Meeting the Challenge of Introducing EVs to the Nation
By Lee Broughton
alternative fuel vehicles
When we made our commitment to bring electric vehicles (EVs) to the marketplace, we knew we had a difficult journey to travel. We needed to put the right infrastructure in place for charging the cars.
So when I started hunting for NGOs to partner with to enhance our sustainability efforts, the Electrification Coalition offered a path forward on solving the charging dilemma.
They stuck out to me as an organization with similar, realistic goals and values. Their mission to introduce electric vehicles (EVs) on a mass scale to reduce dependency on foreign oil was in sync with our EV strategy. The Coalition hopes that by 2020, 5 percent to 7 percent of the vehicles in the U.S. will be EVs.
With those parallels between our goals, it was a natural fit to join the Coalition last fall. That relationship kicked up a notch when our CEO and Chairman Andy Taylor and I met earlier this year with Coalition President and CEO Robbie Diamond to swap ideas.
Robbie shared his ideas about introducing EVs in America without creating chaos. Simply put, charging infrastructure should be deployed on a regional basis so states compete for government subsidies to accommodate EVs as consumers begin using them for daily driving. The states with the best plans and infrastructure would get top priority for funding. This competition-based model is smart, and helps overcome the potential headaches of rapid EV deployment on a national scale.
We also talked through a few ways that Enterprise can get directly involved in the Coalition’s pitch to America. For starters, Andy will sit down with the Coalition in July as part of a global oil crisis simulation demonstrating the need for alternative fuels.
Our membership in the Coalition certainly doesn’t hurt our image among our customers. But the much larger benefit of being in the Coalition is the long-term impact – being a family-owned company allows us to think more about long-term results than short-term gains.
We’d like to hear your thoughts. Are Enterprise and the Coalition heading in the right direction?