For this podcast, I spoke with Cory Bullis, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for FLO. FLO is one of the leading EV charging providers in North America. We spoke about both challenges and opportunities in the EV charging space, what new funding under the infrastructure legislation means for charging and how FLO sees it scaling up, policies needed to help expand charging as well as EV scale up in North America in general. Cory and I serve on the Fuels Institute’s Electric Vehicle Council. Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn.
“Just to kind of give you a quick sense of who we are as a company, we’ve been around for over 10 years and we do all different types of charging deployments. We offer residential, public commercial charging, we do DC fast chargers, we do Level 2. We pretty much run the full gamut of options when it comes to deploying charging solutions. We also do fleet electrification, for instance. One of the unique things about us is we actually manufacture both our hardware and our software. So that gives us full control over the solution we are providing to customers. And I think they ultimately like that, because they’re working then with one vendor to customize and serve their hardware and software needs when it comes to a charging solution.
So that’s kind of the base foundation of us as a company. But then some additional areas that we really focus on that I think separates us is Canada is our home country. We’re headquartered in Quebec City. And Canada has a population of 40 million people, which is equivalent to just the state of California. We have tons of rural areas in Canada, we’ve spent a lot of time deploying rural charging solutions. And we have a lot of lessons learned from how you do that. I think we’re coming to find as we’re in the American context, rural charging is not as advanced or as far along compared to our experience in the U.S.
Some additional areas that we really focus on that I think separates us is Canada is our home country. We’re headquartered in Quebec City. And Canada has a population of 40 million people, which is equivalent to just the state of California. We have tons of rural areas in Canada, and we’ve spent a lot of time deploying rural charging solutions. We have a lot of lessons learned from how you do that. I think we’re coming to find as we’re in the American context, rural charging is not as advanced or as far along compared to our experience in the U.S.
Another area that we like to focus on a lot is curbside charging. A unique but important technology application is putting chargers in the right-of-way in cities so that they can serve folks who live at multi-unit dwellings, or just general dense downtown cores that lack a lot of open space. We find that the right-of-way, putting chargers curbside is a really important solution for drivers to have access to adequate charging.”
“Some of the more acute gaps that I think we’re wrestling with, and I think this can be said broadly about the U.S., and I think it is still applicable to a certain degree in Canada, is that curbside charging continues to be a really, really important solution and a gap right now that’s not being addressed. Fortunately, there have been some awesome deployments in the U.S. that we have done with various cities. We have 200 curbside streetlight mountain chargers with the city of Los Angeles, which has been one of our early projects in the U.S. We also have 120 curbside chargers in the city of New York.
I think New York City has also set a goal now to deploy 1,000 curbside chargers, which for us is monumental to even get that kind of North Star called out in a city planning document. We certainly want to see more of it, because that kind of sets the tone and the pace, and then it helps kind of ease or create more partnerships than with companies like us to address those gaps. The other gap, like I said, is rural charging. This is especially acute when it comes to the U.S. and even what we’re seeing in California. Its rural communities, and then on top of that, low-income communities, disadvantaged communities — these are all areas that have major charging deserts, that we as the collective stakeholder community, whether you’re a utility or charging company, are still working on. It’s still a work in progress to really build out the adequate infrastructure.”