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E-Spotlight: E Source

Welcome to another edition of E-Spotlight, where we give our Partners, Members, Clients, and Preferred Service Providers (PSPs) a chance to tell their story about their work with the California Mobility Center (CMC) and what they bring to the future mobility table. We are happy to introduce a post written by Matthew Burks, Chief Strategy Officer at E Source, one of our Preferred Service Providers. 

Big Challenges Require Big Ideas, and Big Ideas Require Massive Action

Matthew Burks, Chief Strategy Officer, E Source

I first heard about the California Mobility Center (CMC) three years ago, while catching up with Arlen Orchard, Mark Rawson, and Scott Ungerer during one of our industry’s many conferences. I remember thinking how bold the concept was and the strong need for a commercialization-focused ecosystem for mobility. Even before they described the details, I told them E Source wanted to be a part of it. Big challenges require big ideas, and big ideas require massive action.

Three years later, the California Mobility Center is officially launched! The CMC’s team, Clients, Members, and Preferred Service Providers are in place and continuing to grow, and E Source is still “in”. We continue to support the CMC however we can, but our primary goal is helping CMC Clients and Members deploy advanced mobility technology faster and smarter through our data, data science, market research, and program design experience. After 35 years working closely with North American utilities and cities on complex technology, program design and customer experience challenges, we are able to lead in several key areas:

CMC Partner Technology Assessment Design and Validation. Historically, new technology companies have to run unique pilots with multiple utilities, cities, or other entities due to a lack of buyer confidence in previous pilot designs and the associated results. It is not unusual for early-stage companies to get piloted into financial difficulty. They burn precious hours and resources trying to prove the technology without being able to raise money on those pilots because they need actual purchase orders. We can address this disconnect head on with intentional pilot design and upfront stakeholder collaboration and buy-in, as well as trusted third-party oversight, validation, and coordination throughout the process.

CMC engaged E Source to collaborate with CMC Clients, Members, and other industry networks to carefully define mobility technology pilot project objectives and design bulletproof performance requirements that decision-makers need to say “yes” to purchase orders, not more pilots. We build the most robust testing protocols and procedures possible, help identify and engage reputable testing firms, and then monitor, review, and validate pilot results as a respected neutral arbiter of more than 35 years. By arming CMC partner companies with pre-vetted, comprehensive, and validated pilot results, we rapidly accelerate adoption of new mobility technologies and innovative solutions.

Predictive Data Science. The breadth and complexity of mobility’s implications requires next-level data and cutting-edge predictive modeling as well as a deeper and more nuanced customer understanding to make the leap from aspirational policy to credible quantitative-based forecasts. The CMC and E Source are working to get beyond the hype and provide a credible point of view for how technologies, policies, programs, and investments will play out on the street of California and across utility distribution systems. E Source leverages its massive library of market research and data science-ready customer data and a large, cross-disciplinary data science team to assess and predict market potential, adoption curves, load shapes, grid impacts, and more.

Human-centered Design & Experience. People matter. Although technology development in the mobility space is impressive, the success or failure of any technology often traces back to irrational human perceptions and behaviors. Human-centered research, design, and customer experience are regularly overlooked, but remain critical levers for overcoming existing and future mobility barriers. Whether market research, journey mapping, or design thinking, we help the CMC and its partners explore the hidden factors that can make or break a product, program, or service.

I have faith that three years from now, we will have made tremendous progress towards revolutionizing mobility in North America. Although there are many complex challenges we need to address, with the leadership of organizations like the California Mobility Center, we will collaboratively find solutions capable of changing the world. We’re excited to bring E Source’s skills, expertise, and ideas to the innovative California Mobility Center ecosystem.