Green Drives Conference comes to Chicago area in May

  • At the 2017 Green Drives Conference in Naperville, there were more than 40 environmentally friendly vehicles, including the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model S, as well as medium-and heavy-duty fleet vehicles powered by alternative fuels.

    At the 2017 Green Drives Conference in Naperville, there were more than 40 environmentally friendly vehicles, including the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model S, as well as medium-and heavy-duty fleet vehicles powered by alternative fuels. Courtesy of Scott Wetle

Posted4/10/2018 8:28 AM

Submitted by Chicago Area Clean Cities

Three Midwestern Clean Cities coalitions are hosting a major Chicago-area green-technology conference on Thursday, May 17.


The Lake Michigan Consortium -- a partnership between Clean Cities coalitions from Chicago, Wisconsin and Northern Indiana -- will host the 2018 Green Drives Conference and Expo at Northern Illinois University's Conference Center in Naperville.

"At Green Drives, we connect the people and technologies that help make sustainable transportation a reality," said John Walton, chair of Chicago Area Clean Cities.

"As one of the largest events of its kind in the Midwest, this conference is a great opportunity to learn about electric vehicles, alternative fuels, charging and fueling infrastructure, as well as funding and incentive programs to help green your fleet," Walton said.

"In 2017, more than 40 percent of our attendees were representatives from commercial and governmental fleets," Walton added.

Speakers and highlights of this year's program include:

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• John Davis, the Emmy Award-winning host of "MotorWeek," television's longest-running automotive series.

• Doyle Sumrall, managing director, NTEA -- The Association for the Work Truck Industry.

• John Boesel, president and CEO, CALSTART.

• Julie Furber, executive director, electrification business, Cummins.

• Advanced technologies, electric vehicles and alternative fuels will be showcased, including 40 green vehicles and up to 25 indoor exhibitors.

• An alternative-fuel vehicle ride-and-drive will be held.

• Executives from automakers will discuss their newest vehicles and technologies.

• Businesses and municipalities will discuss how they went green with their fleets.

"Green Drives showcases fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technologies for commercial, governmental and consumer use," said Carl Lisek, executive director of South Shore Clean Cities, which serves Northern Indiana.


"It also shines the spotlight on fleets in the tri-state region that operate using clean-burning fuels. Attendees will hear firsthand experiences from fleet managers who are using natural gas, propane, electric vehicles, and other petroleum-reduction strategies."

At the conference, the leaders of the three coalitions will also offer updates on funding opportunities and incentives that make clean transportation more affordable.

"Whether you are a small or large business, a fleet administrator, a dealer principal, a fuel supplier, a conversion company or work in clean technology and clean energy, there will be topics of interest and networking opportunities for you at Green Drives," said Lorrie Lisek, executive director of Wisconsin Clean Cities.

"We understand the challenges of busy schedules and budget constraints. This one-day event provides attendees with all of the benefits of a multiday conference in a central location to make it more accessible to a larger audience."

NIU's Conference Center is at 1120 E. Diehl Road, Naperville. To register for tickets or sponsor the event, visit

The Lake Michigan Consortium is comprised of three Clean Cities Coalitions: Chicago Area Clean Cities, South Shore Clean Cities and Wisconsin Clean Cities. The three nonprofit coalitions are focused on promoting cleaner energy for private and public fleets in the Chicago area, Wisconsin and Northern Indiana.

Created in 1999, the consortium is made up of more than 500 member organizations.

It serves a geographic population of nearly 16 million people with 11 counties that hold nonattainment status for the U.S. EPA 2008 Ground Ozone standard.

The trio of coalitions holds numerous outreach events and trainings aimed at educating the public, fleets, and automotive technicians.

There are nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions across the country affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling and improve fuel economy and air quality.

To become involved, visit,, and

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