EV Adoption ‘Tipping Point’ Signals Progress in Electrification Movement
by Jesse Vaughan and Mark Wong from Kopperfield
In many respects, it’s been a banner year for electrification in the U.S. and across the globe.
The U.S. made its biggest investment ever in clean energy, in an effort to electrify our transportation system, buildings, and homes. Federal tax credits and rebates for everything from EV chargers to heat pumps should help keep the momentum going.
At the same time, the U.S. crossed a critical tipping point in EV adoption, joining nearly 20 other countries in speeding along to mass EV ownership. This is key because EV adoption serves as a leading indicator of the broader electrification movement.
The vast majority of EV charging happens at home and drivers are highly motivated to get a level 2 home charger. It’s often their first major home electrical upgrade and it opens the door to other electrical improvements that can reduce a family’s carbon footprint by up to 40%.
In countries like Norway, which leads the world in EV ownership per capita, EV adoption is a key focus area for policymakers who are aggressively trying to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But removing car pollution is just part of the equation. Homeowners who convert to EVs are also much more likely to take other pollution-cutting actions like installing a heat pump. In fact, Norway leads the world in heat pump adoption too.
This is all great news for those of us in the climate fight who remain cautiously optimistic that the world can achieve net zero in the next three decades.
But we’ve got to move faster.
Home is where the charge is
At Kopperfield we focus on home electrification because that’s where we feel we can make the biggest impact on the climate fight.
Though nationwide charging networks are an important component, the ability to charge an EV at home is critical to mass adoption. About 80% of EV charging happens at home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. As the country anticipates 26 million EVs crisscrossing our roads by 2030, there is a growing need to install home EV chargers to meet the demand.
If you’ve never tried to buy and install a home EV charger, you might be surprised to learn how much friction is involved in the process. You’ve got to get savvy on technical things like which charger to use and how to connect it to your house, plus where to install it. You also have to know how much it should cost, how to pick a bid, and when you can get it done, and you’ve got to find a local electrician you can trust to do the job well.
We’re building a commerce platform that removes that friction and creates a seamless way for people to buy and install home EV chargers with a licensed electrician in their area. If we can make these purchases very easy, we can dramatically accelerate adoption.
First the EV charger, then the heat pump
After your car, your home furnace is likely your second biggest contributor to carbon in the atmosphere. And just like EVs are replacing ICE vehicles, old gas-burning furnaces and water heaters are being phased out in many areas.
As we’ve seen with our pilot in Seattle, fewer than half of those installing EV chargers have a heat pump in their house.
Once homeowners experience a modern (read: painless, seamless) commerce experience buying and installing their EV charger, they’re more likely to consider additional home electrification upgrades. What’s more, the same electrician who installed their car charger may be equipped to help with their heat pump and other upgrades.
When you consider that 42% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from our personal infrastructure—our cars, furnaces, and other major home appliances—these upgrades can have a sizable impact in the climate fight.
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🍿 The Lean Back
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