Women in Autonomy panelist Bonnie Datta is passionate about disruptive technologies. As Founder of Plug to Grid Strategies, an advisory firm with a mission of decarbonization with a focus on the autonomous, electrified, and connected transport ecosystem, Bonnie is an expert on transport electrification and grid modernization. She is also the co-founder of a charging infrastructure start-up currently in stealth. Prior to our upcoming virtual panel, From Ambition to Reality: The Path Toward a Carbon Free Future, we sat down with Bonnie to get a sneak peek on the issues that will be discussed, from infrastructure and regulatory, to materials and scalability - as we push toward an electric future.
WIA: What is the single biggest challenge to widespread EV adoption?
BD: Reliability and availability of public charging is the single biggest hurdle we face today for EV adoption beyond the early-adopter segment. The number of chargers installed is a misleading statistic – the right data would be how many functional chargers are available at any point of time for drivers. A recent study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley found that almost 25% of public chargers in the San Francisco Bay Area were non-functional, and a recent New York Times article revealed that reliability of a leading charging provider was at only 61%.
How many times have you gone to a gas station for your ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle and found that the pump was not working? While there is regulatory work underway to ensure a 97% uptime assurance from EV service providers, how the regulation will be enforced – especially for chargers that are being publicly funded – is the multi-billion dollar question.
The average miles driven daily for light-duty vehicles is around 40 miles. Today, most EVs come with a 200+ mile range, with approximately 80% of charging taking place at long dwell sites, such as at home or places of work. However, reliability of public charging is a psychological barrier that is critical for widespread adoption, as well to provide the peace of mind required for those occasional long-distance drives.
WIA: What needs to happen in 2023 to advance electrification?
BD: I believe that the key to ICE-EV driver conversion is:
In terms of fleet adoption, we require:
WIA: Is the future fully electric?
BD: As a powered-by-electrons advocate, I would like to say yes – however, there are certain use cases where other zero-emission fuels may be appropriate, such as long-haul aircrafts.
Join Bonnie and the rest of our expert panel as they discuss the issues and opportunities of EVs and electrification during the upcoming Women in Autonomy virtual panel From Ambition to Reality: The Path Toward a Carbon Free Future on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023 at 9:00 AM PT / 12:00 PM ET.
Learn more and register here.
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