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Webinar: What’s in Store for 2024 (Text Version)

This is a text version of Webinar: What’s in Store for 2024 , presented on Jan. 25, 2024.

Stephen Lommele: Hi, everyone. Welcome to today's Joint Office of Energy and Transportation webinar, where we're going to be covering what's in store for 2024. Just letting participants join here and we'll go ahead and get started in just a second.

Hi, again, everyone. We've crossed the threshold mark of 100 participants. Still inching our way up. So, we're going to go ahead and get started. I'm Steve Lommele. I'm the communications and education lead for the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. And today, we've got a great webinar for you focused on what's in store for 2024.

I'm going to cover a few housekeeping notes here. First of all, controls are located at the bottom of your screen. If they aren't appearing, you can move your cursor over the bottom edge of the screen. And I want to call attention to this because we are going to be using the Q&A feature to field your questions during our Q&A portion of today's webinar.

So, you'll see an icon with two chat boxes that says Q&A and would encourage you to go ahead and submit your questions there throughout the webinar, and especially during the panelist discussion that we've got at the end. So that's how we'll be fielding your questions.

Just wanted to offer up a disclaimer. The webinar is being recorded and may be posted on the Joint Office website or used internally. If you do speak during the webinar or use your video, you are presumed to consent to recording and use of your voice or image.

Next slide, please. So, in terms of our agenda today, we've got some great panelists. We're going to start out with some introductory remarks by our Executive Director Gabe Klein and then introduce you all to our senior advisors. So, we've got Sejal Shah, Senior Advisor for Electric Utility Programs and Policies. Kevin George Miller, Senior Advisor for Operating Models and Finance. And Debs Schirmer, our Senior Advisor for Community and Urban Charging. And then we'll have panel discussion and audience Q&A at the end.

Next slide, please. First, we've got a couple of polling questions just to get a sense of who's on the webinar today. So, Derek, if you could go ahead and show the first polling question. We're interested in understanding what region of the country you're from. Helps us just kind of gauge where representation is from so go ahead and answer that question. We'll give you just a minute here. Derek, we've got a critical mass if you could go ahead and show us the results, please.

Great. Wonderful to see folks from all over the country. And good representation from the northeast, the west as well. Go ahead and close that one and we'll move on to the next polling question please.

And then we're understanding– interested in understanding what sector you're from. So are you a government representative, one of our utility partners or stakeholders from the industry. If you could, go ahead and answer these questions. And then, Derek, we've got a critical mass, if you could go ahead and show us the results, please.

Great. Wonderful to see a whole bunch of folks from the EV industry. I know you all have joined us for many of these calls and then we've got participants from state, local, and federal government as well. So, thanks so much, Derek, for showing those poll questions. And with that, we'll go ahead and move to the next slide, please.

All right. So, as I already mentioned, these are the folks we've got on the call today. We're going to kick things off with Gabe Klein, our Executive Director of the Joint Office. And then we'll hear quick updates from each of our senior advisors. And after that, we'll go ahead and open it up for a panel discussion where I'll be moderating and asking some questions.

Again, just a reminder, to submit your questions via the Q&A feature at the bottom of the screen there is a chat feature as well although we will be using the Q&A feature. So, with that, next slide, please.

All right. Now, I'm going to turn it over to executive director Gabe Klein, who is going to just refresh your memory on who and what the Joint Office is and then some of the exciting things that we've been working on. Take it away, Gabe.

Gabe Klein: Thank you, Steve. And thanks to the whole team. The engagement, education, and communications team. They do a spectacular job. And I'm very excited to have this webinar for a couple of reasons. One, is to kick off calendar year 2024 with a bang and talk a little bit about what's transpired just in the first month.

And then talk about what's coming and it'll be a portion of it because there's so much going on now that we're about 40 people in the Joint Office. But also, to highlight the work of our senior advisors. And they are just amazing folks that are helping us to meet our vision and mission every single day. They were handpicked to do this work. And so I'm really excited for you to hear directly from them.

Next slide. And this is a little bit of a summary of our primary programs that we're supporting. Of course, if you look at the bipartisan infrastructure law, and you look at the MOU that the Secretary signed, there are a lot of sub elements to the work that we do. But we are very busy with the NEVI plan and program. We'll talk a little bit more about that in just a minute.

The charging and fueling infrastructure grants of which the first two of five years were just announced about 10 days ago. And we'll talk a little bit more about that. And more and more, the Low-No Program s at US DOT for transit buses, and the Clean School Bus program at EPA.

I was listening to NPR I think it was yesterday and was hearing about this program. There was $1 billion, by the way, given out last Monday. And the fact that 25 million children use these buses every single day. So, it's the number one form of transit.

Next slide. So, here's a little bit of a summary of what's happened over the last month or so. We had a slew of station openings in December. Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania. The connector standard came out from SAE. We had the CFI, the RAA, and the Joint Office FOA selections. And we have slides that will go into more detail.

These are actually photos of us. Gosh, I guess this is just like last week at the or maybe the week before at the Auto Show announcing– both deputy secretaries and myself announcing the repair and replace program, the $148 million program.

Next slide. Here's some pictures of those openings. I will say, I was at the London Ohio opening with Governor DeWine, Andrew Rogers, others, Alex Schroeder from our team. And it was a beautiful station. It was interesting because we were in the parking lot of a gas station and catty-corner is the new GM Energy station with a giant canopy. And it really looked amazing. It was a pilot location because it was literally the same canopy, maybe a little bit nicer actually. But it put it on equal footing with the gas station.

Rachel was in Kingston, New York announcing that station with Shailen Bhatt. And then Pittston, Pennsylvania came online, another GM Energy site. So we have 33 states that have released their solicitations, 13 states have issued awards or have agreements in place. And then we have the three that have opened and there's many more coming online this quarter.

Construction is actually underway for stations in Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. And props to Hawaii who has not had an easy year and they are rocking and rolling there. Next slide. So the discretionary CFI program, we had $623 million awarded about 10 days ago.

You can see the numbers there. 47 projects, 22 states and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico got a pretty exceptional grant. We're very excited for them. And that's going to result in about 7,500 EV charging ports. It's a mix between level 2 and DC fast charging ports. And look for another tranche of that. The third-year tranche coming very soon.

Next slide. Just last Friday, the Joint Office actually made our funding awards for the Ride and Drive Electric funding opportunity. It was $46.5 million. This funding is going to support 30 really awesome projects. We consider them EV charging game changers and it's going to address specific needs, addressing barriers to charging and multifamily housing facilities.

And as more and more people are buying EVs, the early adopters, many of them were in single family homes, as we hit almost 10% sales in December. We're mainstreaming and we have everybody buying in including people in urbanized areas, people in multi-family homes, some in urbanized areas also.

We're also exploring new approaches to curbside charging including bring your own cord, which I think is very exciting. Promoting seamless connections across modes through e-mobility hubs, and testing new incentive structures to provide affordable public charging access. And of course, creating jobs and creating generational wealth opportunities for entrepreneurs. So very excited about all of that.

By the way, all those awards are on our website. This is a map of where the awards are. And you can go to our website and you can actually see each award and look at each project. The color gradient is an indication of how much funding went to a particular state. But keep in mind, that some of the awardees were cities, many were private companies and partnership with government.

And that's one of the differences with our FOA is that we could award to the private sector as well in partnership with other organizations and governments. Next slide. And then this is something we came up with– gosh, I don't know it was the last year. I remember pitching the secretaries on this, but we knew that there were a substantial number of ports down. We've been putting in chargers in this country for about 15 years, 16 years maybe.

And the first generation, second generation, many of them were just at the end of their useful life. Some of them were not under contract anymore so nobody owned them. And so this was an opportunity to help states, local jurisdictions to replace those. There were 24 awards and 20 states. 14 state, Departments of Transportation as well as 10 local governments or entities. This is going to replace or repair nearly 4,500 charging ports and modernize the network to meet the current NEVI standards and the demand that we see out there.

Next slide. In terms of what is to come from the Joint Office, the NEVI program continues to progress and grow. We have a lot of states in different places. Some like Ohio had already done a tremendous amount of planning. They were really leaning in even before this program. Others are just getting their planning underway, but we're starting to see chargers go in the ground, which is very exciting.

With the 10% set aside, the RAA that was just awarded, RFOA and so forth, some of that's going to move faster because you have a lot of level two chargers. It's not as much of a construction project. And with the RAA, it's more about swapping chargers In and swapping other chargers out.

Now that the CFI awards have been made and we have more local jurisdictions towns, cities, Indian tribes that have been awarded funds. We are ramping up our technical assistance led by Linda Bailey who came to us from DC government and from NACTO. So she is ramping up with Jeff Peel and the whole team to support local jurisdictions, which in some ways is a much bigger undertaking because there are 50 states but there are literally thousands of towns and cities.

We're going to be launching the EV-ChART platform. And that's very exciting. That's going to ingest all the data from or much of the data from Title 23 projects funded by the federal government, federal highways, DOT, fort chargers. That's launching actually in the next month.

And then building out our zero emission freight vehicle corridor strategy. You might hear more about that, I think you will, from Kevin on this call. He's been working a lot on that. And the last thing that's not on here, but I'll just mention is that we've been working a tremendous amount on the J3400 standard and making sure that we coalesce with the private sector and help them, or I should say help them as they coalesce around a charging standard, which was the NAC standard is now becoming an open standard J3400.

And so working with industry, working with NGOs, working through our ChargeX Consortium and so forth, to make sure that we have the most interoperable, resilient, and reliable, and usable system nationally. And our goal is for everybody to be able to charge their vehicle at really any charger that they go through, through an interoperable system.

And it does feel like we are coalescing around a standard and so we are working actively led by our team Sarah Hipel and Jacob, and all of the great standards and reliability folks that are not the focus of this webinar but know that a lot of technical work is happening behind the scenes. And that's it for me. And now I'm going to turn it over to my friend and senior advisor, Sejal Shah, to talk to us about what she's been working on and what she will be working on this year.

Sejal Shah: Thanks, Gabe. Hi, everybody. thank you for joining. I'm Sejal Shah. I'm a senior advisor working on electric utility programs and policies for the Joint Office. Next slide, please. So why does the Joint Office need an advisor on electric utility programs and policies? Well, the electric utility ecosystem is very complicated and has many stakeholders that have an impact on how EVs will interact, integrate, connect with the electric grid.

And we've already seen that from the federal side with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which gave us NEVI, CFI, and the Joint Office. We wouldn't be here if that hadn't been there. So the stakeholders that I focus on over the last six months with the Joint Office have been the electric utilities themselves and the electric utility regulators.

And these conversations have been to help understand their experiences with electric transportation, what are the challenges, what are best practices that can be shared across the nation, across to other entities so that we can start leapfrogging hopefully.

And on the electric utility regulators side, we're engaged with [INAUDIBLE] both from a leadership conversation standpoint so that regulators, utility commissioners. And on the federal side, DOE and Joint Office leaders are able to understand the respective efforts underway and understand the pain points and potentially of where we could assist each other.

And then at the staff level, we are having conversations on a monthly basis with Utility Commission staff, Joint Office, and DOE staff to get into the weeds on various topic areas. On the electric utility side, we're engaging through industry organizations like NRECA, APA, EEI, EPRI, and lots of one-on-one conversations with electric utility staff, whether it's virtual or at conferences. So if you would like to have a conversation about your experiences related to ET, please reach out. I'd love to have that conversation.

Next slide, please. And then a quick look at what our key priorities are for going forward for 2024. Stakeholder engagement, which I highlighted in the previous slide is key. We are looking to build on those relationships and continue that and broaden that across the various other stakeholders mentioned on that slide.

The next priority is to decrease the time it takes for an EVSE to connect to the electric grid with a goal of 500,000 public chargers by 2030 and funding programs like NEVI and CFI at the federal level, plus funding opportunities from states and utility programs for make ready infrastructure.

For EV chargers, we're seeing a large number of potentially service load requests applications going in at a given time. And I've heard as long as 18-to-24-month timelines for getting chargers energized. So where can we assist and how can we assist to get that timeline shortened so that EV chargers come online faster? An approach I want to highlight here is our Joint Office web-based tools that are supported by our amazing data analysis team. An example is the Guide to Utility Services tool called GUS, which I love the acronym. It's been beta tested and we're looking to have this widely deployed. The tool provides not only the availability of electric capacity at a particular location but along the AFCs but also provides the availability of facilities nearby. So if there's restrooms and lighting and whatnot. It's a great tool. Please reach out if you want to get engaged in that effort and learn more about it.

The next priority is EVs becoming a beneficial resource for the electric grid. And that is a huge undertaking and I'll speak on that a little more in the Q&A side, but I do want to unpack one thing here and that's EV smart charging because that is a near-term benefit that we can take advantage of from EV smart charging. It helps to avoid grid congestion during peak use periods.

And for that to happen, we need to have the EV communicating properly with the EV charger, and then have that EV charger or the data properly communicating with the utility side. We have a rock star team here. The standards and reliability team that Gabe previously mentioned that's been working on this for the past year and continuing more work on that this coming year.

The last priority I would like to mention is sitting transmission lines and renewables in transportation rights of way. This was a task that was assigned to us by the BIL. We began efforts on this last year and we're working towards a public engagement in the next few months. So more to come on that very soon. So, I will leave it there and thank you for joining. And Kevin, I pass it off to you.

Kevin George Miller: Thank you so much, Sejal. I'm super excited to be here talking with you. And every time I get to hear you about what Sejal is working on; I get very stoked. I will spend a couple of minutes talking to you about what we're doing in 2024 from my bailiwick.

I think just for context, as we all know, there's been unprecedented improvements in technology. Battery and infrastructure capabilities that are being embraced by the auto industry, drivers, fleet operators, fueling providers and energy markets. And so, the federal programs that many of us have been talking about for a while are ramping up now and increasing scale and clip at just the right time.

More than $50 billion in programs authorized in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a critical tax provision in the IRA like the recently released 30C alternative fuels infrastructure tax credit. So, all these pieces are going to really help catalyze growth in EVs, EV charging, and throughout the entire economy. I'll talk to you about two issues I've been working on that are going to get that jumpstart and we'll go into it right now.

So, the first is sustainable operating models for EV charging. So, the Joint Office and Argonne National Lab have undertaken a comprehensive analysis of the business and operating models for EV charging by both public sector and private sector entities. We're really trying to demystify the economics of operating EV chargers for passenger and fleet vehicles. Both bike and public and private sector entities. It's agnostic as to who it's coming by.

And look, no two entities are alike. No two deployments are alike for EV charging. That said, what we're seeking to do is to shed light on the core drivers of EV charging operations, sensitivities to those drivers, and what are barriers to operational sustainability. What are those different operating models and archetypes? How can we get some common key takeaways? What are those barriers to long-term operations? And what are the tools in our toolkit to help overcome any barriers or even just accelerate that rollout?

So, we're really excited to be creating a clearer understanding for stakeholders, for policymakers, for regulators, at the local, state, and federal level to understand why EV charging operations and sustainability are important and why sustainability in one context might look different than in another.

All of those billions of dollars that we all have talked about and that I just mentioned can be strengthened and put to best use if we're able to both meet the market where it is and help triage and catalyze growth in the ways that it needs to be fully sustainable and provide ubiquitous access across the board.

This will help the market develop and it will also give us a visibility into what are the ways in which– there's the best opportunity for long-term sustainable operation, how can we escape to where the puck is? And then also, it helps provide that body of knowledge on the economics and of the specific capital expenditure, those upfront capital costs, the CapEx, as well as the ongoing operating cost barriers. The cost to keep the chargers running and plugged into the grid, which can often be the larger hurdle to cover.

It gives a better sense of what those actual barriers on the ground are, how they differ in different environments, and how we can make sure that anything that we're doing to support from a policy, programmatic, or perhaps more importantly, for creating opportunities for joint ventures between public and private entities, private and private entities, showing where additional partnerships can help make this work, whether or not there is a federal program.

So how do we make sure that we're taking the market where it is and helping and providing that support to accelerate that growth? So, we're really excited to dig into this to share some of our findings and thoughts and to really engender a conversation. So, I hope this is the first of many discussions we get to have on that topic. Can we go to the next slide?

So, the next piece is– it's frankly a no brainer. Dramatic emissions reductions are necessary to reach all kinds of goals. Environmental goals, sustainability goals, economic wide goals, job creation goals. The auto industry is already going this way. How do we make sure we're creating more opportunities across the board, across all vehicle classes, and across the ones that are in all of our communities regardless of whether you own a vehicle?

We want to make sure that the Joint Office is supporting writing and driving electric, but we also have to make sure that it's helping folks haul electrics too. Every year, vehicles transport 11 billion tons of freight, traveling more than 3 trillion vehicle miles. 5% of all vehicles are medium and heavy-duty vehicle classes, but they contribute 25% of all emissions.

So, we're excited to help support a pathway and charting a national vision for making sure that we're supporting not just electric but zero emission medium and heavy-duty vehicle adoption for both hydrogen and EVs. And so I'll briefly just state that the way that we're thinking about this is we need to focus both on the fuel as well as fleet fundamentals.

So, in terms of fuel on the hydrogen side, if you missed it last fall, the US Department of Energy announced $7 billion to launch 7 regional clean hydrogen hubs or H2 hubs. These will really kick start a national network of clean hydrogen producers, consumers, infrastructure, which will support production, storage, delivery, and end use, including for transportation.

So, this is going to be key. Making sure we have that supply will be key to making sure that it can be used for a variety of uses that are renewable, good for the grid, and good for transportation purposes because there are going to be some use cases where hydrogen makes the most sense. There are other use cases where electricity makes the most sense.

75% of all fleets of class III to VIII have duty cycles. So, their typical use patterns have at least six hours of time when they're not being used. Those are perfect times to electrify, and we need to make sure that we've got the capacity at the grid to support that.

And we need to make sure that as the federal government, we're providing insight visibility and helping partner with local, state, and regional actors to ensure that from the grid side, both from generation, transmission, and distribution that capability is there. So that as the market is continuing to embrace these zero emission technologies, it's able to do so with the least amount of lag time possible.

So, I'll end with saying, the way that we get to rapid, sustainable, and scalable growth in decarbonizing zero emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles is to focus on fleet fundamentals. What I mean by that is that outside of an economics 101 textbook, fleet operators are the only example in the real world of a rational economic actor.

So, a rational actor is going to try to work backwards from a couple of questions as they're thinking about, how do I operate my fleet? What's the least amount of fuel I need and what's the cheapest time and place to do it? So, the extent to which we're able to meet fleets to where they are, regardless of whether they're a last mile fleet, whether they're long haul, on road, or non-road, there are opportunities to decarbonize, to electrify.

And if we look at those 75% of class III to VIII vehicle segments that have that six-hour downtime per day, that means if we look at short haul and regional, those are low hanging fruit. How do we make sure we can pick that fruit, and don’t let it rot on the vine while still pursuing the long-term goal of ensuring rapid scalable growth across all kinds of use cases for fleets?

So, there's a lot more to unpack here. We're really looking forward to seeing how we can play a supportive role partnering with all of our colleagues at DOT, DOE, EPA, FMCSA, you name it, the alphabet soup. There's a lot of interested parties trying to see how we can make this work and we're really excited to lean in on it. So I will end there and pass it on to Debs. Debs, take it away.

Debs Schrimmer: Thanks, Kevin. And thanks so much, everyone, for joining us today. My name is Debs Schrimmer and I'm the senior advisor for community and urban charging, and I'm really excited to talk about the year ahead. As Gabe mentioned in his opening remarks, there's been a ton of exciting momentum around the NEVI program supporting corridor charging in the last couple of months.

But with the start of 2024, with the announcement of the CFI program and the Joint Office Ride and Drive funding opportunity, I would argue that 2024 is proving to be the year of community charging and I think that's only going to continue. Can we go to the next slide? Great.

So, I think first, it'd be really helpful to set a little context and talk about how the Joint Office thinks about community charging. For us, this really refers to all of the different ways an individual might charge their vehicle at the local level, whether that's at home, at work, while they're out spending money, at shops and restaurants, or even a quick top up when they're trying to get from A to B.

So, what we're looking at right here is some findings that come out of NREL's 2030 national charging network study, which estimates the national EV charging network and expects that we will need around 28 million ports to support light duty electric vehicles on the road in 2030. And I think what's important to highlight here is to meet those needs– NREL actually expects that only about 20% of the charging network will be DC fast charging and the remainder of the network will come from a variety of other different levels and charging types.

And then if we go to the next slide, you'll see that that breakdown of charging really depends on the community type and it's different land uses. So for example, you'll see that in the urban areas, DC fast charging is the largest share due to the space constraints and just generally less available home parking of urban residents.

But we also know that fast charging has a massively outsized share of total costs compared to other levels of charging and that's due to things like intensive trenching and construction costs or hardware costs and the infrastructure and grid upgrades associated with installing DC fast charging.

So we know that our grid simply can't support a network entirely of DC fast chargers and that's on how can we support a variety of charging types, charging levels, and different operating models for charging that can help speed up the deployment times associated with them.

Next slide. So how are we doing that? First, I want to go back to Gabe's mentioned earlier in this talk about the Joint Office's Ride and Drive funding program that we announced awards for last week. One of those specific topics was focused on community-driven models for EV charging deployment. And the funded projects covered a lot of ground on different projects.

For example, equitable charging and addressing barriers to residents in multifamily housing who might lack access to a garage and being able to charge there. So, some of the projects that we look at there include how we can support subsidized charging rates for income qualified individuals who rely on public charging, which can be more expensive than home charging.

We also support projects that work directly with site hosts and property managers to actually make it easier to install charging at multifamily housing properties. And then we're also looking at new models to provide curbside charging to residents that may rely on street parking.

Another topic that we looked at was around how to extend e-mobility charging and access to individuals who don't own cars. And this is a really important topic area that ties back to the Joint office's mission of making it possible for everyone to not only drive electric, but ride electric and recognize that many individuals will enjoy the benefits of zero emission mobility not through personal car ownership but through modes like transit and shared mobility modes.

So, some of those projects include transit and school bus electrification, as well as supporting electrified ride hailing services, supporting electrified car share and trying to understand how can we create better economics to run those programs as well as e-mobility hubs.

And if we go to the next slide. I just wanted to tease a couple of things we're really excited about to go deeper on supporting community charging for the year ahead. So first, the Joint Office is going to be publishing a white paper focused on emerging best practices surrounding multifamily, multimodal, and curbside charging.

We've heard across the board from cities, MPOs, even at the state level that there's a lot of interest in providing charging in these use cases, but not a lot of understanding on what those best practices are. So this will be a resource to really help provide insight on how to implement these projects, drawing on case studies from around the country, but also case studies from Europe where European cities have not only more years of experience deploying EV charging but experience supporting EV charging at a higher level of market adoption. And address some of the issues that happen with the scale as more needs EVs are on the road.

And I think this is really exciting and speaks to the value that the Joint Office can bring in helping share best practices and topics and work with communities to understand how these concepts can actually translate into projects for the various federal funding programs that are out there right now and programs that we help support. So I'll stop there and we can dive into the questions and answers.

Stephen Lommele: Thanks so much, Debs and to Kevin and Sejal and Gabe as well for providing us with that great information. As Debs mentioned, we are going to dive into the Q&A portion of our webinar. We've got about 20 or so minutes for that.

So, I'd like to just start off and maybe to take a step back, I thought it would be great for everyone to hear a bit more from each of the senior advisors about why you joined the Joint Office and what experiences you bring with your background. So, if you could each maybe take two minutes for that and we'll start with Sejal.

Sejal Shah: Sure. Thanks, Steve. So, I come from both a regulatory and a utility background. Prior to joining the office, I was with the electric utility up in the Northeast and prior to that, I was a regulator for Northeast State. As far as that experience, it's on the ground experience of how folks are dealing with electric transportation and I think the Joint Office, props to Gabe and team for pulling together a group of folks that have that on the ground experience in all of our teams to supply to the work that we're doing.

So, for me with that electric utility experience, I've worked on with multiple fleets to help them electrify. And on the regulatory side, with trying to figure out how to make air quality better in that state. So, it is very important and glad I'm here with the Joint Office with a great group of folks. Kevin, I'll hand it off.

Kevin George Miller: I feel lucky. I feel like I've only been here for a couple of minutes, but I've been with the Joint Office since April. The time flies by. It's such a passionate group of people working on some of the most exciting topics that I think are out there in policy.

So, I come to the Joint Office with a variety of different experiences. My first roles in state policy were in the Northeast in a state legislature, so I've had some experience on that side supporting an elected official. I've bounced around from state and federal campaigns back into state government.

On the executive branch side, working on finance for energy and environmental agencies for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And before the Joint Office, I spent seven years as a member of the policy team for ChargePoint, an EV charging solutions provider. I had the opportunity to work on local, state, federal, international policy issues at a time when the market was really starting to mature.

And it was fun to be in those Wild West days where I was the only person who would care about the issue in a state. So, I'd walk into a state house and if there was someone who wanted to hear about it, I was the only game in town. So that was an exciting time. It was greenfield but this is the more exciting time.

So, I've had the opportunity to work on some fundamental pieces of legislation and policy development. Regionally, in the Northeast, working on electricity rate issues in New York, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. But then also trying to think through the nitty gritty of how do you make state agency operations or federal agency operations more conducive to supporting electrification.

So, we could apply all these things in a variety of ways. There's lots of opportunities to pull from. Legislative, regulatory, and market issues because all of a sudden, now that all those market factors are coming to bear, the technology capabilities are there, small issues that wouldn't have caused a blip a year ago all of a sudden have massive implications.

So, I feel like all of the experiences that I've had thus far were training for this moment right now, and I'm really excited to be here and contributing to the team and to work with all my colleagues here.

Stephen Lommele: Thanks, Kevin. How about you, Debs?

Debs Schrimmer: Yeah. So, my career has really been focused on transportation and I think that the transportation electrification space, particularly at the federal level is really as Kevin said, like the most exciting place to be right now.

What really inspired me was seeing some of the truly historic and unprecedented levels of funding to support transportation electrification that came out of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. And that sort of signaled to me a really unique moment to not just electrify the existing transportation network that we have today but use this as a moment to reimagine and redesign it and make sure that we're future proofing it and incorporating other modes of transportation and addressing historic inequities in the system we have today.

So that really encouraged me to think about an opportunity with the federal government and particularly the Joint Office. And I really bring a point of view from the shared mobility space where for the last seven years or so, I worked at Lyft both on the rideshare and micromobility side of the house. And I think that that's a really important perspective to bring into the Joint Office as we think about helping everyone ride and drive electric and take sort of a broader definition of what is an electric vehicle.

Because hey, there's been a lot of headlines that have shown that actually one of the most popular bestselling electric vehicles in the country right now is an e-bike. So, let's make sure that as we build this EV charging network, it works for a variety of EV users and a variety of electric vehicles and form factors.

Stephen Lommele: Thanks, Debs. That's a great segue and we'll stick with you. Everyone's provided a really great overview of what they're working on but when you talk about future proofing and creating a network where everyone can ride and drive electric, I just want to give you a couple of minutes or a minute to talk about the biggest one or two challenges that you're looking to tackle in 2024.

Debs Schrimmer: Yeah, so I think a lot of these challenges and opportunities really do coalesce at the curb where there's so many different transportation modes happening. And that might be thinking about how to install a curbside charging station for electric vehicles, but that also means navigating pick up and drop off needs for passenger loading as well as goods movement and e-commerce. As well as other shared mobility modes like a car share station and bike shares and scooters.

And so, I think really diving into the curbside charging component and navigating some of those permitting and policy issues, but then also designing it in a way that thinks about not just supporting EV cars and trenching to support that mode but this idea of a dig once phenomenon, and taking advantage of all these other uses that are happening at the curb and trying to support that. That's something I'd really like to make progress on.

Stephen Lommele: Great. That's super helpful. Yeah, you mentioned a number of challenges associated with charging and electrified mobility at the curb. So that's the umbrella. So that's super helpful. How about you, Kevin?

Kevin George Miller: Yeah, thanks. I think the biggest challenge and opportunity is making sure that we're aligning incentives and actually addressing the right problem. Are we all playing the same game? If this part of the market is playing tag and the other is playing soccer and the other is playing full contact American football, someone's getting hurt or we may all end up playing together but we're mismatched.

So how do we make sure that we look at all the tools and the tool kit? From thinking about are there non-financial incentives that we could consider? If there are going to be financial measures that we're using to help overcome certain barriers for deployment and long-term operation of infrastructure and a variety of use cases, are we going to use the one that we've always used and just issue upfront funding?

Or do we think through how can we be more flexible to create more joint value and create a more sustainable glide path so that the efforts that we do now, the appetite that we have now, which is to accelerate things. Because up until now, the private market's been doing a lot of heavy lifting and it's developed in one way.

So, if we want to accelerate it in another, we can't do it in a way that all of a sudden if a program goes away, the rug gets pulled out from under it. So how do we think through using the tools to accomplish our goals as well as ensure that they can continue to grow and scale as all evidence points towards– naturally being the case anyway.

So, we can still meet all of our goals from an environmental, equity, jobs creation, economic development, and technology transformation route without distorting the market or losing out on opportunity, leaving value on the table if we look at what the tools are that we can use and match them appropriately to the problems that we have in front of us.

Stephen Lommele: Thanks, Kevin. And how about you, Sejal?

Sejal Shah: Yeah, I mentioned decreasing the timelines for getting EVSEs connected to the grid. Another one that I'd like to start diving into more this year is demand charges and being able to share some best practices. I've already started to hear from various territories that policies as well as some regulatory happenings that could assist that decrease or that burden that demand charges right now– barrier that demand charges are facing for EVSEs providers. And then there's technologies that could potentially assist with that as well. So, I'd like to dive into that and see where we could assess from the federal side.

Stephen Lommele: Great. Thanks to our senior advisors. And Gabe, maybe just interested in your thoughts on how that all aligns. We heard from Deb's about some of the major challenges coalescing at the curb. Kevin talked about how do we align the great work of all of these programs we're supporting with momentum in the market.

And then Sejal was talking about improving timelines to deploy infrastructure, addressing demand curves, and some of the technology solutions. Does that roll up with what you're tracking as big challenges for the Joint Office to address?

GABE KLEIN: Yeah. I mean, I think in some sense the biggest risk is inertia. And inertia can be caused by a number of different challenges or problems. For instance, we heard early on when the J3400 conversation was happening around the connector, should we wait to put out an RFP and see how things shake out? Absolutely not.

There is no reason to wait. We need to move as fast as humanly possible to get chargers in the ground. And what we did is we quickly went to work to figure out how much would it cost to switch out a connector or a cable and a connector. And it was the de minimis cost. We started relaying that back to states and jurisdictions.

So, I think our job is to sometimes myth bust, sometimes it's to take maybe not widely known information and get it out to the masses through events like this, to be transparent and as open as is possible. And I think we're going to do tremendous things this year. I think a lot of chargers are going to go in. I think a lot of utilities are going to figure out some of their challenges.

I think we're going to see cities really focusing as Debs said on curbside and equity. And making sure that people that don't own a car or don't own a parking space have the ability to charge whatever vehicle they choose to including if they choose to just access a vehicle. Maybe it's car sharing, ride hailing, a bike, or a scooter.

So, this is in some ways early on. We're in like the pre-teen years of electrification and we just hit almost 10% in sales so we've hit that tipping point. We've got buses going out en masse now and I think this is sort of the year of implementation, the year of cities, the year of access, and the year of utilities sort of getting on board with the whole program. Not that they aren't on board but figuring out some of those challenges because there's so many of them. And we're here–

Stephen Lommele: Gabe, you mentioned the work that the Joint Office did to support the standardization of SAE J3400 and how that timeline looks. Just to follow up question here maybe for you or for Kevin, but the SAE published the J3400 as a technical information report. Does that give industry and states enough information to start putting that into practice or what do things look like there?

Gabe Klein: Yeah, so that TIR came out in December and now basically, we're working towards a June deadline. Or SAE is, I should say. And that's when it'll truly become an open standard. It started out that Tesla open sourced the connector in November of '22 and then we at the Joint Office with federal highways, put out the minimum standards that actually allowed you to put a secondary connector in at your station.

And now, as this becomes the norm and almost every OEM has jumped on board with that standard, you'll start to see adapters out at stations really starting this month. And when it becomes an actual standard in June, then I think you'll likely have most of the OEMs with their plans in place for the 2025 port on their vehicle.

So that's sort of the rough timeline. We have something a little more detailed that we're working on now, but again, we're letting industry coalesce around what they want to do in their timeline. We're also testing connectors, I mean testing adapters, adapters were UL certified. So, there's a lot going on the adapter front because you've got 4.7 million EVs on the road and a good chunk of those are CCS vehicles.

And again, our goal is not to strand anybody– if you have a CCS port on your vehicle, we want you to be able to charge at any station. And if you have a J3400, you should be able to charge as well.

Stephen Lommele: Thanks, Gabe. I want to transition over to Sejal now. Sejal, when you were talking about big challenges for the year, you mentioned timelines to deploying charging infrastructure on the utility side. We have a question here about transformers and that potentially being a timeline consideration. Is that on your radar and what is the Joint Office doing to help with lead times for utility side equipment like transformers?

Sejal Shah: Definitely on our radar. I think supply chain issues are raised all over the place and definitely acknowledged. The Joint Office is working with the DOE. There's a team of folks that are working on this problem from various perspectives to try to address this. And I've heard that they're starting to lift off a little bit but we are working on it and more to be shared in upcoming months.

Stephen Lommele: Great. Sejal, and so you mentioned working with DOE. Does DOE have funding available or what's the effort at DOE that's working to address the power grid side of the equation for charging?

Sejal Shah: There is definitely funding available through the Grid Deployment Office on the grid side. There is billions of dollars from the DDO. There's also the Loan Programs Office that is providing funding, financing for various projects and EV and EVSE projects are eligible there.

Stephen Lommele: Great. Thanks so much, Sejal. Want to turn over to Kevin. Two questions. The first one that I thought maybe you might have some insight on is when folks are thinking about vendors, what types of organizations should they be looking at that could potentially help them connect with vendors and suppliers? We'll start there.

Kevin George Miller: Wow. That's a seemingly easy question with a potentially limitless answer. So, it all depends. If you're talking about someone who has a detached garage and you've got a day or so between needing to fully top off, you could do that with a low powered level 1.

But if you need to start thinking about having charging infrastructure that cannot just put out too slowly, but also integrate with the grid you might want to start thinking about ways that you're working directly with providers or that you're just looking through at a big box store who have stuff off the shelf to help get you home charging.

But not everyone has 2 and 1/2 kids, a white picket fence, and a detached garage. I grew up on the 23rd floor of a high rise, so I was not one of those folks. But if you're looking at commercial deployments and you're trying to electrify your fleet, there are a huge number of stakeholders you should be talking to.

The Department of Energy's Clean Cities program is a great place to start to get smarter on these issues. But if we're ever talking about doing larger scale deployments, the second you think about doing that, you need to start talking to your utility. In the future, we'll have a seamless ability to energize, charging, install, have visibility into queues for doing so.

Where we are now is we need to make sure that we do as much advanced planning as possible. The last thing that anyone likes in life is surprises, so how can you make sure that you're partnering with the folks who are going to help connect your charger to the grid to minimize any lag times there? In terms of trying to find the right match, you've got to ask yourself some questions around what type of services you're looking for, what type of granularity of data you need.

And I think one thing you'll be able to do in the coming weeks is rely on published information from the Joint Office and Argonne National Labs to give a little insight into the different models for operating EV charging infrastructure to help you understand what is it that you actually need. Understand what is it that you're trying to do and accomplish. There's the right tool for the job.

If you're just providing workplace charging or if you're just providing charging for a multi-unit dwelling environment, you may not need that 350-kilowatt DC fast charger. And in fact, you may get left out of the room if you ask your HOA board to install one. So again, the right tool for the right job and we're looking to make sure that we provide the tools to the public and to stakeholders around the country to make it easier to ride electric, drive electric, all electric, and install infrastructure.

Stephen Lommele: Thanks, Kevin. I was going to ask you another question but we're about out of time and I want to give Debs an opportunity to answer a question here that kind of builds on your experience.

Kevin George Miller: I just want to say, really important, Debs put in a whole bunch of plugs for it being the year of I think the e-bike, I just want to clarify the 2024 is the year of the electric truck. But there can be many different things that 2024 means to do.

Gabe Klein: We can have both ends of the spectrum.

Debs Schrimmer: Tune in for our next webinar that we'll have a boxing match between these different mobility modes.

Kevin George Miller: Oh, I might not want to moderate that one.

Stephen Lommele: We'll see. But Debs, so Kevin was talking about growing up on the 23rd floor of a high-rise apartment. Nearly 40% of US households live in apartments in condos but apartment owners and condo HOAs are often reticent to invest or allow EV charging installation. So, are there any plans at the Joint Office to develop incentives and programs to specifically address that market?

Debs Schrimmer: Yeah, I think this is a really great question. I would say stay tuned. I mentioned a white paper that the Joint Office is going to be putting out soon on best practices around multifamily housing charging. And we know that there's a lot of room there on the technology side to get into best practices of what is the right fit there.

But also on the permitting side, how can we speed things up, what kinds of building code amendments do we need, the role of right to charge laws, and other support to have EV make ready requirements for new developments or parking lots. So, I think we're going to be exploring that a lot this year and I'll also shamelessly make a plug for one of our webinars that's going to be coming up that will be focused on navigating zoning and building codes for EV infrastructure.

Stephen Lommele: Yeah and then, of course, the curbside EV charging strategies, which is also one of the major challenges you mentioned. So, we've got a lot of great webinars coming up in February. We encourage you to sign up for those. We'll get information out of those shortly.

And then, Bridget, if you could advance to the next slide, please. I just wanted to encourage everyone if you didn't get your question answered we do want to hear from you. So, the best way to get in touch with everyone, including our senior advisors and Gabe is to visit

So I know there's still a few questions kind of waiting in the wings in our Q&A that we're not going to be able to get to, but if you could please follow up with us via that contact form, we've got an army of– dozens of technical assistance experts that field those inquiries that are coming in on a daily basis and then providing responses. So that truly is the best way to get in touch with us and to get a rapid response within a couple of days.

So again, visit the website, sign up for our newsletter. That's also an important way to stay current on information coming out on future webinars, funding opportunities, technical resources that were mentioned on this call. So, I really want to thank all of our senior advisors and Gabe for leading the conversation today. And we hope to see you again on a future webinar. So, thank you very much, everyone.

Gabe Klein: Thank you, Steve.