Now is the Time for Oil Independence

Now is the Time for Oil Independence

As we watch the war unfold in Eastern Europe, our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine, our colleagues whose family and friends are in danger and the people of Russia who do not want this war. As a global community, we rely on not only the generosity and kindness of our neighbors, but also on resources and goods from countries a world away.

Russia is the third largest producer of petroleum in the world and the current geopolitical crisis illustrates how imperative it is to transition away from a fossil-fuel based economy for the health and safety of all people and our planet. At Veloz, an important part of our mission is to eliminate our dependence on oil by replacing all gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs) in California and beyond.

To do that, we need to think globally and act locally. We must eliminate the remaining barriers, both real and perceived, to EV adoption. Consumers should feel secure that their EV can affordably take them where and when they want to go. Despite an uptick in EV advertising and new model availability, consumers still have questions around key issues like battery range and charging availability.

As a movement, we must solve for these real consumer hesitancies in order to kick gas to the curb and eliminate our oil dependence. Veloz stakeholders — including regulators, automakers, utilities, charging providers, rideshare companies, environmental justice advocates and consumer groups — have the experience, expertise and ability to address the critical issues of accessibility, range, charging station availability and reliability, consumer perception and action.

When it comes to EV range, we know that the median driving range of all-electric vehicles topped 250 miles in 2021, while the daily driver averages just 39 miles. Still, when you buy a car, you want it to take you on your longest trip of the year. If the battery can’t get you there, charging your car needs to be as quick, easy and reliable as filling up your tank. Achieving this requires a charging infrastructure designed for future demand and the impending change in consumer perception about the technology.

In California alone, we need 1.2 million public charging stations by 2030 to be on pace with growing demand, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC), which has approved a three-year, $1.4 billion plan for EV infrastructure and manufacturing. Veloz’s latest market report shows that California currently has almost 80,000 public chargers statewide.

However, in California and states across the country, the location of chargers, along with their reliability and affordability, are priority issues — especially as the Federal government is poised to invest $5 billion over the next five years to help states build out charging infrastructure. These funds should be deployed strategically to meet the future needs of EV drivers, with a focus on equitable distribution of charging stations. Electricity as a fuel must be affordable and chargers need to be installed through targeted investment that supports local efforts. Community engagement will be a key element of the roll-out.

We can also further speed infrastructure buildout by cutting red-tape. Installation regulations at state and local levels are designed for gasoline stations, which can potentially be dangerous to the surrounding environment. Electric chargers are safer and can be installed just about anywhere, with little impact. It’s critical that governments streamline the EV charger installation permitting process. In California, Veloz and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) are working with local officials to do just that.

Veloz, along with our powerful collaboration of partners, is focused on accelerating EV adoption, while eliminating our dependence on oil. We know the only path to 100% pollution-free transportation and a safer planet includes affordable, reliable and accessible EVs for all. To learn more from our stakeholders and industry experts about how public charging reliability plays an important role, please join us for our April 14 webinar.