Geography: Johanna Levene, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Audience: Alumni, Current Student, Faculty
Geography & the Environment Colloquium:
Are Electric Vehicles Going to Save the Nation? Are There Other Options?
Transportation Applications and Data Analysis Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Johanna Levene’s seventeen-year career at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has focused on analyzing alternative fuels. Hydrogen, propane, natural gas, ethanol, biodiesel, and electricity can all be used to move goods and people instead of gasoline or diesel, and each have different benefits. Since graduation, she has begun supporting the Department of Energy and the White House in understanding the implementation path for the Biden administration’s goal of installing 500,000 electric chargers nationwide. Levene’s capstone project, Feasibility of Using Alternative Fuels to Transport University of Denver Athletes, evaluated the potential for five different alternative fuels to bus University of Denver Athletes to events. Leveraging information from the United States Federal Highway Administration’s Alternative Fuel Corridors program and the United States Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator, the study found natural gas and electricity had the highest potential for success. However, a change in administration brings new priorities to the alternative fuel arena, and a change of direction to studies like Levene’s capstone analysis, completed in November. After an overview of her capstone, Levene will discuss the administration’s electric charging goals and it’s impacts on both her capstone and other existing alternative fuel efforts. She will close with a description of how her coursework and class projects helped strengthen her analysis capabilities and contributed to her recognition as a national leader in alternative fuel markets.