Forum Mobility, Half Moon Bay, CA
Before this summer I rarely thought twice about the trucks I saw speeding by me on major highways. I probably did not notice the truck stops I passed, and I could not have told you anything about how goods I ordered online arrived at my door. After my summer internship with Forum Mobility, I am proud to boast a new familiarity with the endlessly complicated world of the transportation industry and the energy crisis it faces.
Forum Mobility is a California startup focused on electrifying heavy-duty truck fleets. In order to limit emissions, Californian regulatory bodies have enacted policies mandating the adoption of near-zero or zero-emission vehicles by fleet operators. While these mandates are beneficial and necessary for protecting air quality, they are a burden to truckers, for whom the transition to electric vehicles is often expensive and overly complicated. A shortage of vehicles and charging infrastructure only adds to their difficulties. Forum Mobility offers a monthly subscription service that provides customers with access to an electric truck and charging network. Forum’s business model renders the transition to heavy-duty electric vehicles viable and affordable.
I have long been interested in climate policy and clean energy, but, having previously only studied environmental issues in academic settings, I struggled to conceptualize the logistical implications of implementing solutions. Working with Forum Mobility has made me aware of the substantial challenges inherent in reducing carbon emissions. I have learned a great deal about the electric vehicle industry, including how Forum’s strategic business model addresses the unique needs of the trucking community.
I also benefited from Forum’s small size and startup culture, as these features of the company have allowed me to engage with differing sides of the business. On the development front, I helped to evaluate the financial feasibility of potential new charging sites using data from letters of intent, integration capacity analysis (ICA) maps, property tax information and other publicly sourced real estate resources. This process exposed me to the financial modeling behind the company, as I worked to predict the costs associated with projects and how they affect projected returns. I also worked on the marketing side of the business—helping to draft mission statements, rework the website, design a banner and compile contacts, among other projects. On the policy end, I worked throughout the summer to assemble information on the many incentive programs and mandates regarding the electrification of heavy-duty vehicles in California, New Jersey and New York.
I am grateful to have been able to dip my toes into this rapidly growing field and to have been welcomed and mentored by the wonderful team at Forum. I was even lucky enough to meet three senior members of the team in person during their trip to New York and join them on a tour of the Port of New York and New Jersey. I cannot thank Mr. and Mrs. Case and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration enough for making this valuable learning opportunity possible.