Sunday, March 8, 2009

Personal Hope Becomes a Public Resource

Sometimes great ideas and hope lay dormant until someone transforms a personal hope into a public resource.

In 2009, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, committed to making his city greener, climbed into the cab of a new all-electric cargo hauler, capable of moving a 60,000 pound shipping container quietly and cleanly at the Port of Los Angeles. The idea and the energy for this futuristic vehicle had been carried around by its developer, Balwinder Samra, president of Balqon Corporation and was put to work during a lunch with Harbor Commission President David Freeman. Freeman, curious about the capacity of Balqon’s electric motors wanted to know if Samra could make one powerful and efficient enough to haul 30 tons of cargo.
Samra: No problem.
Freeman: Well, I know theoretically no problem, but can you actually build one?
Samra: Sure.
Freeman: Well, why haven’t you?
Samra: No one has ever asked me to.

The official request came along with $527,000 in funding from the port and an air quality organization. Two years and 47 new green collar jobs later, Mayor Villaraigosa rolled the first green hauler into use. With zero emissions, a top speed of 40 mph, and a range of 30 to 60 miles per battery charge, the hauler could make drayage a greener industry.

Got a friend with a personal hope? Sure you do. Help her turn it into a public