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The Charge to Charge

The federal bipartisan infrastructure bill’s recent Senate passage is a promising step toward building an accessible, abundant and reliable nation-wide EV charging network. Combining its $7.5 billion investment with the Department of Transportation’s $5 billion earmark for state and local grants marks an important leap forward in solving the chicken and egg challenge of electric vehicle adoption. Even when these federal investments are coupled with individual state’s infrastructure funding, more is needed. $87 billion more to be exact, according to Atlas Public Policy. GridLab, Energy Innovation, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and UC Berkeley project even higher. Utilities, automakers and EV charging providers are investing big and need to go bigger. This is a complex challenge though, so how we spend those dollars is as important as how much we spend. There is, of course, both risk and opportunity, so we must proceed wisely and swiftly.

We need to accelerate the shift in the EV market from the early adopters phase to the early majority.

There is a distinct difference between these two phases. Early adopters are willing to put up with ‘testing out’ new technology. For example, they find the treasure hunt of looking for charging stations as a fun adventure. This is not so much the case for the early majority. This group of consumers is reasonably risk-averse and wants to be confident that their—often more limited—resources are spent wisely. Reaching the early majority takes us from 2% to 30% of the market—the tipping point holy grail! We must engage them now while providing an elevated experience.

The general concern is that the dollars will not be strategically invested to best accelerate early majority adoption, or even more troublesome, that they are spent in ways that slow the rate of EV adoption down.

What we know is that addressing the early majority’s top concern—charging accessibility—moves the group considerably closer to taking the plunge and going electric.

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Autonomous Vehicles: Part of the Triple Disruption in Transportation

Recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it’s launching an investigation into Tesla’s autopilot system. Autonomous driving technology, like all breakthrough innovation, is disruptive and will have setbacks before leaps. The government’s role is to protect the public which, in this case, requires intense scrutiny, as well as incentives and support, for a technology that could provide extraordinary public health and safety benefits. With both public policy and industry leaders at our table, Veloz sits at the nexus of these two, sometimes conflicting, needs.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) identifies six levels of automation from Level O (that would be you behind the wheel) to Level 5 (that would be a car without steering wheels or pedals or driver). In California, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) each have a multi-tiered system of permits required before a company can charge passengers for rides in vehicles without a human safety operator.

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Freedom To Save

In 2018, the Federal Reserve surveyed Americans and found that 40% were unable to cover a $400 emergency expense. Talk about feeling trapped. EVs can ultimately provide the way out. Savings from owning an EV not only make up the upfront cost differential with gasoline powered cars—a gap which is growing smaller and smaller every day—it also puts thousands of dollars back into your pocket …

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Charging Our Way Forward

The Biden Administration’s historic reimagining of America’s infrastructure — The American Jobs Plan — invests $174 billion to spur the development and adoption of electric vehicles (EV), with the lion’s share — $100 billion – on consumer incentives. I am a firm believer that the path to electrified transportation must be forged by drivers.

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Why Electric Must Be For All

From the beginning, Veloz has remained focused on inspiring people to go electric. To do this we must create pathways and opportunities to achieve Electric For All. This year one of our key initiatives is our 40 Million Reasons to Go Electric awareness campaign focused on overcoming key barriers.

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