Those familiar with Indianapolis-based Energy Systems Network say it’s one of the most innovative organizations in energy and transportation—not only in the state, but in the nation. But it’s not particularly well-known. Its officials prefer to work in the background while pushing forward initiatives like IndyGo’s bus rapid transit program, the Blue Indy electric car-sharing service, and an early initiative that helps some of the state’s biggest manufacturers make big moves in heavy-duty hybrid industry, including buses and trucks.
Over 11 years, the small not-for-profit has generated about $750 million in direct investments in ESN-related projects from public, private and philanthropic sources. In the latest edition of The IBJ Podcast, host Mason King speaks with CEO Paul Mitchell about how ESN has helped power so many high-profile initiatives. Not every project has been a winner. Blue Indy folded earlier this year, although Mitchell says it still could pay dividends for the city. And he details one of ESN’s flashiest projects: the Indy Autonomous Challenge, an IndyCar-style race with cars completely controlled by computers scheduled to take place next year.
For more on Energy Systems Network, check out Anthony Schoettle’s profile in IBJ’s latest Innovation Issue.
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