As the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) grows, so does the need to install suitable infrastructure to meet charging needs. In the same way that gas stations are commonplace, charging stations are becoming more prevalent in some of the biggest cities in the U.S. Philadelphia is one that has begun a massive EV infrastructure project in partnership with startup EVgo.
On July 21, the Philadelphia mayor’s office announced its plan to transition from gas power to around 6,400 municipal vehicles with electric or clean-energy engines. This move is part of the city’s Clean Fleet Plan, a multi-step process to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. “With gas prices on the rise, the move to clean and electric vehicles makes more sense than ever. This partnership with EVgo satisfies our immediate need for fast charging to deploy additional electric vehicles into active municipal service,” said Joseph Rosati, commissioner of Philadelphia’s department of fleet vehicles.
The mayor’s office expects a 47% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from this EV transition and hopes to run the municipal fleet totally on electric vehicles by 2030.
It also declared the city would not procure more fossil-fuel cars by 2030. To get the ball rolling on better EV charging infrastructure, the municipal government enlisted the help of EVgo.
EVgo has been working steadily to build up the continental U.S.’s EV-charging grid. The company has installed more than 60 stations in Pennsylvania, so it made sense for them to work with Philadelphia’s city government. The plan is to install 30 EVgo direct-current and L2 charging stations in easily accessible spots in the city. You’ll be able to find them at malls, grocery stores and gas stations. This access will undoubtedly help the city’s goal of having an all-electric municipal fleet.
Currently, the mayor’s office only has 85 EVs, but the growth of charging infrastructure will help increase the number of city-commissioned vehicles. “The City of Philadelphia and EVgo both recognize the win-win that comes from private companies and municipal fleets working together to enable the shift to clean transportation,” EVgo CEO Cathy Zoi commented on the venture. The partnership looks promising, especially since EVgo has experience developing EV infrastructure in Pennsylvania’s cities.
Earlier this year, EVgo established a network of chargers in Pittsburgh as part of their collaboration with gas and convenience-store company Pilot Flying J. It was a joint venture carried out alongside General Motors. On top of that, the Pittsburgh site was one of their first fast-charging stations, offering 100 kilowatts for urban driving and 350 kilowatts for highway driving. The city expects similar stations will be prominent in Philadelphia.
EVgo has also partnered with another Pennsylvania convenience store and gas station chain, Wawa. With plenty of Wawa stations in and around the Philadelphia area, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a charging station once everything is installed and tested. EVgo has made it its mission to get America’s urban areas connected to the grid as soon as possible, and each year more states embrace more expansive EV infrastructure.
Philadelphia’s municipal effort to reach carbon neutrality is becoming more possible thanks to this partnership with EVgo. With more cities switching to electric fleet vehicles, they are setting an example for citizens and corporations to take similar actions.
It’s another success for EVgo, as they have helped over 60 urban areas across 30 states. With cities the size of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh taking up these concerted efforts to reduce emissions, they might be able to work with some of America’s mega-cities like New York and Los Angeles.