Electric cars are now much more viable than they were ten years ago—the presence of charging stations in every major and minor city throughout the country lends weight to that fact. To reach a point where over half of all new cars are fully electric by the year 2027—as Elon Musk predicted recently—there needs to be a massive undertaking that only the enterprise can understand.
This is not a consumer endeavor, but rather one that must be backed by IT, similar to rollouts of ERP or a massive Microsoft Windows deployment.
Here’s why - according to Computer World Magazine:
While the act of driving is a consumer activity—you buy an electronic vehicle (EV) and drive off into the sunset, hoping to make it home on the current charge level—the “back-end” is all about efficient delivery of power. Today, the network of gas stations is highly fragmented, incredibly random, sporadically priced and woefully inefficient. Yet, EV drivers need predictability. The range for a 2017 Bolt EV is around 238 miles today; the range of the Bolt with a gas engine is about double that. But, importantly, there is no range anxiety for a gas-powered car. Gas stations are everywhere.
Launching anything new on a comprehensive level requires more strategy and planning—and that’s where IT can shine. Using even basic algorithms, IT can map out a network of charging stations that are incredibly robust and logical. It can look at the actual range of currently owned vehicles and forecast what the needs will be for charging based on buying habits. It can examine the power grid and loads across the entire U.S. population and determine what will be required to reach that 50 percent of all new cars prediction. IT can also play a major role in determining peak usage (the best charge times) and even help with forecasting based on battery innovations.
Standards and cooperation among companies needed
One company can’t do this alone. There needs to be better standardization, better cooperation and more strategy for EV charging networks, and that’s something only the enterprise can provide—not just Tesla or GM. Consumers only want to know that their new electric car will make it to Omaha. But there has to be standards and cooperation across the entire industry. Without it, we'll never hit 50 percent.
That’s something Musk already knows—he sees that IT can be the leader in mapping out the charging stations, tracking battery progress and forecasting what will work regardinofg massive EV roll-outs beyond the Tesla brand and one or two other models from Chevy and Nissan. He knows IT is also involved in tracking fossil fuel consumption. In other words, he knows IT can grasp the big picture of where this is all heading and not just depend on the fickle consumer habits thatreally have nothing to do with an EV becoming a better choice. Left to the desires of consumers, an EV feels like a glorified golf cart. In the hands of IT and the enterprise, an EV becomes part of a vast recharging network that is fine-tuned in a way that a network of 168,000 gas stations—all owned by different brands and scattered everywhere—can’t match.
The enterprise knows how to do a roll-out. An EV dealer network, planning for roads, modernization of EV driving lanes, a connected car infrastructure, the placement of charge stations—they all require strategic planning and analytics in a way that the haphazard nature of everyday gas cars could never touch.
Now, the question is—who will make this all happen?