Male and female engineers in a factory

The EV Connection: How do we scale up electric vehicle charging infrastructure?

By: John DeBoer III, Head of eMobility Solutions, North America, Siemens USA

Editor’s Note: With more than 100,000 charging stations deployed across all 50 states, Siemens is making significant investments to support electric vehicle (EV) charging manufacturing, including a commitment to manufacture more than 1 million chargers for the U.S. over the next four years. This is in addition to a recently announced $54 million investment in the company’s Grand Prairie, Texas and Pomona, California facilities that produce power technologies for critical infrastructure and EV projects across the country. Siemens also is the first external investor in Electrify America, the largest open ultra-fast electric charging network in North America.

To fill in-demand EV charging jobs, Siemens is creating new training and reskilling workforce programs, including an apprenticeship initiative in partnership with Wake Tech Community College in North Carolina. And at our nearly 600-person R&D hub in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, we are working towards the future of electrified transportation through continuous testing and exploration of EV technology.

For this second post in a two-part series, John DeBoer offers insights on how to scale EV charging infrastructure. You can read part 1 here.



The spotlight is on the EV market in America. We are seeing a ten-fold increase in the popularity and availability of electrified transportation in our society, with federal funding and policy aligning for a target to make half of all vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles. Forward-thinking homeowners, municipal governments, and companies are beginning to invest in EV charging infrastructure as EV adoption rapidly increases. And the U.S. government has invested $7.5 billion in EV infrastructure specifically for EV charging stations, with a focus on highways and routes that connect both rural and disadvantaged communities. The supporting EV charging infrastructure needs to advance right now to meet the needs of the transportation sector that is rapidly changing as EVs are more widely adopted.

 

In addition to fast-charging, open standards, interoperability and payment equity, the scaling of the deployment of a nationwide charging infrastructure provides a number of challenges and opportunities for stakeholders. As I noted in my earlier post, “The Electric Vehicle Era: What should a nationwide EV-charging infrastructure network look like?,” EV-charging stations need to be as accessible and convenient as gas stations in order to support the rapid market growth in the industry. It’s good for business, for the climate, for our workforce, and for our communities.


Innovate now: New technologies are needed for charging infrastructure

EV chargers are being deployed across the country for different installations, bringing with it the need for research and development of new technology that offers charging solutions for commercial, transit, and heavy-duty electric fleets that support the expanding EV market.

Made in the U.S.: Opportunities will rise for manufacturing

Millions of EV chargers will be needed across the U.S. over the next decade to support electrification, with the stipulation that EV infrastructure projects receiving federal funding should be “Buy America” compliant. This an opportunity for more U.S. manufacturing facilities and factories, with supporting supply chain partners and more American jobs.


Workers in demand: EV charging infrastructure presents multiple job opportunities

Workers with hands-on EV-manufacturing experience are in high demand. These workers should be proficient in software and hardware engineering, embedded systems and cloud platforms, in addition to traditional mechanical and operational skills, to build the EV workforce as hiring needs increase in response to the growth of the market.

The EV outlook: The rapidly growing EV charging market will present multiple needs

Companies such as Tesla and Electrify America have demonstrated amazing hints toward our future EV market: high-quality charging infrastructure that connects cities and provides new options for EV drivers who lack accessibility for private charging. Tesla has demonstrated a powerful vision for scale and ease of use while Electrify America has tackled the massive industry challenge of open and accessible charging. We must now combine these strengths in the marketplace as the next level of scale and accessibility is driven by this unique moment in time. And with the opportunity to add 500,000+ charging points over the coming years, now is the time to start.

 

 

Published: July 13, 2022