As governments set sustainability targets and net-zero policy goals that include converting the transportation sector to electric vehicles (EVs), an incredible opportunity unfolds to create a comprehensive ecosystem strategy that builds the foundation of an electric economy. Guidehouse recommends focusing on three strategic themes that encompass EV adoption, job creation, and stakeholder engagement:
Anticipate EV adoption challenges
Build the EV ecosystem
Grow overarching EV economy
Adoption requires overcoming obstacles and meeting stakeholder needs—from tackling EV-charging needs to meeting GHG emissions reduction targets. Because this effort includes many stakeholders across the public and private sectors, building an EV ecosystem that spans regulatory and policy stakeholders, community organizations, commercial fleets, and individual EV owners is necessary when developing policy goals and programs that activate the electrification strategy. Finally, maximizing impact of the ecosystem includes creating an economic development strategy.
The complementarity of these strategies underscores the insight that building an EV economy is not only about EV adoption, but about how to use EVs as part of an economic strategy to build industries within electrification and to strengthen environmental justice. Congested, historically underserved neighborhoods, or those next to highways, should no longer suffer the externalities of traffic pollution and poor air quality, nor be isolated from economic opportunities. Supporting these communities by focusing efforts to electrify transportation methods and vehicles in high-traffic areas and creating workforce development programs that result in clean technology jobs for these community members is paramount for a successful electrification transition.