How it Helps
One way to expand the current electrification infrastructure is to partner with public and private electric utility companies to obtain needed resources and conserve funds.
Upgrading the Electric Grid:
In order for the benefits of electrification to be recognized, there needs to be a plan in place for updating the current electrical grid infrastructure to make sure that additional electricity generation comes from renewable sources.3 If non-renewable energy sources are used to power EVs and other infrastructure, this could reverse some of the positive outcomes associated with electrification.
There are equity considerations associated with increasing electrification infrastructure, particularly with ensuring that lower-income communities have access to this technology.4 Historically, underserved or minority communities have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution, so it is crucial that electric infrastructure, such as charging stations and electric buses, can reach these populations.
Since electrification is a budding concept, there will continue to be economic and technological challenges associated with its implementation. One of the barriers to widespread EV adoption is the high cost, but this will likely begin to decrease as battery prices fall and more car manufacturers develop EV models.1
1) Joint Office of Energy and Transportation
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), or the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, of 2021 established a new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation that will be responsible for running a $7.5 billion program that focuses on expanding the nation’s network of EV charging stations. The Office will also provide technical assistance to the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program that aims to support electric school bus deployment.
2) Shenzhen, China Electrification Progress
The city of Shenzhen, China has surpassed the level of electrification infrastructure in most U.S. cities, with the world’s largest electric fleet. There are over 16,000 electric buses and 20,000 electric taxis in the city, and these vehicles have zero emissions and plenty of available charging stations.