Infrastructure is Imperative!

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Day Job

Infrastructure is imperative! 2022 started with a bang as I looked towards the year with positivity and hope that this year would be better than the last. I work in health and find that the pace that 2021 took drained me of energy and passion for what I was doing, blogging included. 

So how was 2022 going to be different? I changed roles and returned to my substantive position working Monday to Friday 9-5. This seemed like a good idea. I then applied to be part of a leadership emerging executive course which would run for 9 months. My application was successful. 

I started the course in march of 2022 and to say it has had a profound impact on my thinking and view of the world is not an understatement. 2020 was a year that I had medical issues. 2021 allowed me to find my mojo for my day job again. 

2022 was the year I rediscovered the reason I do what I do. The course exposed me to some industry experts in digital health to help challenge my stagnant thinking. It offered a way to unlearn old habits, challenge new ways of thinking and develop my skills as a leader in Digital health. 

Blogs

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As part of the course, I was given the opportunity to be part of a project that focused on the delivery of Charging infrastructure to a Hospital District. Those of you who have followed me and supported my blogs would have found I was quiet in 2021. 

As part of the project, I had to declare any conflicts of interest and thus my blogging about EVs met these criteria. I then had to make a choice and thus I had to stop blogging for the duration. 

Did I stop following what was going on in the world of Electric vehicles? NO!!!!!

I followed along commented where I could on Twitter and linked in and continued to keep track of the great progress being made in the industry. 

One of the side benefits of this forced hiatus was the ability to think about my website and my blogs and better plan for 2022. I hope that this year brings with it a better experience for you the reader and for a more collaborative approach. 

Project

Infrastructure is imperative! I was lucky enough to find people who were just as passionate about electric vehicles as I. The course asked to have a Project completed by the end of the 9-month time frame. Alongside my colleagues, we worked to deliver the “EV infrastructure transition project” to life. 

You see the government has fleet vehicles that currently are mostly petrol and more recently a few hybrids. 

An announcement that all fleet vehicles were to transition to electric by 2026 was big news and raised several eyebrows on how to achieve this. 

Initially, we thought about the vehicles themselves but quickly realized that infrastructure planning, implementation and strategy were far more important to solve. 

The vehicles took care of themselves with the car companies producing the vehicles that could allow ease of purchase. On the flip side, the building that existed and the new proposed building being built did not cater for the most part to the delivery of over 500 vehicles to be charged and housed. 

Approach

We first took time to understand the areas that we needed to focus on. This included:

  • Finances
    • How to pay for infrastructure upgrades
    • What incentives are available to us 
    • Sources of income that could be sorted out to help with the overhead costs of the initial infrastructure builds
  • Infrastructure
    • Understanding the current locations where fleet vehicles were housed. 
    • What capacity the buildings had with electrical boards
  • Fleet
    • Current number of vehicles
    • Work done to transition and agreements 

This as a starting point opened a lot of questions and very few answers. 

We got to work. We organized meetings with the facility managers to better understand the current physical locations. Spoke with finance staff to better understand the costs. Our discussions with Fleet managers helped to get a picture of the complex nature we were facing.

Investigations

The biggest challenges that the Health District needed to address included

  • Limited capacity for further electrical load
  • Locations of current vehicles being unable to support any electrical infrastructure for new electric vehicles
  • no central management of vehicles exists variability across facilities
  • The cost of uplift of locations would cost large amounts of dollars above and beyond the currently allocated funds
  • Limited time to be able to complete infrastructure uplift based on 2026, time frame. 

Outcomes

To address the above and to at least begin the process we as a team came up with 4 key strategies that needed to be implemented for the beginning of success to be found. 

These included;

  • Central management of fleet vehicles in the health district
  • Assessment of electrical capacity at all locations
  • Dedicated allocated funds to address infrastructure and electrical shortfall. 
  • Development of a process to assess future sites for appropriateness of charging infrastructure installation. 

These four items would put the health district on a solid trajectory towards success to transition to their 2026 target of all-electric vehicles in the fleet to transition to electric. Infrastructure is imperative!

My take

Thinker with sparkler
image courtesy of Unsplash.com

Infrastructure is imperative! This project taught me a lot about project processes and investigation. It helped to have me build on the knowledge that I have taken from the EV community and apply it in a way I had never considered. 

It also opened my eyes to the fact that infrastructure is imperative to the survival, success, and best outcomes of EVs uptake. I have written a number of years ago about the importance of charging infrastructure and it is so important to get this right.

The world is looking for ways to move towards promoting the uptake of EVs. Being part of this project continues to support my efforts to provide good insights to helping all to understand what to consider when choosing EVs.

It has also helped me to realize that complaints about chargers not working, chargers broken and limited in their capability are not good enough. We must do better and be better to truly make the experience seamless. 

There is a long road to go, and I know that I have learned a great deal in 2022 and I hope that translates into 2023. 

Dave 

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder, passionate about sharing the passion for Tesla and Electric Vehicles everywhere.
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