Green.org sat down with Gagan Dhillon, Founder at Synop.ai, Fleet Electric Vehicle Charging Management, to learn about his vision for a sustainable future.
Gagan, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I have always had a passion for building things and loved tinkering on projects. I started my career working in the transportation industry and witnessed first-hand the challenges associated with transitioning to commercial electric vehicles. When I learned that 24% of greenhouse gas emissions in the world are from the logistics and transportation industry, I started dabbling in ways to create solutions for transportation. I saw an opportunity to innovate in commercial fleet electrification and was inspired to create technology to accelerate the adoption of commercial EVs.
The solution we built at Synop automates EV operations and makes it easier for commercial fleets like school buses, trucks, rental cars, and government vehicles, to go electric by putting operations and energy management on a single platform. Synop’s AI software helps businesses handle tracking, billing, reporting, and cost management under one unified, data-centric platform. Compatible with all EV types and charging stations, the platform is designed specifically for commercial fleets and OEMs to modernize the performance of their fleet and meet sustainability commitments.
Why do you think sustainability is such an important topic today?
Right now the disparity between greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) expected globally and how much they need to decrease in the coming decades to avoid irreversible climate change is alarming, also referred to as the emissions gap. According to this UN report, we need to cut GHG by 45 percent by 2030 to limit global warming. Pledges and government goals for shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy are only as good as the efforts by all of us working together to reach those goals. Transportation is a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, making up 23% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide in 2019. Switching to electric vehicles is crucial in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and giving energy back to the grid, stabilizing the intermittency of renewable resources.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
The EV industry is growing exponentially, and it’s clear EVs are the future of driving. We need to figure out how to encourage mass EV adoption and fast. In 10 years, I see the EV industry being more accessible for all – lower price points, convenient charging for individuals and fleets, and subsidies from governments worldwide made available for citizens to purchase EVs instead of gas-powered cars. As more commercial OEMs launch EVs, there will be a greater diversity of options, lowering ownership costs. We’ll address range anxiety by moving from a centralized approach, charging at a gas station to charging your car everywhere electricity is available.
Currently, EVs are limited to people who live in private buildings and have a lot of land – I see that expanding to city dwellers who don’t have big garages. I also think the shift to EVs will create many job opportunities. So far, most EV industry focus has been on passenger vehicles. In the coming years, I see the focus shifting to fleets. Fleets will drive the expansion of e-mobility because of their usage – a transit bus or Class 8 truck travels around five times that of a passenger car. I envision the EV fleet industry specifically focusing on enterprise fleet operators and expanding to government fleets in the future – there’s a lot of opportunity there. There’s a lot of development with traditional logistics carriers, school buses, trucks, and municipal transit.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Your daily habits can make a huge difference and influence peers and leaders to change their habits. We have the tools needed to end our dependence on burning things to save energy at our fingertips – and can protect the environment while we’re at it. Leave the car at home (unless you have an EV, of course). If you live in a bike or pedestrian-friendly city, use those means to get around, be active, and get some fresh air! Those with the means can invest their money responsibly. Figure out where your money is going, and see if you can opt-out of funds investing in fossil fuels. EVs are more cost-effective than you think – while the initial price point may be higher than a gas-powered car, EVs are cheaper to maintain, service and repair.