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The Stanford Energy Seminar: "Bringing RVing into the Electric Age" Ben Parker

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Abstract: Ben will tell the story of how his time working as a battery engineer at Tesla led him to co-found Lightship, America's first all-electric RV manufacturer. Lightship is a venture-backed startup based in Colorado and the SF Bay Area. Lightship's first and flagship vehicle, dubbed L1, enters production in early 2025 and will provide a more efficient and sustainable way to travel and camp while on the road; while at home, the L1 can act as a very capable home solar system providing energy security and savings. Lightship demonstrates how sustainability, rigorous engineering, and beautiful modern design can go hand in hand. Ben looks forward to an engaging discussion with the Stanford community!

Bio: Ben Parker is the Co-founder and CPO of Lightship. As a longtime gearhead and EV geek with a passion for sustainable travel, Ben aims to bring the RV industry into the electric age, starting with Lightship’s fully electric and aerodynamic travel trailer. Prior to co-founding Lightship, Ben took his university experience building hybrid-electric race cars to Tesla, where he spent five years as a battery engineer. He worked on the Model 3, Tesla’s first mass-market car, designing and validating parts, inventing and developing new manufacturing processes, and helping ramp the program out of battery “production hell” and into stable, high-volume production. After the Model 3, Ben worked on Tesla’s next-generation battery design, and with more time on his hands, took up a side project to electrify all the food trucks in the San Francisco Bay Area. That project became Lightship’s origin, as food trucks gave way to recreational vehicles and Ben left Tesla at the start of the pandemic to embark on a 6,000-mile RV road trip of the American West – one part soul searching, one part business research. Ben incorporated Lightship from the road that summer… somewhere between Mesa Verde National Park and the Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River. Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College. Ben's mission is to advance the electrification of everything and bring Americans of all stripes together – on the road, around the campfire and into the great outdoors.

More about the Stanford Energy Seminar:

The Stanford Energy Seminar has been a mainstay of energy engagement at Stanford for nearly 20 years and is one of the flagship programs of the Precourt Institute for Energy. We aim to bring a wide variety of perspectives to the Stanford community – academics, entrepreneurs, utilities, big businesses, and more. We're proud to have hosted some of the biggest names in the energy world as well as those just starting out. 

Seminars take place most Mondays during the academic year and typically have an audience of 100+ attendees. Anyone with an interest in energy is welcome to join one seminar or all of them! You can enjoy seminars in the following ways:

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