I’ve been passionate about the betterment of public health all of my professional life. In college, it was my dream to work for a large, health-focused nonprofit, which I was able to achieve at the American Lung Association. My early career experiences in the private sector showed me how impactful businesses can be in driving sustainability goals. Combining business with wellness led me to a career with clean transportation. And after I became a mom, it was more imperative than ever for me to focus on the health of our environment.
The combining of these interests brought to me to my current position with clean mobility trailblazers Roush and ROUSH CleanTech, which links my passion for promoting public health through a laser focus on clean mobility.
ROUSH CleanTech helps customers achieve their sustainability goals with viable clean energy solutions. These solutions include the development of ultra-low-nitrogen oxide propane autogas vehicles, battery electric vehicles, fuel-cell models, hybrid and others. Bring in Roush’s full suite of mobility services – including design, engineering, prototyping, testing and manufacturing – and you can see how it encompasses ROUSH CleanTech’s entire product development cycle.
Virtually every company is working toward setting and meeting sustainability goals. But they often don’t know where to start. The questions we often get asked at the start of a customer’s transition to clean mobility are: What am I mandated to do and by what date? Which incentives exist to help me pay for this? Can you calculate my carbon reductions? What will the impact be to my company and customers?
My belief that today’s incentives are tomorrow’s mandates. To me, this means that policy is driving the market – making the transition to clean mobility inevitable. That’s where ROUSH CleanTech’s government affairs team is crucial. Many funding opportunities exist but it’s often difficult for fleets to know where to start and how to understand the myriad legislation and mandates, including time caps on implementation.
Case in point: ROUSH CleanTech’s government affairs team is currently working with a global fleet operation that has to answer to internal stakeholders, customers and the federal government. Our task is to help the organization find the right clean e-mobility solutions to answer to everyone. We’re also in conversations about complex sustainability projects as varied as onboard carbon dioxide capture for semi-trucks to space thin-film durable solar material for aerospace vehicles.
It isn’t easy, but I like a quote shared by a colleague from Martin H. Fischer that sums up what our team does:
“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.”
In short, we separate knowledge and wisdom. Companies can often only afford to transition to clean mobility with funding and incentives, and for fleet operators, it may feel overwhelming. We apply our years of collective wisdom to simplify the journey through the legislative maze and product solutions.
For example, to electrify a fleet, you may need to stack several different grants. It can feel like scaling a mountain to figure that out, but we help our customers navigate those complexities. We understand the nuances of the process – what laws are being considered; the latest on low-carbon options; what involvement is needed from internal departments; in-depth knowledge of funding sources and regulations and much more.
Roush and ROUSH CleanTech have been part of many success stories, the most recent of which was the launch of the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services’ Center for Green Innovation last month. Our new Ford F-650 battery electric truck was one of several zero-emissions vehicles that StreetsLA introduced, including trucks and street sweepers, along with its planned green initiatives.
When it comes to clean mobility, we’re everywhere, moving people and product with advanced technologies. Roush encompasses 45 years of developing both prototype and product vehicle technology for the automotive, specialty vehicle and even military markets. We have the technical bonafides. Now couple that with our government affairs expertise in federal and state legislation and available funding, and you get the Roush advantage. We offer all the solutions.
Helping fleets decarbonize and become better stewards of our planet, I often find that my job is a great marriage of things I care deeply about – clean air, business and, most importantly, sustainability. Really, it’s a dream come true for me.
Natalia Swalnick is director of government affairs for ROUSH CleanTech.
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