Events & Media

Feb. 24, 2014

Governor Appoints Bren Alumnus Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager

Bren alumnus Tyson Eckerle (MESM 2009) has been appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown as the first-ever zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure project manager in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Eckerle is the second Bren alumnus to be appointed by Governor Brown. In April 2012, Ashley Conrad-Saydah (MESM 2008) became assistant secretary for climate policy for the California Environmental Protection Agency and is now deputy secretary.

In his role, Eckerle will manage development of the infrastructure necessary to support Governor Brown’s ambitious goal of getting 1.5 million plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles onto the road by 2025.

Since 2009, Eckerle has worked at Energy Independence Now, a nonprofit dedicated to transitioning California to a clean energy and transportation economy.  He was promoted to executive director in 2011 after two years as assistant director.

Greening the transportation sector has proved to be a big challenge, especially in California. Despite modest improvements in public transportation, alternative commuting, and low-emissions vehicles, the average driver still gets around in a traditional fossil-fuel burning car, often as a single rider. High price points and a reliable charging network are seen as the main obstacles to widespread adoption of ZEVs.

As automaker efficiency and government incentives combine to bring down costs, Eckerle will work to develop the infrastructure necessary to generate a rapid shift toward the clean vehicles.