Comstock's magazine 1218 - December 2018 - Page 89

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT “But of course, without PEM’s help, we wouldn’t have been able to build the proto- type,” he adds. While Dovas cites affordable living and real estate as initial motivators to locate in Sacramento, he also believes the region is- prime for other automotive innovators and startups like his own. In addition to the area’s proximity to investors in the Bay Area, Dovas says the greater Sacramento region has more read- ily available mechanical engineers, but also niche developers necessary for his company. “Sacramento has a lot of technology and a lot of skills, but we also use ‘exotic materials,’ and some of the companies that provide these very specialized com- ponents are also in the greater Sacramen- to area,” says Dovas, citing Auburn-based PRe Plastics as one such company with which Highlands Powers operates closely. Furthermore, says Dovas, investors are ready to help fund an innovation hub similar to PEM here in Sacramento — to be named the Center of Excellence for Future Mobility. “We presented the concept to the Greater Sacramento Economic Council board of directors last year,” says Dovas. “I personally brought them investors willing to put [in] close to $90 million,” but adds that nothing has come from those initial meetings. Still, with $44 million currently being invested to improve Sacramento’s ZEV in- frastructure, and with delegates energized from the September trip to Germany, Sac- ramento seems poised to take the steering wheel and navigate toward the future of mobility in the region, perhaps even es- tablishing itself as an automotive hub, the electric version of Detroit. If anything, Supervisor Serna believes Sacramento is now in a position to make such a move, that “looking back perhaps 20, 25 years to the day when Sacramento had the choice to pivot and capitalize on this industry, we’ll say this was the mo- ment we decided to … clean our air, diver- sify our economy, build jobs.” And Lemus agrees. “I’ve been in the industry for a while, and we’ve been talking about when the electric big rigs get here, and when the electric vans get here, and we’ve been talking about this in theory, but now it’s [all] starting to hit at once.” n Jordan Venema is a California-based writ- er that enjoys gin and teaching himself dead languages. He received a master’s of liberal arts from St. John’s College, but swears he’s learned more from his precocious son, Cassian, than he ever did from a book. Valley Communications, Inc. CONNECTING BUSINESS WITH TECHNOLOGY ING COM N SOO O STREET OFFICE BUILDING Access Control Cabling Security Audio Visual Wireless Technology on the rise... Since 1983, Valley Communications, Inc. has been at the forefront of many of the major projects in our region. Recently, we have provided our technology services to Golden 1 Center, Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, Dignity Health as well as Science II and University Union at CSUS. We look forward to the future developments, like the new O Street Office Building, and the opportunity to deliver the latest technologically advanced solutions that enable our customers to efficiently operate in today’s demanding marketplace. As we wrap up our 35 th year, we’d like to send out a special thank you to our customers and industry partners for their support over the years. We also realize that this milestone was made possible by the continued dedication and commitment of our staff in delivering our services. 6921 Roseville Road Sacramento, CA 95842 | 916.349.7300 | | LIC# 806644 December 2018 | 89