OCTANe Innovation Series: Automotive Clean Tech Program

This program forum will bring together all the players form the Southern California automotive clean tech industry. Hear from the established automotive companies on their plans to move to clean vehicles. Also hear from venture capitalists and startup companies on how their innovations will change one of the most essential industries in the world. 

Speakers include representatives from the following:

  • Toyota
  • General Motors
  • Honda
  • Mitsubishi
  • Sail Venture Partners
  • Capricorn Investment Group
  • Quantum Technologies
  • Enerpulse
  • UCI National Fuel Cell Research Center


5:00 PM - Registration, Networking, and Automotive showcase featuring fuel cell vehicles from Toyota and General Motors. The Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell sedan and the all-electric Tesla Roadster from Tesla Motors will also be showcased. 

6:00 PM - Overview of the current state of technology in automotive clean tech provided by Prof. Scott Samuelsen (Director, Advanced Power & Energy Program, UC, Irvine.) 

6:30 PM - Auto industry OEM panel featuring Bill Reinert, Toyota; Dave Barthmuss - General Motors; Dave Patterson - Mitsubishi; Ben Knight - Honda. Panel to be moderated by Prof. Scott Samuelsen

7:45 PM - Startup company/VC panel featuring W. Brian Olson, CFO - Quantum Technologies (Fisker Automotive investor and partner); Walter Schindler - Sail Venture Partners; Dipender Saluja - Capricorn Investment Group; Steve Smith - Enerpulse. Panel to be moderated by Shiv Grewal - Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

9:00 - Adjourn

Moderators & Panelists:

Photo of Dave BarthmussDave Barthmuss is the Group Manager for General Motors’ Western Region, Environment & Energy Communications team.  Dave has served in various communications functions at GM for nearly 20 years, covering several product marketing, sales, and issues management communications positions before assuming his current role in Thousand Oaks, California. As head of communications for the automaker’s largest region in the United States, Dave is responsible for a wide variety of public relations assignments, including engaging GM and its brands with key stakeholder groups to help communicate the company’s environmental, technology and policy initiatives. Dave also serves as the official spokesperson for GM throughout its Western Region.

Photo of Shivbir GrewalShivbir S. Grewal (Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth) represents emerging growth, technology, life science, manufacturing and health care entities in matters relating to corporate and securities law, including general corporate representation, venture capital financings, initial public offerings, corporate reorganizations, joint ventures, private placements, commercial paper issuances, and public company representation. He also advises corporate entities on governance and structure issues, and sits on the boards of various companies. He has chaired or participated in various panels and seminars on corporate finance issues and mergers and acquisitions.

Photo of Ben KnightBen Knight is Vice President, Automotive Engineering at Honda R&D Americas, Torrance, California. Mr. Knight’s activities and responsibilities include the planning and implementation of Honda’s environmental product efforts and programs for conventional and alternative fuel vehicles.  Programs include Honda’s Low Emission (gasoline) Vehicle lineup (ULEV/SULEV/PZEV/ATPZEV), Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (HEV), and Alternative Fuel Vehicles including Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs), Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCEVs). 

Photo of W. Brian OlsonW. Brian Olson is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Quantum Technologies, a leader in the development and production of propulsion systems, energy storage technologies, and alternative fuel vehicles. Prior to joining Quantum, Mr. Olson served as Treasurer, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of IMPCO, a manufacturer of gaseous fuel automotive technologies. 



Photo of Dave PattersonDave Patterson is Mitsubishi Motors R&D’s Chief Engineer responsible for Mobile Emissions Certification and Regulatory Affairs.  As the technical and government liaison for vehicle emissions compliance in North America, he is the guardian for Mitsubishi’s new vehicle certification, Federal and State vehicle emission compliance, and in-use vehicle issues. 


Photo of Bill Reinert

Bill Reinert is National Manager of Advanced Technology for Toyota Motor Sales, USA.  His primary function is to coordinate Toyota’s various development and marketing activities related to alternative-fueled vehicles and emerging technologies.  He is currently working on several advanced hybrid electric products, direct hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, reformed fuel approaches for hydrogen, full-featured electric vehicles, city electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid concepts, ethanol fuels and sustainable transportation systems.











Photo of Dipender

Dipender Saluja is Managing Director at Capricorn Investment Group, a private investment firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California.  Dipender invests in, and helps incubate companies in energy technology, clean tech, and IT.  His current areas of interest are solar, electrification of vehicles, energy storage, smart grid, wind and water.  Dipender is also President & CEO of Automatiks Inc, a Capricorn portfolio company developing electronics connectivity platforms for Electric & Hybrid Vehicles and smart grids.  Before Capricorn, he was Chief of Staff at Cadence, a global market leader  in electronic design.  Prior to Cadence, Dipender was at Data General (now EMC), Honeywell, and ROLM (now IBM).  Dipender is an electrical & computer engineer by training, and attended the University of North Dakota, the University of Minnesota, and Stanford.

Photo of Scott Samuelsen

Dr. Samuelsen is a professor of mechanical, aerospace and environmental engineering; a Henry Samueli Endowed Chair; and director of the Advanced Power and Energy Program, National Fuel Cell Research Center, and UCI Combustion Laboratory. He oversees the management of the UC Irvine Hydrogen Fueling Station and research underpinning the development of a potential national hydrogen infrastructure; a fuel cell vehicle deployment program; plug-in electric hybrid vehicle research; and the ZEV●NET (Zero Emission Vehicle●Network Enabled Transport), a shared-use vehicle demonstration program.

Photo of Walter SchindlerWalter Schindler is a Managing Partner at SAIL Venture Partners. Walter is also a member of the OCTANe Board of Directors. Walter focuses his energies on building powerful external networks with SAIL's global investors and advisors and providing strategic advice to the firm's portfolio companies on corporate finance, capital markets, and value realization strategies. He has deep experience in renewable energy after leading cutting-edge alternative energy and cogeneration projects at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher where he recognized early the valuation creation potential of cleantech investment opportunities. Widely recognized for his ability to work enthusiastically and build trust with successful entrepreneurs and management teams, he continuously looks for creative opportunities to put SAIL's global networks at the service of the firm's portfolio companies.

Photo of Steve Smith

Stephen F. Smith is Vice President Manufacturing/Operations at Enerpulse Inc. Mr. Smith's technical expertise is built on progressive achievements with AC Spark Plug, (Flint, MI), Auburn Spark Plug, (Auburn, NY), Purolator Products, (Elmira, NY) and Flexible Products, (Auburn Hills, MI). Mr. Smith has over 25 years of background with spark plug development, manufacturing and operations. He received his BSME from Kettering University (previously General Motors Institute).














Supporting Organization: 

Opportunity Green


Name Sales End Price
OCTANe Member Ended Free
General public Ended $40
OCTANe Next Ended Free

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