On The Radio – Iowa college students study business aspects of electric cars


The University of Iowa’s team presenting during Alliant Energy’s University Challenge Case Competition on April 9, 2016 in Iowa City. From left: Blake Robinson, Matt Taflinger, and Feng Mao. (UI American Marketing Association/Facebook)
Nick Fetty | April 25, 2016

This week’s On The Radio segment looks at competition in which Iowa college students studied consumers’ decisions when purchasing electric vehicles.

Transcript: Iowa college students study business aspects of electric cars

In an effort to turn more people on to electric cars, a utility company has turned to Iowa college students for help.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Madison, Wisconsin-based Alliant Energy has teamed up with the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business for Alliant Energy’s University Challenge Case Competition, which took place earlier this month. The event gave an opportunity for teams of students from the University of Iowa as well as Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Luther College, and St. Ambrose University to study consumers’ decisions when purchasing electric vehicles, such as cost and availability.

Blake Robinson – a business student at the UI – along with classmates Feng Mao and Matt Taflinger won first place in the competition. The team’s platform aimed to educate consumers about the benefits of electric vehicles, motivating dealers to sell more electric vehicles, and lobbying for state-level legislation that would build the necessary infrastructure for electric vehicles to succeed. Robinson said he learned a lot from the opportunity.

Robinson: “What I learned is that a sustainable future with automobiles is in electric vehicles. I’m excited for what’s to come. Tesla has many great new innovations that will really change the industry and I’m just looking forward for what the future holds.”

The first place finish netted Robinson and his team $1,250 in prize money.

For more information about the competition, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.

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