Is the U.S. Ready for the Future of EVs?
Authored by Yair Nechmad, Chief Executive Officer of Nayax
As part of the recently approved Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, President Biden aims to have electric vehicles (EVs) account for half of U.S. car sales by 2030. To support this goal, the Biden Administration announced that 500,000 charging stations will be installed across the U.S. by the end of the decade, a significant increase from the 43,000 public charging stations currently installed. Leading U.S. automakers including Ford (F), General Motors (GM), and Stellantis have pledged to support the president's vision for bringing the U.S. to the forefront of EV innovation after years of lagging behind China and Europe on the journey to zero-emission transport.
Building a robust EV charging network across the U.S. is a crucial step in accelerating EV adoption, but there are also several other important factors to consider that will impact the trajectory of this emerging market. Below is a discussion of three developments that need to occur to facilitate EV adoption in the U.S.
1. Supporting consumer payment preferences
When you drive up to a gas station, you can be confident that you'll be able to pay for fueling your car with your debit or credit card, but that's usually not the case for EV charging stations. Most public EV charging stations are owned by charge point operators (CPOs) that require EV drivers to comply with closed loop payment systems to charge their cars. As a result, EV drivers spend time and money setting up accounts with different CPOs and carry around dozens of CPO-specific membership cards and mobile apps to be able to charge their cars. Ensuring that charging stations accept conventional payment methods such as credit and debit cards will simplify the EV charging process, eliminating a major concern many individuals have about the convenience and reliability of driving an EV. On top of that, providing access to charging stations that accept credit cards will also reduce "range anxiety" (a fear of getting stuck without battery) by assuring EV drivers that they can approach any charging station without complications.
2. Tools for multi-family residences
Charging EVs in multi-family residences (condominiums and apartment buildings) has proven to be a major obstacle for the expansion of EV adoption in urban centers. Unlike in private homes, EV chargers installed in apartment buildings draw their electricity from the building's main electricity board rather than the tenant's electricity board. This leads to a host of challenges including lack of electrical capacity, costly installations, and insufficient methods for billing tenants. Utilizing dynamic load management (DLM) solutions can optimize and balance the electricity used for a building's EV charging ecosystem, overcoming electrical capacity constraints with minimum investment in the building's electrical infrastructure. Furthermore, property managers would be more open to installing EV chargers in their buildings if there was an easy and centralized way for them to bill tenants for their portion of electricity usage. Approximately 20% of Americans live in multi-family residences, providing these individuals with reliable EV charging solutions will accelerate the pace of EV market penetration in the U.S.
3. Smart grid readiness
As more and more individuals connect their vehicles to electrical outlets instead of gas pumps, the demand on the power grid will spike dramatically. To support the electrification of the transport industry, utilities will have to upgrade their transmission networks and implement smart grid infrastructure and energy management solutions. Having smart grid technologies in place will avoid straining the grid and optimize electricity usage. One major benefit of the smart grid is the enablement of both grid-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-grid communication, allowing EVs to reduce the load on the grid by giving back power when demand is high. In addition, upgrading grids and implementing smart energy management solutions circumvents the costly and long process of building new powerplants to support the ever-rising demand of electricity. The development of smart grid infrastructure will play an important role in supporting the projected growth of EVs on the road.
All in all, the dream of an electric mobility future is starting to turn into reality as the world's leading economies take strides to reduce global carbon emissions. For President Biden to reach his goal by 2030, he must ensure that EV charging stations are not only accessible, but also reliable and easy for everyone to use whether at home or on the go.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.