and StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by nodalab. All episodes are written and developed by Susanna Camp. The Show Coordinator is Nicole Genova and the Executive Producer is Katie Sunku Wood.