This year, we’ve seen promises of massive expansions for EV charging infrastructure, completely novel approaches to EV charging, and increased electrification efforts by retail giants across the nation.
Here is your quick rundown of the top EV news highlights of 2023!
Investments in charging infrastructure
Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a federal research facility that drives the development and deployment of renewable energy sources, released a report assessing the expansion necessary in the nationwide charging network to accommodate the United States’s transition to EVs.
According to the data provided by the NREL, the U.S. charging network will need 28 million charging ports by 2030, including public fast charging and Level 2 charging ports and private Level 1 and 2 charging ports.
In October of this year, the Biden administration announced a $3.46 billion investment that will fund 58 projects in 44 states with the intent to strengthen the national charging network.
Private companies have also shown interest in boosting U.S. charging infrastructure throughout the year. Walmart unveiled a plan to increase the number of fast-charging stations at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations by adding at least 4 new stations at each store.
Similarly, a team of 7 automakers (General Motors, Kia, Hyundai, Honda, BMW, Mercedes, and Stellantis) have debuted a plan to introduce 30,000 new stations in urban areas and along travel routes in the U.S. and Canada over the next decade.
Other private companies that have announced plans to invest in EV infrastructure this year include:
- Charging companies themselves, such as ChargePoint, Blink, EVgo, Francis Energy, and Electrify America
- Forum Mobility
- TravelCenters of America
- And more!
New approaches to EV charging lower installation times and costs
A number of tech and power companies have taken steps throughout 2023 to make electrification more accessible by providing ways to circumvent the large upfront capital investments that often hinder the widespread and commercial adoption of EVs.
Duke Energy, the largest electric power company in the United States, announced the construction of an EV charging depot that will power vehicles using Duke’s carbon-free microgrid. The depot will enable commercial fleets that are new to working with EVs to speed up their electrification process by providing a place to develop, test, and deploy EV fleets.
An official charging-as-a-service (CaaS) EV solution has been developed by Shoals Technologies and Brookfield Renewable. The companies aim to give fleets, public sector entities, EV solution providers, vehicle and retail manufacturers, and other commercial or industrial properties access to their preferred chargers via a monthly subscription fee, eliminating the high costs and lengthy installation times that come with charger installation.
Eaton, an intelligent power management company, has also announced a new approach to charging installation in the form of their Green Motion EV charging hardware. This hardware simplifies the installation process by “eliminating costly cable runs and major modifications to existing parking and conveyor structures,” allowing commercial fleets to start using charging equipment without making concrete changes to their existing facilities.
Finally, we can’t help but brag about Fluid Truck’s own electrification efforts. Our goal is to empower fleets to begin their own electrification plan by renting out our vehicles. We also installed five EV charging stations this year, and have become thought leaders in the space by speaking about our electrification process at conferences around the country. With all of the public programs available in the United States, it’s becoming easier and easier for private companies to spearhead the electrification process. Interested? Here’s how we did it!
National retail electrification efforts
From PepsiCo to Amazon to Target, retail giants across the nation have continued to expand their EV fleets this year.
Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, made strides toward the larger company’s zero-emissions goals by switching a portion of its shipments from diesel to electric. The switch, which involved contracting battery electric trucks from Schneider National Inc.’s Freightliner eCascadia fleet, could lower PepsiCo’s emissions by more than 70%.
Domino’s met its year-end goal of deploying 800 Chevrolet Bolts in its delivery fleet this summer. In response to this accomplishment, the pizza chain pledged to increase that number to 1,100 vehicles by the end of the year, which they achieved with the help of Enterprise Fleet Management.
Another company on the forefront of electrification has been Amazon. A number of Amazon facilities have made the switch to electric delivery fleets, including the first EV delivery fleet to hit the streets in upstate New York.
Amazon also doubled the amount of active EVs in its fleet over the summer, with 10,000 Rivian electric vans carrying packages all over the nation. These advancements have the company on track to meet its goal of 100,000 active EVs by 2030.
What were your favorite EV evolutions this year? And what are your predictions for 2024? Let us know on social media!