Reports in the last week show the extent to which green technologies are being funded and developed in Indiana. The Federal Government recently announced that Cummins, Inc., Columbus, Indiana, will receive approximately $54 million from the U. S. Department of Energy in an effort to improve fuel economy on trucks. The funds will be used to develop more fuel efficient diesel engines and to design a new “super truck” which may be up to 40% more fuel efficient than current designs. In addition, Navistar, Inc. has been awarded $37.7 million to develop technologies to improve aerodynamics for tractor-trailers.
Indiana also was successful in luring Th!nk to open their North American production plant in Elkart, Indiana. On January 5, Th!nk, a Norwegian electric car manufacturer, announced that Elkart was their choice to locate a production facility to manufacture a line of small electric cars aimed at the North American market. The fact that Th!nk chose Indiana was in large part to their partnership with Enerdel, a battery manufacturer located in Indianapolis. Enerdel will provide the batteries which power Th!nk’s electric cars.
The construction industry in Indiana will benefit from these announcements in the short term. However, it also emphasizes how important it is for all industries in Indiana, including construction, to appreciate the long term opportunities which exist in green technologies. Companies that derive their profit from green technologies must live green themselves, which means partnering with other green businesses. The best way to capitalize on these opportunities is to start “greening” our own businesses from the ground up.