Transitioning to Electric
By Cynthia Lang, CAPP, MPA
According to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, the U.S. power grid is more than 25 years old.1 Upgrading the current grid to meet President Biden’s goal to be 100% clean electricity by 2035 is a lofty goal. This change will reverberate across many industries including the parking and transportation sector.
At the Federal level, the goal means replacing 380,000 vehicles by 2035 which equates to approximately 30,000 vehicles per year based on a Government Accountability Office report published this month. In this report, the agency noted the need for over 100,000 charging ports..2 State and Local levels are forming councils and committees to develop plans and recommendations for infrastructure and statewide EV charging. Across all levels, the primary focus appears to be on Fleet / Vehicle transformation.
Transitioning to electric is occurring. Sustainability is front and center. There are some questions to consider. Can the upgrades required to the nation’s aging electrical grid keep pace? In the parking industry, older garages are faced with a similar concern. What is the plan to transform or upgrade these facilities? As the focus is on the infrastructure, does this include a cross-section of professionals for a total analysis in developing the infrastructure plans and the follow-on operational maintenance to support it once it is in place?
The transition and upgrade to the U.S. infrastructure are long overdue. Monies have been allocated to jump-start the transformation. However, there needs to be a collaborative effort with the standards implemented across the board. In the words of Thomas Edison, “A good intention, with a bad approach, often leads to a poor result.”
1 Energy, D. of. (2022, May 10). Biden administration launches $2.5 billion fund to modernize and expand capacity of America’s Power Grid. Energy.gov. Retrieved November 8, 2022, from https://www.energy.gov/articles/biden-administration-launches-25-billion-fund-modernize-and-expand-capacity-americas-power
2 Office, U. S. G. A. (2022, October 20). Federal Vehicle Fleets: Observations on the transition to electric vehicles. Federal Vehicle Fleets: Observations on the Transition to Electric Vehicles | U.S. GAO. Retrieved November 8, 2022, from https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-105635