“One of our biggest challenges in Salt Lake is our air quality,” says changemaker David Eckels. “We are working to do something for the valley that has tremendous public benefit.”
David is the Site Developer for NRG EVgo (www.nrgevgo.com) in Utah and surrounding states. NRG EVgo is working to make electric vehicles (EVs) the technology of choice for drivers across America by eliminating range anxiety and increasing charging convenience. Benefits to EVs include reduced driving costs and cleaner air.
Utah’s air quality challenges make EV’s a very attractive solution, but drivers need to be able to recharge reliably and quickly on the go. NRG eVgo’s direct current fast charge stations—which can provide up to an 80% charge in 30 minutes or less—will help make it practical to join the EV revolution.
The opportunity to build infrastructure relies on installing rapid charging stations in parking lots all over the city. David says that the greatest barrier is that businesses don’t realize how minimal the impact is. The only commitment is dedicating a parking stall. NRG EVgo covers all the infrastructure and operating costs. He adds that not acting now is a missed opportunity by those who could get free infrastructure today. In a couple years it will most likely come with a cost as the market expands.
Two big boosts are coming to the EV market. One is the proliferation of available vehicles. There are currently 26 EV models available in the US, but only half of those are available in Utah. The numbers of manufacturers and vehicles are growing rapidly. The other boost is new battery technology expected in production vehicles within 18-24 months. These new batteries will charge more rapidly and have longer life.
David recently joined the NRG EVgo team as part of their expansion into Utah. David has a degree in Anthropology, and has worked in the renewable energy sector for over 15 years. David is building capacity one driver and charging station at a time.
Join Impact Hub Salt Lake for JumpStart, each first and third Tuesday of the month at 9:30 in the morning, and hear from social entrepreneurs and changemakers like David, driving the purpose economy in Utah.