As we wrap up a enjoyable and productive summer season, I’m excited to share that final month, I attended the Inexperienced Transportation Summit and Expo (GTSE) in Tacoma, WA. This summer season, we celebrated 10 years of this crucial clear transportation convening occasion with the theme “Reflecting + Refocusing on a Resilient Future.” This yr’s expo was closely targeted on clear fleets.
What initially began as a heavy-duty different fuels business occasion has developed right into a broader clear fleet convention. The GTSE “focuses on the clear fleet on the intersection of coverage, expertise, observe, fairness, and the way forward for mobility with a regional focus and nationwide lens.”
For me and the workforce at EVmatch, this yr, we’re notably concerned with studying extra concerning the electrification of economic autos, equivalent to municipal and transit fleets, and the way transitioning to those fleets can positively impression communities. Due to that, I attended a session titled “Native Governments Position in Decarbonizing On-road Autos.” A key takeaway from the session was that electrical car fleet managers want to have the ability to accommodate quite a lot of completely different use circumstances with their charging infrastructure. They’re additionally motivated to have their chargers used as a lot as attainable, even when that requires sharing entry throughout a number of completely different teams.
For instance, Stage 2 EV charging infrastructure for municipal buses (principally nighttime charging) may very well be coupled with municipal worker office charging (principally daytime charging) for elevated utilization. Whereas some complexities round bodily entry and siting persist, entities are definitely pondering up inventive options (e.g. bodily putting charging infrastructure alongside a fenceline to permit public entry to infrastructure inside a municipal bus yard). There have been additionally concepts about deploying city-owned EV charging infrastructure at park-and-rides and artistic methods to make charging infrastructure out there to high-mileage rideshare drivers, who typically drive 30,000+ miles per yr! Shared and scheduled entry have been key necessities for all deployments, highlighting the rising want for stylish charger scheduling software program, like what EVmatch has to supply.
One other session I used to be desirous to attend was “Utility EV Applications”, the place I heard Angela Tune, James Campbell, and Cam LeHouillier talk about their EV packages at Seattle Metropolis Gentle, PacifiCorp, and Tacoma Energy, respectively. The utility packages mentioned have been various, starting from residential Stage 2 direct set up packages, utility-owned DC quick charging infrastructure deployments in city villages, and bus charging pilots at transit hubs.
An essential key takeaway was the necessity for public participation in planning processes and neighborhood involvement in electrical car provide tools (EVSE) siting, particularly belongings within the public right-of-way.
With out full participation and enter from neighborhood stakeholders, EVSE infrastructure packages have been much less profitable and even obtained public backlash, as charging infrastructure was seen as a device for and image of gentrification. Angela Tune from Seattle Metropolis Gentle famous the significance of “contemplating these not within the room” when these packages and insurance policies are being developed.
I’d argue that we have to even go a step additional and work in the direction of full “procedural justice,” which is likely one of the a number of dimensions of environmental justice. In accordance with Ana Isabel Baptista in The World We Want, “procedural justice seeks equity and entry to participation in decision-making processes that form environmental justice circumstances.” Along with extra generally mentioned “distributive justice”, Angela’s feedback highlighted how procedural justice is a crucial facet to the success of electrical mobility packages.
And primarily based on my observations of who was within the room at GTSE, there’s clearly lots of work to be carried out.
As I boarded my flight dwelling to California from GTSE 2021, I mirrored on the thrilling and artistic methods by which EV fleets and infrastructure packages are unfolding, but additionally on the immense quantity of labor and good concepts that will probably be wanted over the approaching decade to really remodel our transportation infrastructure and economic system.
Once I take into consideration how EVmatch can assist our communities in remaining laser targeted on a resilient future, I’m inspired by our current and upcoming work geared toward rising entry to electrical car charging for hard-to-reach communities. As excessive utilization of fleet charging belongings and neighborhood participation develop into more and more essential to governments and fleet homeowners, our work is ever extra urgent. EVmatch’s community-based platform and providers are effectively positioned to serve the rising and sophisticated wants of e-mobility fleet and charging packages, and have a crucial function to play within the puzzle.