Electric Vehicles are a constant talking point and subject for Going Green, because it is at the center of many different industries that are being disrupted. Going Green is excited to invite Jordan Ramer, the CEO and Founder of EV Connect, onto the podcast to discuss the future of electric vehicles. Prior to that, we wanted to understand a little bit more about Jordan and what his inspiration was to devote his lengthy and illustrious career to the Electric Vehicle industry.
How did you get involved in the sustainable industry?
With the loss of his mother at 5 years old to cancer, I spent much of my early adult life searching for a career that could combat environmental pollution and its impacts on society. In 2000, I joined AeroVironment (AV) and started my career in the clean energy and transportation arena, now known as the energy transition industries. With AV’s long history of innovation in energy transition fields and strong capability around charging EVs in the late 1990s, I took leadership roles in several AV business units during my eight-year career, including managing its international growth. AV manufactured and brought to market the first fast-charging stations targeting off-road electric vehicles in the material handling industries (forklifts, baggage tuggers, pickers, etc.) After leaving AV in 2008, I spent two years with NanoH20, a producer of advanced reverse osmosis membranes for water desalination.
In early 2010, EV Connect was founded. Through my experiences at AV, Tesla’s early success with their Roadster model, and mainstream automakers such as GM’s and Nissan’s announcements about on-road electric vehicle launches, I realized that site owners, parking lot managers, fleet operators, and utilities must have a way to manage the complex and heterogeneous infrastructure required to satisfy the demands of EV drivers.
Prior to 2010, almost all EVs prior operated in tightly controlled factory settings. A single company would deploy forklifts and other industrial vehicles in closed-systems, like factories. These industrial EV networks had centralized control of the entire ecosystem: from drivers to charging stations, vehicles, and electric supply. These closed-loop EV networks still exist, but the broad availability of a diverse marketplace of EVs, charging stations, network operators, site owners, and utilities today make up a massive and growing, heterogeneous marketplace of EV technology.
As a 10-year-old company in an 8-year-old industry, EV Connect has seen the early days of the electric vehicle. EV Connect puts the EV ecosystem’s complexity into the background and simplifies EV charging management for businesses and drivers.
What trends are you seeing in The Future Of Electric Vehicles?
The 7.2 million electric vehicle drivers on the road today are expected to grow exponentially to more than 125 million by 2030. Passenger EV sales grew from 450,000 to 2.1 million between 2015 and 2019—a 366% increase in a mere four years. By 2025, sales will reach 8.5 million (Bloomberg), quadrupling today’s sales. With that projected growth, site owners, parking lot managers, fleet operators, and utilities need a way to manage the complex and heterogeneous infrastructure required to satisfy EV drivers’ demands. Most owners of EV charging assets don’t want to have to manage the complexity of the EV charging ecosystem, including the intersections of charging stations, facility owners, utilities, and drivers.
With rapid, large-scale growth comes the prospect of growing pains. Ask any EV driver whose range anxiety boils over when her charging app, and the last few electrons in her battery, get her to a charging station that: is in use for the next two hours; is out of service; is not in her charging network, does not do fast charging that day; or is ICE’ed; charger slang for when an internal combustion engine (ICE) car squats in an EV charging spot. EV charging network operators have different but equally frustrating issues, for the same reasons. Businesses and governments building a clean-energy future must ensure that EV charging needs to work for everyone.
What is one “Action Item” the viewers can take away from this conversation?
The EV revolution is at risk of becoming a dystopian future if the industry continues to compete at the expense of building a streamlined, efficient, and effective collective user experience. With transportation currently accounting for more than 40% of the planet’s climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, interoperable EV charging infrastructure is critical for a cleaner future. One of the few tricks the EV industry should copy from gasoline-based transportation is the universal compatibility of cars and gas pumps. Hardware-agnostic and open networks can simplify the set-up, management, and optimization of charging stations, from installation to driver support. The EV industry cannot afford chaos at scale, and the most critical action item is to support open standards in EV charging to help avoid chaos.
Thank you Jordan for taking the time to share your story and teaching us more about The Future Of Electric Vehicles. We are looking forward to having you on the podcast.
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Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.