In an effort to accelerate the process of putting fast chargers on the ground, EVgo started Connect the WattsTM, an initiative aimed at bringing the electric vehicle charging infrastructure community together to identify best practices for charger deployment.
The EV Charging Ecosystem
Our Nation's Transportation Infrastructure Is Changing
America’s network of public gas stations made it possible for broad ownership and operation of gas-powered vehicles. Now, to prevent emissions and combat climate change, the U.S. is turning to electric vehicles (EVs). A vast, public infrastructure of EV fast chargers is needed to support the demand for EVs and the drivers who will depend on it.
Growing consumer demand and policy support behind EVs make it necessary to roll out EV charging infrastructure faster than ever before. To succeed, we need to accelerate the process of putting a fast charger in the ground.
The Demand for Electric Vehicles Is Booming
In 2018, there were over one million EVs on U.S. roads.1 By 2027, there will likely be 7.25 million EVs.2 To power those EVs, it’s projected that we’ll need 77,000 fast chargers in operation in 2027.3 As of June 2021, the United States had 18,035 fast chargers.4 In order to meet market needs and reach climate goals, the U.S. needs to pick up the pace of rolling out EV charging infrastructure. The Biden Administration’s infrastructure proposal will support the build-out of a nationwide network of 500,000 L1, L2, and fast charging stations.
1. Source: InsideEVs.com and HybridCars.com via the Edison Electric Institute Electric Vehicle Sales Facts and Figures
2. Source: Based on BNEF and company estimates
3. Source: Based on BNEF and company estimates
4. EVgo figures from internal database and Plugshare. The Alternative Fuels Data Center counts 18,492 public fast chargers as of 6/10/2021.
All Stakeholders Will Have to Work Together
To build and energize those thousands of fast charging stations, all stakeholders will have to work together to streamline the process of site identification, design, permitting, installation, and utility interconnection. Actual construction of a charging station takes just 4-8 weeks, but the entire process to bring a fast charger online—from host engagement through utility engagement, and permitting to utility interconnection—currently takes an average of approximately 18 months. With proper planning, engagement and alignment of all parties involved, and process streamlining through adoption of best practices, this average timeline can be reduced to just 6 months.
Connect the Watts:
Working Together to Accelerate Charger Deployment
When the people and organizations involved in the charger deployment process understand and internalize each other’s challenges, we can more easily and efficiently work together to adopt smart solutions. For this reason, EVgo started Connect the Watts.
The Connect the Watts Community Includes:
Automakers producing electric vehicles
Equipment suppliers designing, manufacturing, and shipping chargers and equipment
Public funders financing charger projects
Property and retail organizations hosting chargers in their parking lots
Utilities supplying power to the chargers
Local governments approving permits to build chargers
What Connect the Watts Does
Connect the Watts collects data about current practices and obstacles in each stage of deployment, illuminates best practices, creates a space to share those lessons learned, and generates new best practices for dissemination and adoption. It also includes quarterly meetings for the entire ecosystem, during which EVgo and attendees generate and share tools and examples, plus additional birds of a feather discussions for specific topics.
Why EVgo Is Positioned to Lead
EVgo is the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles, and is the first to be powered by 100% renewable energy. With over ten years of experience deploying charging stations across the county, we fully understand this process and the associated challenges and opportunities. As such, EVgo is uniquely positioned to lead this effort to encourage and enable our fellow charging infrastructure stakeholders to generate and share important insights that will streamline and speed up charger deployment, and to share our expertise on EV charging processes to that end.
Connect the Watts: Best Practices
In an effort to shorten the learning curve to building chargers, EVgo is releasing a series of guides to provide solutions to challenges from the field. Choose an option below to learn what EVgo is doing with each of these partner groups.