LOS ANGELES - August 31, 2021 – EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO), the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and first powered by 100% renewable electricity, today announced the Connect the Watts™ initiative aimed at accelerating the electrification of transportation by bringing together stakeholders across the EV charging infrastructure ecosystem to work efficiently to site, build, and deploy chargers. In response to growing consumer demand and policy support for EVs, EVgo and others across the U.S. are building a vast network of public fast chargers. Critical members of the charging ecosystem include EV manufacturers, charging infrastructure owners, utilities, site hosts, government funders, local permitting authorities, and equipment providers who must all collaborate to provide drivers access to convenient and reliable EV charging across America. Today, EVgo will release the first set of Connect the Watts EV charging implementation guides to expedite fast charger deployment across the various facets of the process.
Having held its first ecosystem-wide salon in May and the second in July 2021, EVgo’s Connect the Watts initiative has already garnered participation from more than 200 industry players, each aiming to advance transportation electrification. This release, the first in a series of implementation guides, is based on findings from the sharing of best practices between Connect the Watts participants and the requests from each and every sector involved to learn from others about efficient and effective deployment of charging infrastructure.
Industry research highlights that the most significant reservation consumers currently have with respect to purchasing an electric vehicle is access to charging1. Furthermore, Bloomberg New Energy Finance cites a need for 77,000 fast chargers in the U.S. by 2027 in order to satisfy demand and create driver confidence. Although it takes EVgo just four to eight weeks to construct a fast-charging station, the typical all-in timeline for end-to-end station deployment can take from nine to 24 months given current practices, interactions and sign-off by hosts, utilities, government permitting agencies, and other stakeholders. According to PlugShare, the current installed base is approximately 20,000 fast chargers in the U.S., which means the pace with which chargers are sited, funded, and permitted must accelerate significantly.
During 2021 EVgo has hosted virtual sessions with industry leaders to share lessons learned from more than a decade of siting, building and operating the US’s most expansive public fast charging network, bringing all members of the ecosystem together to exchange challenges and solutions, and provide resources for utilities, permitting offices, landlords, and real estate owners to streamline deployment schedules. Drawing from the first series of Connect the Watts meetings, EVgo is publishing the inaugural set of best practices documents for Local Permitting, Utilities and Public Funding.
“The players in the charging ecosystem—retailers, utilities, governments, and equipment providers— are excited about the EV revolution and understand they have a key role to play in enabling the transition,” commented Cathy Zoi, CEO of EVgo. “We’re working together to create a flywheel that supports that. Much like Henry Ford’s revolutionary production line for the Model T in 1913, each of us has a role to play at enabling the efficient deployment of chargers.”
“Transformation of the transportation industry will require a deliberate and sustained effort to streamline the process for rapid deployment of EV infrastructure,” said Garrett Fitzgerald, Principal, Electrification at Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). “The Connect the Watts guides illuminate best practices, share lessons learned, and generate new best practices for dissemination and adoption.”
Not unlike the solar industry a little over a decade ago, the advancement of technology is only a part of the picture to achieve scale. To build and energize thousands of fast charging stations, all stakeholders need to continue to work together to streamline processes of siting, permitting, and funding. EVgo has convened the EV community for knowledge sharing and constructive conversations. Members of the Connect the Watts community include 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; and local governments approving permits to build chargers. Sign up to receive updates from Connect the Watts.
EVgo (Nasdaq: EVGO) is the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles, and the first to be powered by 100% renewable energy. With more than 800 fast charging locations, EVgo’s owned and operated charging network serves over 68 metropolitan areas across 35 states and more than 275,000 customer accounts. Founded in 2010, EVgo leads the way on transportation electrification, partnering with automakers; fleet and rideshare operators; retail hosts such as hotels, shopping centers, gas stations and parking lot operators; and other stakeholders to deploy advanced charging technology to expand network availability and make it easier for drivers across the U.S. to enjoy the benefits of driving an EV. As a charging technology first mover, EVgo works closely with business and government leaders to accelerate the ubiquitous adoption of EVs by providing a reliable and convenient charging experience close to where drivers live, work and play, whether for a daily commute or a commercial fleet.
Ted Brooks, VP of Investor Relations
1 Consumer Reports. December 2020. https://advocacy.consumerreports.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/CR-National-EV-Survey-December-2020-2.pdf