person charging an electric vehicleBy Jonah Eidus

It shouldn’t take a global pandemic to demonstrate the benefits of a more sustainable future. Yet Los Angeles, which is notorious for its poor air quality, recently experienced some of the cleanest air in the world and its longest stretch of good air quality in more than 25 years. Massive declines in air pollution have also been noted in New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Atlanta. But sustaining these improvements will be impossible unless clean energy becomes a priority.

The current crisis has underscored the urgency of accelerating the transition to a more sustainable future; a fully electric transportation sector is a key component of that future. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that tailpipe emissions are responsible for more than 50 percent of our nation’s smog-forming pollution and roughly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Replacing gas-powered cars with electric vehicles is one of the primary steps we can take to make the current air quality improvements last when the economy shifts into recovery.

Supporting that transition with legislation–including funding support in economic recovery stimulus packages focused on infrastructure projects–is the key to cleaner air and healthier humans. A recent study published by Harvard University found that people living in areas with high levels of pollution were more susceptible to the coronavirus than those from areas with cleaner air. These real-life consequences are preventable if we can accelerate the shift to zero-emissions vehicles.

EV drivers will rely on a combination of charging at home, work, and on the go. For on the go, it’s estimated that the U.S. will require as many as 45,000 public DC fast chargers (DCFCs) by 2025—a nine-fold increase from the approximately 5,500 public DCFCs currently in operation. Fast charging enables customers to integrate charging into their everyday lives and for people living in multifamily residences, reliable access to public fast charging is a near prerequisite to owning an EV.

Now is the time to double down on our commitment to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and the deployment of EV public fast charging infrastructure in the United States. We urge IPMI members to join the more than 200,000 EV drivers, site hosts, EV manufacturers, policymakers, and stakeholders who are committed to going electric. Together, we can create a cleaner and greener future for all.

Jonah Eidus is vice president of strategic partnerships with EVgo.