News & Views

Electrification at Scale: Are Energy and Mobility Companies Ready?

As the world rushes to create a planet-friendly future, the fates of the energy and mobility ecosystems have become intertwined. At Vectorform, we’re exploring this intersection and asking questions that are forcing industries to reimagine how they innovate. 

As big autos pour big money into new facilities, spin off new EV divisions, and hire engineers by the tens of thousands, utility firms are struggling to innovate and upgrade an aging infrastructure. Both sides face big risks in not getting the power equation right. Utilities risk disintermediation from innovative start-ups, mobility companies, and consumers themselves. Mobility companies risk rolling out millions of EVs whose energy demands can’t be supported. For both industries, the impact on their financial outlook and customer experiences are hard to overstate.

At Vectorform, we’re exploring the intersection of energy and mobility through an inventor’s lens. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be asking some tough questions and sharing the latest insights into how leading companies are thinking about—and taking action on—the challenges of electrification. In particular, we’ll be looking at three questions that are forcing industries to reimagine how and with whom they innovate.

  1. Who’s powering the future of EV? Right now, the answer is up for grabs. In the U.S., where EV adoption lags, the current federal infrastructure package allots $27 billion for the electric grid and $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure — figures that barely scratch the surface of what’s needed.1,2 That leaves energy and mobility companies and consumers to make up the difference. As the clock counts down and competition heats up, new players are entering the fray and amping up the pressure on everyone to innovate.
  2. Who’s responsible for the EV ownership experience? We’ve all seen the commercials that show electric pick-up trucks seamlessly powering large homes and stylish EVs carrying happy families hundreds of miles without stopping. But for everyday customers, what will the electric vehicle experience actually be like? And if that CX doesn’t meet expectations, who will the customer blame? To deliver on the promise of electrification, energy and mobility companies need to come together to deliver three things: ownership that lives up to the hype; charging that is easy, smart, and reliable; and renewable energy options for powering EVs.
  3. What are the adjacent opportunities? As electrification continues to accelerate, new opportunities are emerging for forward-thinking companies to leverage the EV ecosystem. There is no shortage of innovative ideas in this wide-open market. Vehicle-to-grid technology is helping to power cities. Solar EV options are enabling peer-to-peer energy sales. Chargeable, swappable, and upgradable batteries are creating unexpected options for EV owners. And the need to build a robust network of U.S. charging stations is creating opportunities to deliver unique customer experiences and drive brand loyalty.

With many questions unanswered, one thing is certain: energy and mobility companies are speeding toward an electrified future together. Their fates are increasingly intertwined, and both industries need to engage and learn from each other to survive and succeed—and then pull in others from the ecosystem to help solve the challenges they jointly face.

Looking Ahead

Stay tuned for our deeper dives into how mobility and energy companies can work toward electrification strategies that benefit all stakeholders.

In the meantime – have you thought about your organization’s strategy for electrification? The market is moving quickly. We’d love to partner on your journey – connect with us!


Sources

1. https://www.npr.org/2021/11/24/1040529860/the-biggest-problem-facing-the-u-s-electric-grid-isnt-demand-its-climate-change
2. https://betterenergy.org/blog/electric-vehicle-programs-in-the-bipartisan-infrastructure-bill/

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