Events & Media

Bren School Is Stop on Toyota’s Electric Car Tour of California
Video interviews conducted by TreeHugger founder to be featured on tour website

Sept. 25, 2012

Santa Barbara, Calif. — Representatives from Bren School Corporate Partner Toyota were at Bren Hall Sept. 26 conducting interviews and shooting video as part of the company’s RAV4EV “charge-to-charge” tour.

The electric RAV4 outside Bren Hall

The Toyota team is conducting the two-week tour to give Californians the opportunity to learn about and drive the new all-electric version of the popular RAV4 SUV. The crew parked a blue RAV4 outside of Bren Hall and then used it as the backdrop for a video session that included interviews with Assistant Dean for Academic Programs Satie Airamé; Assistant Professor Sarah Anderson, second-year MESM student James Choe, and Bren Hall Building Engineer Sage Davis.

They were interviewed by Graham Hill, a founder of, who is hosting a real-time web series during the tour. The videos are intended to present some of California’s most intriguing environmental visionaries and innovations. He spoke to the Bren contingent about the overall thrust of the Bren School program, Master’s Group Projects, and the sustainability features that have earned Bren Hall two LEED Platinum certifications.

Each day a video will be published online at

“Between the obvious innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and the amazing subtle leaps being made by inventors across the state, California has emerged as one of the most exciting places in the world for those interested in innovation,” said Hill. “This tour offers an incredible chance to talk to some of the people doing amazing work.  I can’t wait to see what we learn.” 

Graham Hll (back left) interviews second-year MESM student James Choe.

The Bren School has played a role in the Toyota’s sustainability practices. Jana Hartline (MESM 2004) is Environmental Communications Manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, in Torrance, California, and members of a 2008 Group Project created a life cycle assessment tool called the Environmental Packaging Impact Calculator (EPIC) to support packaging engineers in evaluating packaging options for parts distributed from the Torrance headquarters.

The tour kicked-off at the Green Drive Expo in Richmond, California, on Sept. 22 and continues through Sept.30 with stops at shows and events for alterative-fuel vehicles, including EV Week and the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica.