Dive Brief:

  • Electric vehicle (EV) fast charging network EVgo has committed to use100% renewable energy to power its chargers, becoming the first EV charging network in the United States to do so, according to EVgo.
  • Under its commitment, EVgo will contract with its energy suppliers and partners to ensure that each gigawatt-hour delivered financially supports an operating renewable energy generator in the U.S. It will use a combination of wind and solar energy to achieve that commitment.
  • EVgo’s commitment was announced as part of the spring member meeting of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), of which the company is a member.

Dive Insight:

This commitment from EVgo comes as cities and mobility companies wrestle with making the transportation sector more environmentally friendly. Along with buildings, transportation makes up a majority of emissions in cities, so initiatives like the American Cities Climate Challenge by Bloomberg Philanthropies have emphasized the need to make those sections of urban life more dependent on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that in 2017, nearly 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation, the majority of which were from single-occupancy vehicles. Expanding EV charging infrastructure needs to happen if alternative transportation methods are to catch on. BMW and PG&E have also worked together on pilot programs to develop renewable-powered EV charging.

Cities large and small are investing in charging infrastructure, while Google recently made it easier to find existing chargers by adding real-time information to Google Maps. Having a reliable and accessible network of chargers is a necessary step to more widespread adoption of EVs, since it can assure drivers they will not be stranded without a charge.

As cities experiment with charging infrastructure through methods like adding it to light poles or deploying autonomous robots that navigate parking lots and charge parked cars, this announcement from EVgo — coupled with its recent rollout of Autocharge — should help it differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace.