Special to The Baltimore Times
Did you know that President Biden’s infrastructure bill aka Build Back Better Act passed in the US House of Representatives a little past midnight on Friday, November 5, 2021? You may have been asleep while Congress voted for $1.2 trillion worth of funding allocations. No matter how much you slept last week, I implore you to stay woke and keep your eye on how your tax dollars— related to the electrification of transportation— will be spent.
There is a line item in the legislation says the Wall Street Journal “roughly $7.5 billion toward building additional charging stations for electric vehicles.”i Let’s connect the dots so that you’ll know what this means for Marylanders, specifically Black Marylanders. EV charging stations will become more accessible to everyone. With $63 Million worth of equitable EV charging, and Range Anxiety (“RA”) will get the kick in the teeth it deserves. ii The number of Electric Vehicles on the street will grow regardless of their category. As RA diminishes, electric cars will be normalized, and there will be more demand to expand the EV charger infrastructure.
The infrastructure bill is not the end-all-be-all. It’s just the beginning, kindling, the fire starter. The legislation is the X-Factor my colleagues and I in the EV ecosystem have been waiting for. The bill sets the stage for the milestones predicted by top business analysts and futurists. For example, researchers from Ernst & Young forecast the EV ecosystem will generate $72 Billion by 2030.iii That’s nearly 10 times (10x) more than the federal government’s Build Back Better investment.
The figure includes the universe of US electric auto sales, the manufacturing and delivery of EV charging stations, and all the businesses, materials, and labor required to install EV charging equipment. The number also includes the effort it will take to ensure the EV’s and battery chargers are operational when drivers need them. If you are not already involved in making cars, your involvement with infrastructure projects may be your ticket to a new business, a new career, and enhanced environmental sustainability outcomes.
Q: How can you get a piece of the EV infrastructure action?
A: It all depends on where your ambitions lie. Do you want to be a business owner, a career professional, and/or the predictable consumer?
I encourage you to formulate your own Build Back Better plan. I extrapolated a short list of twenty professional options you should consider exploring:
1. Certified Electric Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technicians
2. Certified EV sales SME (subject matter expert)
3. Certified EV Charger Maintenance Technicians
4. CleanTech/Sustainability Advocates and Lobbyists
5. Community-based EV Charger Site Selection Experts
6. Customer Service and Help Desk SME
7. Electricians and Electrical Contractors
8. EV Fleet managers and administrators
9. Industry Analysts
10. Software engineers and developers
11. Independent EV Charger Vendors
12. Peer-to-Peer EV Rent-a-Car hosts
13. Peer-to-Peer EV Charger Hosts
14. Battery Recyclers
15. EV Automotive Supply retailers (think AutoZone, Pep Boys for EV’s)
16. EV Charger Infrastructure Developers*
17. EV Charger and Ancillary Materials Suppliers
18. New & Used Electric Vehicle Dealerships
19. Workforce Development NGOs specializing in EV Adoption and CleanTech
20. Roadside Assistance for EV’s
*DaiTechCorp’s lane is Number 16. We’re the first Black and Woman owned firm that specializes in the development of the EV charger infrastructure. DaiTechCorp is carving a few niches for itself. Since 2018, our focus has been supplying and installing EV chargers for commercial and residential applications. We also specialize in design assist consults to optimize EV charging programs for new construction projects.
Like any entrepreneur, I look forward to growing and expanding profitably in a select group of industry verticals. Being the first and only does not get me psyched. Our communities are in desperate need of business leaders who specialize some aspect of the EV charger infrastructure. What gives me joy is positioning DaiTechCorp to successfully mentor and train aspiring Black entrepreneurs who have a desire to start-up CleanTech companies. Without these brave souls, without YOU participating in this industry our neighborhoods will only experience a small portion of the health, environmental, and economic benefits of zero-emissions cars.
Build Back Better infrastructure bill is just the kindling, the fire starter. I challenge YOU to do more than sit on the sidelines and wait for this industry to become mainstream. Now that you’ve scratched the surface about what’s available, investigate and determine your end game. Let’s frame OUR conversation about EV adoption. This movement is more than admiring and driving futuristic automobiles. Transportation electrification will be a new way of life with health and wealth benefits that Black Americans must direct to our communities. The barriers to entry will never be lower than they are now. Empower yourself— stoke the fire.