The California Mobility Center opened its Ramp-up Factory to the public

The California Mobility Center held its first public event March 17 for the Ramp-Up Factory, a facility devoted to the commercialization of low-emission mobility technology. The date marked the first-year anniversary of commercial operations for CMC, a partnership between SMUD, Sacramento State, UC Davis and the City of Sacramento modeled after a similar mobility hub led by PEM Motion in Aachen, Germany.

CMC’s goal is to provide future mobility innovators and industry incumbents with access to programs and resources that accelerate the pace of commercialization in California and worldwide. Areas of focus include smart and shared mobility solutions, fueling and charging infrastructure and automated, connected and electric vehicles for on and off-highway use. Though its Ramp-Up Factory is currently located in Depot Park warehouse, with its permanent home set to be completed in five to seven years at the forthcoming Sacramento State Research Park near the university, work is already underway to help meet SMUD’s goal of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2030.

 “CMC aims to be a catalyst to drive the whole industry of mobility innovation, we have the ability to serve a magnitude of different clients at different levels of their journeys, helping them complete product development, plan business models, and test technology.”

Marc Dörfer, COO at PEM Motion USA, Inc., an engineering and consulting firm and a CMC founding partner.
Marc Dörfer, chief operating officer of PEM Motion USA (right), provides a brief history of the Ramp-up Factory for assembled members of the media. Standing alongside Marc Dörfer is Mark Rawson, chief operating officer of the California Mobility Center.
Get to know PEM Motion’s involvement in the development of CMC’s Ramp-Up Factory:

Lightning talks from world industry leaders

The Showcase offered guests one-on-one engagements with over 300 industry leaders from around the globe, including early-stage company founders, C-level executives, governmental dignitaries and more.

The speaker line-up at the CMC Showcase ’22 was nothing short of impressive! From clean air policy to trends in future mobility, European advancements, and initiatives to local Sacramento-based government officials, it covered all.

The event kicked off with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Assembly member Kevin McCarty, California State University, Sacramento President Robert Nelsen, California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) Executive Director Tim Rainey, SMUD Board President Brandon Rose and CMC Board Member and Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra to the stage to say a few words on why they have chosen to support the CMC since the beginning, as well as video remarks from long-time CMC supporters, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Congressman Ami Bera. Alberto Ayala, executive director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (AQMD), enlightened attendees about the key roles that policy interventions will have in the transition to EVs, and the influence that California policies have on the US and worldwide. 

Christoph Deutskens, CEO of PEM Motion, took us through all of the incredible future mobility initiatives and activities happening in Europe, including the forecasted 400% increase in the EV market over the last 10 years (compared to the forecasted 150% in the US) and the fast-growing production capabilities taking place. Dr. Deutskens also went into detail on the three main innovation drivers: automation, data control and electrification.

Christoph Deutskens, CEO of PEM Motion at the CMC Showcase ’22, with the Lightning Talk: European Advancements & Initiatives in Future Mobility Innovation

Last but certainly not least, Robert Tiderington, head of strategic partnerships at BrightDrop (the new electric delivery and logistics business from General Motors), took the stage and dove into growing global future mobility megatrends. This included the shifts taking place in the movement of people (AI/ML driven comprehensive networks, criteria-based personalization, autonomous solutions and electrification) and goods (microhubs, various electric & autonomous methods of transportation and dynamic ecosystems).

Multiple EVs showcased, and a few even offered ride-and-drives!

The Future Mobility Expo featured many innovative companies, including several CMC customers such as Ztractor showcasing the world’s first autonomous electric tractor, its Bearcub24, which collects real-time agricultural data while operating in the field, plus Arcimoto Inc. brought to the show the Deliverator, a 100% electric three-wheeler designed for home delivery of goods, meals and groceries. It can reach speeds of up to 75 mph and has a range of up to 102 miles of urban driving. In addition, guest company VSI Labs demonstrated on-site its technical and applied research on systems that support advanced safety and automated driving systems.

Bakur Kvezereli, chief executive officer of Ztractor, with the Bearcub-24. The electric 3-wheeler Deliverator from Arcimoto Inc. Phil Magney, founder and president of VSI Labs (standing), and behind the wheel is Aaron Mowbray, senior research analyst of VSI Labs.

Guests were the first to see one of the CMC’s major industry success stories revealed at the culmination of the event. Zeus Electric Chassis Inc. unveiled its medium-duty electric truck from the California Mobility Center. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), a not-for-profit electric provider for 1.5 million customers across a service area of 900 square miles, will begin a pilot project to deploy and test five of the new vehicles.

 “What is so important about what SMUD will do for us, they’ll take these five trucks, put them in five different crews’ hands, and along with some other service providers of the CMC, we’re going to do a six-month fleet adoption program, and have a third party that’s going to basically measure the gains that this truck will serve in the industry.

Bill Brandt, chief revenue officer for Zeus Electric Chassis Inc., explained at the unveiling.
Bill Brandt, chief revenue officer of Zeus Electric Chassis (left), and Paul Lau, CEO and general manager of SMUD, reveal the new Zeus Electric Chassis’ Class 5 all-electric work truck built to SMUD specifications. The Zeus Electric Chassis is the first of its kind in the United States. 

Shaping the future of mobility

The CMC showcase was an opportunity for those who have been there since the beginning as PEM Motion, to personally see upfront what the CMC is doing and accomplishing. In under 12 months since opening full commercial operations last spring, CMC signed 40 Members from across the globe, 18 Clients, six Preferred Service Providers and appeared in over 250 industry articles and news stories. Also helped 115 people secure industry-specific internships or full-time positions in the Sacramento region, partnered with nine community-based organizations and job centers, and built meaningful relationships with 15 local manufacturing companies.

Instead of resting on our laurels, we will continue to expand the Ramp-up Factory in terms of customers, capabilities, and infrastructure. The next major milestones are a technology capability expansion at the Ramp-up Factory and the set-up of a 150,000 square foot facility on Sacramento State’s Ramona Avenue property as a green field project.

 “CMC not only is shaping the future of mobility, but also the future of those who will bring it to life.”

Mark Rawson, CMC’s chief operating officer said.

Thank you so much for the amazing event and many congratulations California Mobility Center, for our team, it’s awesome to witness what the CMC is doing and accomplishing from the very beginning.

Further information:

California Mobility Center:


Photos Curtesy of the CMC