By Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Public Policy
I met this week with representatives from utilities Avista, Puget Sound Energy and PacifiCorp to discuss electric vehicle use and the infrastructure to support it. As a member of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the state Attorney General, I am in a unique position to participate in the discussions on making this a reality.
More and more retailers and malls that support WRA members are installing electric vehicle charging stations for the convenience of their customers and employees. Each of these utilities are working diligently on projects to increase the availability of charging stations both commercially and for residential use. Malls often have an abundance of parking space but sometimes lack the electrical infrastructure to accommodate charging stations. Many retailers that are constructing new stores are planning for and factoring in the rising demand for electric vehicle usage. One challenge is coordinating the charging of electrified vehicles with the energy demand cycle to best utilize off-peak hours.
Interestingly, electric vehicle use is not limited to cars. Buses, trucks, bikes, boats, planes and even trains are being electrified in an effort to save energy and help the environment by reducing carbon emissions.
We have only started to see the huge expansion that will be occurring in the electric vehicle market. Retailers will be at the forefront in this changing world.