2020 Was The Year Electric Vehicles Truly Arrived | Hacker Noon

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@MattBloomMatt Bloom

Growth at AmpUp EV Charging | Boston

Lets face it, 2020 has been one of the most hectic and confusing years we may ever experience in our lives.

Yet despite a global pandemic and general social unrest, 2020 has somehow been an important year for clean energy and climate change.

For me, the commitment of regulators, utilities, consumers, and finally automakers has signaled the strongest commitment to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure we have ever seen — each providing a ‘launchpad’ if you will to get electric vehicles (and the infrastructure to make them go) off the ground.

EV Charging North Stars: States & Utilities

In the United States, the focal point of this progress has been state action. Kick-started with mitigation funding from the VW diesel emissions settlement, California and New York are leading the charge by committing millions in EV charging programs to bring over 170,000 new stations online by 2025.

These two coastal heavyweights are essential to long-term transportation change, and their effort to make charge station adoption attractive is unmatched across the country.

It is important to call out how these two states have been north stars for many others taking their own big step forward in EV charging.

State government and utilities play an important role in increasing electric vehicle adoption in their backyards, and it starts with infrastructure. 

The few states and utilities operating make-ready programs today have ‘passed the EV chasm’ so to speak, leading with future-proofing requirements for charging in order to achieve customer choice and data transparency. 

This includes chargers being networked and OCPP-compliant, a way for station operators to control pricing, access, and energy load for their stations. In what felt like a pipe dream just a few years ago electric vehicles and charging are quickly evolving into complete and complex solutions.

(Source: ‘Crossing the Chasm’ by Geoffrey Moore)

We’re now seeing first followers cross the chasm with state and utility incentive programs of their own. Workplace charger rebates, public DC Fast Chargers, utility fleet electrification — these are just some of the ways states are building an EV launchpad of their to meet carbon reduction targets.

For many of the programs appetite is high and the incentive money dries up quickly. Perhaps a good problem to have for the many communities striving to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Automakers Are Investing In, Not Just Talking About EVs

For years, automakers have been floating the idea of an electric and autonomous future. While most release a new concept car for their trade shows (half of them missing a motor), this year definitely felt a little different.

In 2020, investment in U.S.-based manufacturing for electric vehicles has been a prime indicator of automaker’s commitment to electrification. Tesla has been an obvious leader with their Nevada Gigafactory, and soon to be operational ‘Giga Texas’ in Austin.

General Motors has also kept busy announcing a $2 billion EV investment for their Tennessee plant, $150 million for their Michigan plant, and plenty of new electric models planned for years ahead. And let us not forget the ‘SPAC’-tacular public offerings with dozens of private EV companies making the leap to public in the blink of an eye.

According to IEA’s 2020 Global EV Outlook Report,

“EV sales reach almost 14 million in 2025 and 25 million vehicles in 2030, representing respectively 10% and 16% of all road vehicle sales. In a more ambitious scenario, the global EV stock reaches almost 80 million vehicles in 2025 and 245 million vehicles in 2030 (excluding two/threewheelers).”

Pretty soon we won’t be able to point to a few expensive Tesla models propping up the EV industry. PHEVs and BEVs are as popular as ever, and range anxiety is dwindling quickly as battery technology improves for both capacity and consumer’s wallets.

AmpUp: A Launchpad For Charging Access

I could not be more humbled to join AmpUp this year, a company truly proud to accelerate the electric vehicle evolution taking the United States and the rest of the world by storm. It is going to take a lot more than one car manufacturer or one charge station provider to make impactful change, and it is exciting to see station owners of different types take the leap to electric with us.

AmpUp is championing the movement to make private charging stations publicly accessible. We see this as yet another launchpad for widespread adoption of electric mobility, particularly in cities densely populated areas where home charging is not an option. EV drivers today and tomorrow need increased access to charging — and we all need cleaner electricity to power these stations.

With education and user experience at the forefront of what we do, AmpUp has been laser focused providing the tools to make EV charging easy and stress-free.

Our software-first approach has opened so many doors for us in 2020, and there is nothing more rewarding than hearing how much our customers enjoy their charging experience.

Additionally, we could not be more grateful for partners new and old helping workplaces, universities, multi-unit dwellings, and utilities become proud new operators of their own electric vehicle stations.

This year has helped me understand just how critical the EV launchpads all around us have been to sparking early industry success. I think I speak for everyone in the EV charging business when I say we can’t wait to see what launchpads emerge in 2021…

Stay driven,

Matt Bloom

(Thanks to Tom Sun for proofreading and commenting on this.)

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