That was the topic among regional transportation experts in a recent WCTA meeting facilitated by Byron McCann. We do have a surprising number of strengths–and weaknesses–in the area. Of course, there are a number of opportunities and threats, too. So, to make some sense of some of the discussion, I have endeavored to summarize many of the thoughts here into at classic SWOT analysis: What are the Pacific Northwest’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats when it comes to the development of a new economy transportation sector?
- Digital expertise
- Consumer demand for greener transportation
- Development of charging station infrastructure
- Great research institutions
- Expertise in materials
- The cost of electricity is low
- Military presence as potential leaders and buyers
- Developing battery technology
- Specialty manufacturing
- Aerospace expertise
- Telematics firms
- A trade association (WCTA)
- Truck manufacturing
- Not enough wins…yet
- Little primary sector expertise—Seattle isn’t Detroit
- Capital—particularly big capital
- Heavy truck manufacture
- Conversion technology and companies
- Developing regional EV entrepreneurs
- Solar powered cars??
- State participation: fleet purchases/involvement
- Other regions buying out successful startups
Conclusion: There may well be portions of a new economy transportation sector that we can develop in the region that might become transportation sub-clusters. Digital applications in vehicles, expertise and validation in converting vehicles to new sources of fuel, and almost any aspect of heavy trucking are possibilities….