Were you at the National Press Club last Tuesday? That was a great conference put on by the Copper Development Association on electric vehicles, EVs. If you couldn’t make it, here’s three brief videos excerpting the second panel discussion:
I. Darren Epps, Product Development Specialist, Southern Company
“So, to that end, as Lisa [Jerram of the American Public Transportation Association] said, we have electric buses coming. To Macon, Georgia, Birmingham, Alabama, Athens, Georgia, my alma mater. University of Georgia's having electric buses. We're excited about that.
We have also, and very recently, started a partnership with Lyft. Lyft is very strategic, when it comes to electric transportation and being environmentally-friendly.
The first phase of this partnership is getting more electric vehicles into ride-share platforms. It's less than a percent now, in Atlanta.
How that works for all is, Lyft has a mechanism called Express Drive, where you can rent a car. If you don't own a car, and you want to make money driving with Lyft, or your car is too old, or your car, as a too-old car doesn't qualify, you can rent a car from Lyft. You get a certain amount of rides, then you really get the car for free.”
II. Lisa Jerram, Director for Bus, Paratransit and Surface Transit, American Public Transportation Association
“For buses, electrification is really a key part of that. There are other areas, and I think we'll talk about that somewhat in terms of automation and other things, part of the digital transformation.
So it's certainly not just electrification. But from my perspective, bus electrification is really one of the major opportunities in electric transportation that's happening right now. And it is really happening right now.
I would say in the U.S., there's somewhat over three hundred battery electric buses in operation, which is relatively small number. There's somewhere on the order of nine hundred or a thousand or so buses on order.
And then there are transit agencies. Over seventy or eighty transit agencies that have electric buses deployed. Typically at small levels, like five buses maybe.
But then you've got transit agencies that are making this to go all electric. And some really big ones, especially California. Los Angeles, L.A. Metro, says they're going to go all electric by 2030.”
III. Kellen Schefter, Manager for Sustainable Technology, Edison Electric Institute
“At the place you want it, at the scale that you want it, at the local distribution center. That adds some more near-term costs and concerns.
I don't think the concern is there today. California electric companies recently did a study. They have about half the EVs in the U.S., by the way. There are about five hundred thousand EVs just in California.
The electric companies there did a study and less than 0.16 percent of those EVs at home triggered some sort of distribution upgrade. Meaning they had to replace a transformer or do a new power line upgrade or anything like that. So the impact to the grid today from the EVs on the system is very, very small.”