How Midwest cities and companies are accelerating electric transportation

Good Thursday afternoon, readers. There’s a lot of Midwest transportation tech news to cover today. Specifically, the news is about development and consumer adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Today’s headlines:

🚗 EVs:

  • Representatives from the University of Chicago Argonne lab and General Motors weigh in on how artificial intelligence is helping to improve the development of electric vehicle batteries, in the Wall Street Journal. The batteries are safer, charge faster, and are more sustainable than the currently used lithium-ion batteries.
  • Columbus, Ohio, is cited as one of three cities leveraging smart city concepts to improve transportation, reports Government Technology. Leaders are fueling a transition toward electric, shared, and connected vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • EVs are getting a lot of hype, but a host of challenges accompany work to develop adequate charging infrastructure to support greater EV adoption, reports Forbes. The article takes an in-depth look at Kansas City Power and Light’s infrastructure building efforts that reportedly contributed to the city becoming one of the country’s fastest-growing EV markets.
  • Also from Forbes, a look at U.S. consumer sentiment toward EVs in different market segments. Commercial fleet sales are booming, as evidenced by a deal for Michigan-based electric truck startup Rivian to produce EVs for Amazon.
  • Ford’s CEO said on a conference call this week that the automaker’s upcoming electric vehicles will be affordable to the average consumer, reports CleanTechnica.


    • University of Michigan researchers are collaborating with the Great Lakes Water Authority on a pilot project to improve Detroit’s water and sewer system with sensor technology that alerts the water utility to pipe stresses and other potential problems.
Wentao Wang, CEE Research Investigator, works with Great Lake Water Authority (GLWA) construction site workers to install sensors on a water pipe alteration in Detroit. Photo by Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering

🚜 AGRICULTURE: The U.S. Department of Agriculture details how innovations in the Great Lakes region are helping to solve climate change challenges in the agriculture sector. For example, farm technology is helping to monitor and develop sustainable solutions for improving soil and nearby watershed health.

🔀 ON THE MOVE: High-tech solid quartz glass product manufacturer QQE Summit is moving its headquarters from California to Dayton, Ohio, reports The company’s components are used in semiconductor, solar, fiber optic, and lighting applications.

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