Sophie Shulman, Manager of Partnerships and Development at Electrify America, joined the podcast to talk about the organization’s efforts to invest US$2 billion over the next 10 years in the U.S. in zero emission vehicle (ZEV) infastructure and education and outreach. In addition to building a nationwide network of workplace, community and highway chargers, Electrify America is investing in a brand-neutral awareness campaign to help increase education and knowledge about what the benefits of switching to electric can be. That campaign, “Plug into the Present,” has just been launched. Following is an excerpt from our discussion, which you can listen or download below or listen to it in ITunes.
“A couple things I want to mention about what the adoption of EVs is going to look like in the next couple of years. We’re making this investment on the assumption that there is going to be rapid adoption of EVs and that through 2025 we’re going to see a lot more choice when it comes to the models available, the body styles, the battery sizes and the price points available for customers. Right now, we’re looking at about 45 models available and we’re going to have around 70 by 2020, so that is a huge increase in customer choice. We’re building the extensive, ultra fast charging network there to meet it.”
“I think ultimately we have to make EVs a convenient and easy choice for consumers. Part of that is making them cost-competitive and that is mostly a policy issue. It’s also a technology and scale issue, so that comes from the OEMs, it comes from government. On top of that, I think having high-speed charging, which is what we’re really focused on, makes this more of a gas station experience. It makes it so you don’t have to sit and wait and charge for two hours. I think that is really where we’re focusing our efforts, trying to get at that barrier, the lack of charging infrastructure and the lack of the charging speed. But I think one thing that’s important to understand as you’re looking at where does this rapid adoption come from: There’s a lot of investment that has been made by the OEMs in all of these different models that are coming on the market. That investment has been made and we’re starting to see the fruits of it, so I think that’s part of why we feel really confident that this is coming and people are excited about the new offerings that are available.”