Volta works to expand affordable access to electric vehicle charging
If electric vehicles are to displace fossil-burners, public charging needs to be available to drivers of all income levels. Currently, affluent neighborhoods are more likely to have access to charging infrastructure, but lower-income car owners may have an even greater need to use public charging, because many lack garages or driveways where they can install chargers at home.
Above: A Tesla Model S charging with Volta (Source: Volta Charging)
California and other states have long recognized this disparity, and many state-funded infrastructure initiatives require that a certain percentage of the funds be invested in lower-income neighborhoods.
The Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative aims to insure that 40% of federal investments in environmental programs flow to disadvantaged communities, which are often disproportionately affected by pollution. This goal applies to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will make up to $7.5 billion in federal funding for EV charging available over several years. As states and charging operators develop their proposals for funding, they’ll need to make sure that disadvantaged communities are included in their plans.
As with anything involving the government, this can be a complex proposition, and charging network operator Volta Charging aims to simplify the process for charging site owners and operators. The company has launched a new initiative called Charging for All, a multimillion-dollar commitment over the next few years to advance the administration’s EV infrastructure goals, specifically delivering affordable, equitable access to EV charging.
PredictEV, Volta’s infrastructure planning software, uses AI to predict EV adoption and charging needs in specific communities. It will now include an increased focus on supporting the equity goals of federal and state infrastructure funding programs.
“By optimizing the combination of federal and state government data sets around mobility, health, socioeconomic factors, demographics and more, we enable quick, efficient analysis and reporting needed for public funding applications,” says Volta.
The company says PredictEV is already being used by utilities and states across the country to plan EV infrastructure.
“We keenly recognize that charging deserts hold back EV adoption—along with the economic and health benefits that come with it,” says Volta. “We are proud to announce Volta’s Charging for All initiative—our commitment to advancing public infrastructure investment goals: delivering affordable, reliable, and—above all—equitable charging across the US.”