January 9, 2024

Powering Through: A Cross-Country Exploration of America’s EV Readiness

Powering Through: A Cross-Country Exploration of America’s EV Readiness

As the Business Director for eMobility at Oldcastle Infrastructure, I embarked on an unconventional expedition with my colleague, Richard (Rich) Childs, the eMobility Global Sales Manager. Instead of a flight, we opted for a cross-country road trip in an electric vehicle (EV), journeying from Atlanta to San Francisco. The goal? To gain an intimate understanding of America’s EV landscape, which is crucial for our roles in expanding Oldcastle Infrastructure’s presence in the EV infrastructure sector.

The Genesis of Our Adventure
Starting in Atlanta, our journey was more than just a road trip; it was a deep dive into the practicalities of EV travel. Choosing a long-range electric vehicle was not just for travel convenience; it served as our mobile laboratory.

Facing Challenges Head-On
Our first charging stop on day one was eye-opening. The ease of use and availability of charging options were promising. However, as we ventured further, we realized that this convenience was not universal. Charging station availability and conditions varied drastically. Journeying through diverse terrains and climates from Georgia to California, each state presented unique challenges and insights. The ever-changing landscape tested both our EV’s capabilities and our adaptability.

The trip was not without its trials. Weather conditions, such as extreme cold in Arizona, impacted battery efficiency. We encountered several charging stations that were out of service or in need of maintenance, and many lacked basic amenities.

We learned to rely on our vehicle’s navigation system for optimal charging stops, a strategy that proved crucial, especially when facing unexpected environmental challenges. Moments like reaching a charging station with just 5% battery left in Arkansas were nerve-wracking but provided invaluable lessons in energy management.

These experiences underscored the urgent need for a more robust and reliable EV infrastructure and the crucial role of initiatives like the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. NEVI’s aim to fund and support the development of a nationwide EV charging network perfectly aligns with the needs we experienced firsthand. Such support is essential for establishing a reliable and accessible charging infrastructure.

Reflections on the Road Ahead
Our expedition was a blend of adventure and professional discovery. We learned not only about the current state of EV infrastructure but also about its vast potential and pressing challenges. We returned with a clearer vision for our role in shaping the future of EVs. The journey reinvigorated our commitment to developing innovative solutions for the EV market by exploring partnerships and delving into advanced charging infrastructure designs, including modular solutions adaptable to various environments. This cross-country trip reinforced our belief in the potential of the EV market and the critical role of infrastructure in its growth.

This trip is also a testament to the need for programs like NEVI. Such initiatives will bridge the gaps we experienced, making EV travel not just a possibility but a practical, everyday reality. You can delve into more insights on NEVI in the informative series From Plan to Pavement by my colleague Chris Graham, eMobility Business Development Manager.

Rich often joked about being the funniest person in the car, but our experience was a serious exploration of America’s readiness for an EV revolution. We started as casual drivers but returned as seasoned navigators of the electric roads. This journey, daunting yet enlightening, has armed us with invaluable insights, setting the stage for Oldcastle Infrastructure to contribute meaningfully to the burgeoning EV market.

Discover the innovative EV charging infrastructure solutions and comprehensive resources offered by Oldcastle Infrastructure, and take a step towards a sustainable, electrically powered future.

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