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A Short List Locally on How to Make EVs Happen Globally

We overuse the word “electrifying” to mean excitement. A new chip flavor is electrifying. A new press release is electrifying.  A new pair of socks? Also electrifying.

What’s truly exciting and truly electrifying in the colloquial sense? How about electrifying in the literal sense?

DistribuTECH 2019 (#DTECH2019) offered an in-depth conversation on that literal (and figurative) form with an “Electrification of Transportation” mega session during the conference featuring speakers from the Center for Transportation and Environment, EPRI, Con Edison, and TEPCo.

Here’s what we learned about what’s trending for EV evolution right now.

Rethink you concepts: 1.1 million EVs are on the road right now. So don’t think this is a niche market anymore. There will be more vehicles coming, more purchases and even more electric vehicles on the road in the near future.

Don’t just focus only on plug-in hybrids: We started there in the U.S., but now the bigger growth in sales is with battery electric vehicles—or pure electric vehicles. (Thanks mostly to the Tesla Model 3 and an increase in range miles.)

Dream about SUVs and crossovers: They are coming in the EV market, and that is expected to be a huge driver in sales and adoption in the near future. (And big vehicles, including bucket trucks, are coming, too.)

Support public charging: Public fast-charging (in 30 minutes or less) is key to make EVs fit into short-term consumer psychology. To get a slew of them up and running quickly, think incentives.

Plan carefully for curbside parking: In urban areas with traffic issues, where you locate may be more important than tech issues. (Where will the station get the most use? Will it be blocked?)

Encourage customers to charge off-peak hours: Incentives come into play here again. Rewards for late-night charging, avoiding heavy hours or even referring a friend are all options to think about.

Don’t fear V2G: Rather, think of it all as a bonus component to the story, an extra benefit that could switch the grid headache of electric vehicles into an extra utility DER option in play.

If you’re thinking big and thinking fleets, understand your needs: Depending on geography and what these EV fleets you’re planning will do, there’s a variety of stressors, maintenance and charging requirements (as well as timing on that charging as well).

Get more insights on that new era of power this week at DistribuTECH. You can follow all the conference action right here.

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