Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) held the first-ever Electric Vehicle & Next Generation Technologies for Outdoor Recreation Summit today to convene discussion around the strategic deployment of electric vehicles and other green technologies into the outdoor recreation market and economy. The event kicked off with remarks from Austin Brown, Senior Director of Transportation Emissions at the White House and included remarks from Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis, and Kampgrounds of America, Inc. president and CEO Toby O’Rourke. The event explored momentum and opportunities for electrifying recreation vehicles of all types, recreation’s ‘state of readiness,’ measures of consumer demand, the challenges of electric charging infrastructure near recreation assets, and other green economy solutions.
“The cross-sector businesses and partners gathered today have an opportunity to lead the greening of outdoor recreation experiences, make significant impacts in reducing carbon emissions while helping to create jobs, and build local economies as we introduce next generation technologies to recreation consumers,” said Jessica Turner, President of ORR. “This event was extremely important because of the industry-wide thought-leadership on how we begin the transition to cleaner technologies and ensured we can be clear-eyed about the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
The event included panel discussions with speakers from outdoor recreation businesses, federal and state agencies, and partner organizations that will be key to the outdoor recreation industry’s successful integration of next generation technologies. Speakers from Brunswick Corporation, QuietKat, THOR Industries/Airstream, Winnebago Industries, Zero Motorcycles, and more explored the many challenges and opportunities in this space, and how charging infrastructure for people recreating can be created and installed efficiently, sustainably and equitably.
“With so many of our favorite places facing severe climate threats, the outdoor recreation community has a compelling reason to lead the way in implementing climate solutions and accelerating our transition toward a clean energy-powered and electrified economy. A major part of that equation is going to be the adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure and other clean and carbon pollution-free technologies. This summit is a real testament to the recreation industry’s eagerness to take concrete actions that will allow us to pass on the outdoor places we all love to our children and future generations.” -U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
“America’s public lands provide unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities for more than 70 million visitors each year, and that activity translates into vital jobs and economic development throughout the country. Through President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative and with the transformational resources in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Department of the Interior is working to improve access across our public lands, repurpose abandoned mines, and install electric vehicle infrastructure on our public lands.” – Laura Daniel-Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management
“Michigan is excited to partner with the nation’s outdoor recreation leaders who are the catalysts that are driving the industry’s transition to an electric future,” said Brad Garmon, Director of the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “From electric snowmobiles to the Lake Michigan EV Circuit and solar-powered boat startups, we are working with the companies and entrepreneurs bringing new outdoor product innovations to market; supporting community leaders deploying critical EV chargers to recreation destinations and engaging those that will build and maintain the clean technology that will expand access to the great outdoors.”
ORR will hold a Hill briefing and release a white paper, based in large part from the discussions and information shared at this event, on next generation technology and the future of an increasingly resilient outdoor reaction economy in the coming weeks.