EVCS co-founder and CEO Gustavo Occhiuzzo recently spoke on the “Who’s Saving the Planet?” podcast about the electric mobility revolution and what we as a company are doing to help realize a truly carbon-neutral future. During the conversation with hosts Anthony Noto and Jessica Miles, Occhiuzzo made several critical points that help listeners understand where we are now in that mission, the obstacles we face, what EVCS has done to overcome those obstacles, and what we can do better as a global community. Here are some of the most prescient points:
Committing to Electric
Occhiuzzo points out that approximately 20% of drivers who have owned hybrid electric or full electric vehicles in the past subsequently reverted back to gasoline-powered vehicles. That signals a failure by the EV industry to retain its customers – to generate “EV loyalty,” so to speak. According to a recent Enel X article (https://evcharging.enelx.com/resources/blog/638-breaking-the-barriers-to-ev-adoption-what-your-business-can-do-to-help), the two largest barriers to creating this loyalty are limited EV charging access at MUDs and range anxiety. EVCS aims to address this conundrum by making charging stations much more ubiquitous at MUDs, businesses and public spaces.
Funding Drives Expansion
The expansion of new technologies in the marketplace is often hampered by a lack of available funds, and electrified transportation is no different. Occhiuzzo notes that EVCS’s ability to expand has been fueled by government subsidization, and where our presence is most prolific is in places where subsidies are most abundant. Therefore, one of the key ways EV drivers can help us expand infrastructure is by supporting government subsidization measures like cap-and-trade or renewable energy grants across more areas of the country.
Addressing the Lag
Currently, the installation of EV charging stations significantly lags EV auto manufacturing. Occhiuzzo notes that while we’re on track to see 1.5 million EVs on the road by 2030, we’re not yet on pace to see a requisite number of chargers to service such vehicles. Even in LA, there are about 100 EVs for every one public charging station. The impending bottleneck caused by this gap will continue to stifle more robust EV adoption. He admits that we can’t do it alone and that more installers will be necessary to address the type of goals vocalized by California governor Gavin Newsom and the Biden administration.
Partnering with Utilities
We are witnessing an increase in energy efficiency across multiple sectors, from retail products to smart homes, while the transportation industry struggles to keep up. But once it does, says Occhiuzzo, we will need buy-in from utility companies that must shore up their grids to handle the additional load and ultimately find ways to generate power from renewable resources. He acknowledges that this process will likely take 10 to 20 years, but that, in the meantime, EVCS has been buying its electricity from renewable energy producers (even ones that are hundreds of miles away) through certificates that offset electricity generated locally by fossil fuels.
Carbon Neutral vs Carbon Negative
Occhiuzzo declared our goal to be more than just reaching carbon neutrality; it’s actually reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by replacing current infrastructure with clean energy technologies that amount to becoming “carbon negative.” In addition to our essential mission of installing more chargers, we have engaged in efforts to reach this goal by working with utilities on issues like demand response, battery storage and V2G technology that mark the future of the EV revolution.
You can listen to the podcast episode in its entirety here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0NEFTuZ6M78Ics5RPsuFqj?si=T27kkqnlR2ON0lKaZCu4yw&dl_branch=1&nd=1Tags: carbon negative, EV adoption, EV loyalty, EV subsidies, Green Commuter, Gustavo Occhiuzzo, Who's Saving the Planet?