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USA: Electric car forum at ICAR could be jobs spark

Joachim Taiber, an ICAR professor and former BMW researcher who is IEEE electric vehicle conference chairman. Professor Taiber poses with an all electric Nissan Leaf. / KEN OSBURN/Staff
Greenville becomes ground zero for electric vehicle research for five days starting Sunday when the leading professional society for electrical engineers kicks off its first international conference on electric vehicles at the TD Convention Center.

The conference — sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers — will bring together leading corporate and academic researchers from around the world.

Local organizers say they hope it boosts Greenville’s reputation as a center for automotive technology and forges new relationships that lead to job creation down the road.

In one event that’s not on the program, they have arranged a private meeting with industry figures to lay out plans for an electric vehicle test track at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center.

Among the major corporations expected to be represented at the conference are BMW, Siemens, Bosch, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Verizon, ABB, John Deere, Duke Energy, IBM and General Electric.

“We have spent a lot of time in the past year and a half building business relationships with companies that we hope after they see Greenville would like to come back and invest in the Upstate,” said Lee Stogner, a local engineer and marketing consultant.

Stogner helped organize the conference as chairman of IEEE’s electric vehicle initiative, with help from Joachim Taiber, a professor at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research who is also the conference chair.

Stogner said he is expecting about 600 attendees representing 70 companies and 70 universities from 40 countries, including such faraway places as Israel, South Africa, Argentina, Iran and Croatia.

Much of the conference will be taken up with the presentation of technical papers, but the agenda also includes speeches by leading industry figures such as Andrew Brown, executive director and chief technologist for Delphi, the global automotive supplier; Jay Iyengar, head of electrified propulsion systems for Chrysler; and Dennis R. Beal, vice president of global vehicles for FedEx Express.
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1 comment to USA: Electric car forum at ICAR could be jobs spark

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