Aneesh Chopra, Assistant to the President and Chief Technology Officer at the White House, is a no-BS guy who wants to get big things done.
Needless to say, we all got along just fine.
We were very fortunate to meet with Mr. Chopra and his team and planned accordingly. After introductions and establishing the groundwork we already understood - that even in the Executive Office of the President there are no magic pots of money and the triad of vision, execution and accountability reign supreme - the Edison2 team dove right into what's at stake.
Edison2 is building the most radically efficient car on the planet, with dramatic potential for adoption in the domestic and global consumer market alongside broad private and public fleet applications. Yet for the growing body of evidence proving the current and future value of our work, a redesigned vehicle architecture poses an immense challenge to the legacy automotive industrial complex.
Thus, our "ask" was simple. We need the technology office in the White House to leverage its mandate and reach to catalyze a broader and deeper understanding of the fundamental process of our work. The targets are both potential R&D partners within various agencies of the Administration, and long-view industry players who can and will grasp that our work represents a virtually inevitable future (and therein, Edison2's significant time advantage).
Once this validation occurs - or "lands" in the parlance of policy - we predict that the deep level of interest we've received from potential partners (OEMs, suppliers, manufacturers), public agencies, and potential scale investors will translate to action.
Since winning the X-Prize, Edison2 has steadfastly remained "car first." We have favored refining our technology and the market readiness of the Very Light Car over positioning the company for a nine-figure loan. But all along the way, we have quietly formed a worldwide nucleus of supporters. Edison2 is reaching a critical crossroads - and the time and attention graciously provided by Mr. Chopra and his team might have provided the beginning of the tipping point we've planned for all along.
There are 124 days left in 2011. Plenty of time for big things to happen this year to set the foundation for Edison2 for years to come.