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New Indiana-Based Cleantech Research Partnership; First Activities in Heavy Hybrids and Plug-ins

A new Indiana-based cleantech partnership—The Energy Systems Network (ESN)—launched on Tuesday. The ESN brings together private firms, research institutions and public agencies focused on bringing new energy technologies to market through leveraging Indiana’s manufacturing sector and R&D capabilities. ESN will provide project development and coordination for joint ventures and cooperative partnerships between network members.

Private and institutional investors have already pledged nearly $1.5 million to support the ESN’s activities over the next two years.

ESN member companies/institutions include, among others: Duke Energy, Cummins, Delphi, Allison Transmission, Remy, IBM, SAIC, Rolls Royce, Raytheon, Indianapolis Power & Light, Brevini, I-Power, EnerDel, AltairNano, Bright Automotive, Rocky Mountain Institute, Midwest ISO, NSWC Crane, Purdue University, Indiana University, The University of Notre Dame, and Ivy Tech Community College.

The ESN is evaluating a pipeline of potential cleantech projects; two initial activities are:

  • The Hoosier Heavy Hybrid Partnership, focused on bringing more cost effective light, medium, and heavy duty hybrid trucks to market; and

  • Project Plug-IN, which will integrate plug-in electric vehicles and smart grid technologies to provide a green transportation solution to Central Indiana commuters in one of the nation’s first large-scale pilot projects.

The ESN Board of Directors includes:

  • Joe Loughrey (chair), retiring Vice-Chairman, Cummins
  • James Rogers, Chairman & CEO, Duke Energy
  • Jeff Owens, President & CEO, Delphi Safety and Electronics
  • Charles Gassenheimer, Chairman & CEO, Ener1 Corporation
  • Mike Hudson, President, I-Power Technologies
  • John Waters, President & CEO, Bright Automotive
  • Amory Lovins, Chairman & Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • France Cordova, President, Purdue University
  • Thomas Snyder, President, Ivy Tech Community College
  • Mark Miles,. President & CEO, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership

The Energy Systems Network is an initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an alliance of the CEOs of the region’s largest and most influential employers and major university presidents focused on long-term economic growth opportunities for Indiana. CICP also sponsors initiatives focused on the life sciences (BioCrossroads), advanced manufacturing and logistics (Conexus Indiana), information technology and entrepreneurship (TechPoint) and regional marketing and business attraction (the Indy Partnership).



CalStart, WestStart and others have been working for more than 5 years on hybrid trucks. These are the real fuel users and the biggest gains can be made here to start.


What we have here-ah, is a tendency to procrastinate.

There are few instances where heavy duty hybrid trucks will be practical, so I am sorry to see such intelligence and time wasted on researching how to build better buggy whips.

Electrified rail transport needs to supplant Class 8 over-the-road transport. Logistics that argues otherwise will be in large part so much vested interest.

Where it gets interesting is short haul from the rail endpoint. How do you best serve the interests of densely populated areas with the existing infrastructure? What approaches will have the smallest footprints in the next 10 years?

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