Pennsylvania Legacies #182: Leading the Charge

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission voted unanimously last month to study how electric utilities will meet the demand when Pennsylvania drivers transition to electric vehicles. Commissioners were responding to a petition brought by ChargEVC, a coalition focused on advancing transportation electrification throughout Pennsylvania. We discuss the issue with Pam Frank of Gabel Associates, who represents ChargEVC.

The transition to electric vehicles is coming, and analysts expect it will be fast and dramatic. Is Pennsylvania ready? Often that question leads into discussions about the availability of charging stations, or how to win over consumers still infatuated with internal combustion. 

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is looking at a different question: when (not if) EVs take over the market… how will electric utilities meet the demand? The PUC voted unanimously last month to study the issue, taking the first step toward a new rate design policy that could be adopted within the next year. Commissioners were responding to a petition brought by ChargEVC, a nonprofit coalition of automakers, utility companies, consumer and clean-energy advocates, and others with a stake in electrifying the transportation sector. 

“The coalition began a couple of years ago, and the idea is to have a place an organization that is a business association, to have a place where you have got a diversity of interests that can all be working together in a coordinated fashion towards one goal. And that goal is electrification of transportation in the Commonwealth,” said Pam Frank of Gabel Associates, who represents ChargEVC. 

With widespread EV adoption, charging millions of vehicles mostly overnight will create new burdens on the electric grid. 

“Today, our system typically peaks on hot summer days and sometimes in winter evenings. You don’t want to create a new problem. So you are going to need new policy to address this brand new technology…I think if we’re proactive with good policy, we can not only avoid spending money to fix problems that we could have avoided in the first place, but we can also maximize the benefits for the system and for all electric payers,” said Frank. 

The goal of the petition was to urge the PUC to begin researching this issue and how to regulate electricity rates to adjust to the change in demand. 

“[The PUC] never had to think about the transportation industry before. So they have a lot to learn and that’s the point of doing something like this. And so the logical sort of conclusion of it at the end of the day, is you get good programs in the market that not only work well for people who drive electric vehicles, but also this is important work well for people that don’t drive electric vehicles in terms of the rate impact,” Frank said.  

In addition to climate benefits, EV adoption can help people save money on fuel and maintenance. It also has the potential to bring economic development to Pennsylvania. 


Josh Raulerson (00:01):

It’s Friday, December 16th, 2022. I’m Josh Raulerson from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and this is the Pennsylvania Legacies Podcast.

The transition to electric vehicles is coming and analysts expect it’ll be fast and dramatic, but is Pennsylvania ready? Probably heard that question before. Often it leads into discussions about things like charging stations. Are there enough of them? Where will they be? Or how do you win over? Consumers still infatuated with the internal combustion engine, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. As looking at that question from a slightly different angle, when not, if EVs take over the market, how will the state’s electric utilities manage the demand?

The PUC voted unanimously last month to study that issue, taking the first step toward a new rate design policy that could be adopted within the next year. In taking that action, commissioners were responding to a petition brought by ChargEVC, a nonprofit coalition of automakers, utility companies, consumer and clean energy advocates and others with a stake in electrifying the transportation sector. Pam Frank of Gabel Associates, represents the group and she is our guest on this edition of Pennsylvania Legacies. Pam, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Pam Frank (01:18):

Thanks. Happy to be here.

Josh Raulerson (01:20):

So start us off with a little background on ChargEVC-PA. You know, what is this this effort, this coalition, who’s involved and what’s your role in it?

Pam Frank (01:30):

So the coalition began a couple of years ago, and the idea is to have a place an organization that is a, a business association, to have a place where you have got a diversity of interests that can all be working together in a coordinated fashion towards one goal. And that goal is electrification of transportation in the Commonwealth.

Josh Raulerson (01:52):

And we’re here to talk about a really important aspect of that today. And that’s utility rate design. What do we mean when we say rate design? What is the status quo for utility rates in Pennsylvania? What are the assumptions that, that it’s based on just by way of setting the stage for what we’re going to talk about with EVs?

Pam Frank (02:10):

Yeah, yeah, sure. So as I think we all know, if anybody sort of studied economics, or even if you didn’t study economics, right, you know, the price effects behavior, right? And almost everything, right? And so very simply, you know, utilities and their regulated entities, they have to go before the Public Utility Commission to get approval on how they spend their money, how they invest their money. And then in you know, the grand bargain is for their willingness to be regulated they basically get regulated profit. So what happens in the world of rates and rate structure, it’s the way, the primary way that utilities recoup their costs. And it’s a very complex field. But I’m going to give you one example that may be very easy to understand for, for listeners, which is think about a residential home and you’re on what’s called a residential tariff.

Pam Frank (03:11):

And so that’s the pricing structure you’re on. And all the utilities have different rate structures. So I can’t just tell you that the example I’m going to give you is the same for every single utility in the state. It’s not. So in this example, we’ll just say in a residential home, the way that the pricing works is if a house uses a thousand kilowatt hours in one month, the pricing structure or the rate structure for a residential tariff may be that the first 500 kilowatt hours is priced at one rate, and then anything over 500 kilowatt hours is priced at a lower or higher rate. Some people are surprised to find that in some residential rates, the more you use, the less you pay. That doesn’t make sense to a lot of people that want to conserve electricity. But I’m using that as one example of what rate structure looks like and how it impacts people.

Josh Raulerson (04:23):

So then to connect this to the subject of transportation, electrification, obviously, like we are assuming there’s going to be, I mean perhaps it’s already happening, but a, a big widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Pennsylvania and everywhere else. What are we expecting the impact of that to be on these usage patterns and, you know, and why does that point to a, a need for an update here?

Pam Frank (04:48):

So there’s a couple of ways to look at that question. The first thing I’ll say is in the ramp up period, while more and more electric vehicles are coming onto our roads, right? Predominantly the way a lot of those, and I’m going to use the example to keep things simple of light duty vehicles. So let’s put medium and heavy duty aside for the moment, but light duty vehicles, most of them, the majority of them are going to be charging at home at night. Yes, there’s going to be exceptions. People that live in apartments, for instance, that don’t have access to overnight charging, but most of it is going to be at home at night. As it turns out, that is when the cost to generate electricity happens to be the lowest, right? So that works out well, both for the driver, right? And for our system.

Pam Frank (05:41):

And so we want to generally be pushing and encouraging people to be charging at home at night when the costs are the lowest. But the way that the rates are structured today, they don’t reflect that nuance. And so one thing that this that this proceeding we’re going to be talking about up at the public utility commission, one thing that it’s going to be looking at is something called time of use rates. And I think folks will be familiar with that when they think about how cell phones first came into the market and that thing about free nights and weekends, right? Turns out nights and weekends low time, low-cost electricity. So if you could make the cost of charging your car lower at that time, you’re going to motivate people to hopefully be charging at that time. So that’s what I’ll say sort of the ramp-up strategy.

Pam Frank (06:37):

There’s another more interesting dynamic once you imagine, right? That you’ve got so in Pennsylvania you’ve got 12 million registered vehicles, right? And so now imagine all of them are electric, and imagine the vast majority of those are charging at night. You’re going to create a new peak where there wasn’t one before, right? So maybe what you’ve just done is shift the problem. Today, our system typically peaks on hot summer days and sometimes in winter evenings. You don’t want to create a new problem. So you are going to need policy, new policy to address this brand new technology and make sure, and this is the really important thing to take away. I think if we’re proactive with good policy, we can not only avoid spending money to fix problems that we could have avoided in the first place, but we can also maximize the benefits for the system and for all electric payers.

Josh Raulerson (07:43):

Okay, let’s focus on benefits then. And you’ve already talked about the price benefit. If it’s done right, it should come down. And if the policy is kind of leading it, driving consumer behavior with incentives and disincentives and, and that all works in addition to hopefully lower rates, what are the other benefits that we’re looking at? Resiliency comes to mind. Does this actually kind of help our power system function better, you know, holistically?

Pam Frank (08:10):

So one interesting thing, if, if anyone listening was watching the Super Bowl last year, you know, Ford came out with its Lightning F-150 and it was a really great commercial and they had this really great app, I called it like the killer app, which was the idea that you buy one of these trucks, put it in your driveway, and basically you can power your house with your car. That was their big, you know, wow. People really thought that was great and for good reason, right? Because there’s been a lot of power quality issues over the last 10, 20 years and people lose power maybe more frequently than they did in the past, right? We’ve got extreme weather, we’ve got a lot of reasons for that happening. And so having what I’ll just call a large battery on wheels in your driveway is pretty convenient if, and this is a big if, right?

Pam Frank (09:04):

You have the policies in place that allow you to send some of that electricity in the battery back into your home and to power those things like your refrigerator, those things you care about, you know, during a blackout. So that does add robustness to the system for sure. And that’s probably the best example I can give of that, that really helps animate people’s imagination. But that’s not just going to happen, right? You’re not just going to buy a F-150, bring it home, plug it in, and be able to power your house with that battery. You’re going to need protocols, you’re going to need tariffs, you’re going to need a whole bunch of things that the PUC is really kind of in charge of to allow the utilities to allow you to do that. And then the sort of the next iteration of that is a little farther, which is not only is the vehicle going to power your house, right? But you could actually send electricity from the vehicle back out onto the grid. And now if you think about where this could go, if you again, think about that large amount of distributed batteries, 12 million cars in the state of Pennsylvania, right? All with these big batteries at the edge of the grid, what does that look like in, in a new way where electricity can flow both ways?

Josh Raulerson (10:29):

Does that also set up a situation potentially where people are thinking more in terms of their personal and household resiliency? And like, if I’ve got this power storage capability, why not put some panels on my roof or, you know, figure out a way to keep them charged?

Pam Frank (10:43):

Yeah. So I like to call sometimes it’s funny because I worked in solar for about 10 years and I used to call solar like a gateway drug, right? People get solar on their roof and suddenly they are obsessed with their electricity usage. And what they want to do is take all of these measures on efficiency, right? To drill down their usage so solar can cover everything they use. There was also the snapback effect, which was kind of funny to watch, which is, oh, the sun’s generating this, I don’t have to pay now I’m going to go get a hot tub <laugh>. So sometimes it doesn’t actually result in less electricity being used. But, but I think your point is a good one which is it starts getting people thinking about the electricity system, right? And what they can do it gives them more tools, right, than they may have today in lowering their carbon footprint.

Josh Raulerson (11:35):

So, and carbon footprint obviously is sort of the elephant in the room here. We haven’t even gotten into it yet. But this change, again, if it works out the way and we’re hoping it will how will that impact carbon emissions in Pennsylvania? How will it support our commonwealth’s emission reduction goals?

Pam Frank (11:52):

Yeah. Yeah. So this is a massive opportunity. And so when you look at gasoline, and this is separate and apart from diesel emissions, and I always like to, to use this to illustrate an important difference, right? If you’re talking about light duty vehicles and really turning over from gasoline to electricity, there’s a really big opportunity there, really big opportunity to basically decrease your carbon emissions. Now that’s a little different when you talk about diesel because what diesel contributes is mostly particulate matter and other emissions, not so much carbon, but let’s just focus on carbon emissions lowering because there’s a lot of critics out there that would say, okay, fine, you know, you’re going to convert from gasoline to electricity. But if you’re producing electricity from dirtier sources, what does that get you? Well, actually quite a bit as it turns out. It is true that for to decarbonize our economy and the grid, we need to do two things at once.

Pam Frank (12:51):

We need to increase the migration to electric transportation and we need to increasingly clean up the grid. But I want to give you an example that illustrates a point about the efficiency of the IC engine, the internal combustion engine and its limits. And why migrating to electricity, even with the grid exactly as it is today with all the sources exactly as they are today, is usually going to be 60 to 70% cleaner per mile driven. If I’m driving with electricity. And the example I give to kind of illustrate the inefficiency of the internal combustion engine is pizza. Because I like pizza. So it’s like I’m giving you a pizza pie and I’m basically taking back immediately about seven slices. That is the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and it’s never going to do better than that. So all those seven slices are just pizza on the floor, which is horrible to think about, right? Um, who wants to waste pizza? With electric vehicles, you’ve taken that away. And that efficiency gap is so great that for every mile I drive with an ev it will be 60 to 70% cleaner. When we’re talking about carbon than its IC engine equivalent. So the opportunity here is massive, massive for carbon, for carbon reduction in the

Josh Raulerson (14:17):

Commonwealth. And when you, you put it in those terms, I mean it becomes that much more obvious how this is like one hopes after we reach a certain tipping point, it’s just going to make sense. People are going to start putting it together on their own and then it will really take off. But what, what’s the timeline for that kind of change? That sort of cultural change in the way people think about these problems versus the timeline for the actual policy changes that need to happen. When will this happen? How soon will consumers notice a difference in their utility bills or whatever and you know, how soon will that lead to like a measurable change in behavior?

Pam Frank (14:51):

Right? So if I knew the answer to that question somebody would pay me a lot of money, right? There are so many unknowns when you think about trajectories on, on just adoption of a new technology. And this one more complicated because you’ve got the interface with the grid. So it’s really a hard thing to predict. I will say this, we have had supply chain issues up and down not just in the auto automated manufacturing industry, but also in the energy industry when it comes to things like, you know what the utilities need. Transformers, right? Who knew, right? That’s a thing. We really should be making more of them here closer to us. They’re really hard to get your hands on right now. Now that will ultimately ease, but these supply chain constraints make it a little harder to predict, you know, when we get sort of to the promised land of, you know, total conversion, this is not going to be in 10 years.

Pam Frank (15:51):

I think it’s more like a 20, 30 year, maybe longer rollout of how this happens. And I mean, think about car ownership which by the way is also changing, right? The model. And this is another reason it gets hard to predict because there are so many things changing at once. Transportation patterns are changing work and where people work is changing and that’s affecting commuting. The technology obviously is changing. So all of these things changing at once, make it hard to, to predict. But I just want to make everybody at least take away the concerns, right? This isn’t happening tomorrow, it’s not happening all at once. The grid is not going to break. This is going to happen over several decades if not more. And we hope we can accelerate the uptake of it because the sooner we can get off fossil fuels the better. But we we’re not pushing on this so hard that we’re going to endanger the grid. And I’ve heard people express those concerns at times. I think they’re unfounded.

Josh Raulerson (17:00):

So, so it’s a long game. And keeping that in mind, what about in the near term, how does this process play out with the PUC? I think all, all they’ve agreed to do so far is study the issue. What does the next step, you know, who else gets involved after that?

Pam Frank (17:14):

Yeah, so it’s no small thing because they’ve agreed not just to study it but they’ve also agreed to study it in a relatively short timeframe. So they’re going to bring folks together and the end result of this is a policy statement that they issue, okay? And a policy statement by the PUC or by the regulators, right, is basically targeted to the people they regulate or the entities they regulate, which is the, the utilities. So what you would hope to see from the issuance of a policy statement is that utilities could then put together some programs or filings as we like to call them to come before the PUC and then the PUC has to adjudicate. That’s like quasi-judicial setting, right? There is a docket opened and sort of all the elements of sort of a judicial proceeding with discovery. And you always have you know an entity watching out for rate payers, right?

Pam Frank (18:14):

To make sure that rates especially for those that are the most vulnerable, are not going to be adversely impacted. So you’ve got a whole sort of proceeding that kicks off for any utility that makes a filing until you get to a point of whether there, there’s either a settlement or sort of that’s sort of fully adjudicated, but then you have programs in the market, right? So the hope and idea is that you get to a point from this PUC proceeding, which is again, fact-finding, discussion, try to get the PUC smarter because this is new ground for every PUC in the country, right? They never had to think about the transportation industry before. So they have a lot to learn and that’s the point of doing something like this. And so the logical sort of conclusion of it at the end of the day is you get good programs in the market that not only work well for people who drive electric vehicles, but also this is important work well for people that don’t drive electric vehicles in terms of the rate impact.

Josh Raulerson (19:22):

I did want to ask you about what other states are experiencing and you know, Pennsylvania is not always leading the charge toward the future on, on everything. I wonder if other states have undertaken similar changes, and if so, how that’s playing out for them so far. What, what we could learn from their experience,

Pam Frank (19:40):

Maryland and New Jersey, which are, you know, adjacent to you and, and New York, you know, these are all very considered pretty active EV markets. And even I should be careful in saying that because even they have a ways to go, right? But all of these states Maryland, New Jersey, New York, they all have programs in the market which help increase the adoption of electric vehicles. Whether it’s rate structure and, and, and, you know, time of use, use rates as an example or demand charge, ways that they address demand charges, which we can talk about or incentives to help people get electric chargers for their home. I mean, all of these surrounding states are farther along than Pennsylvania is. But, you know, this I think is also an opportunity for Pennsylvania to learn from those other states what’s worked well, what hasn’t worked so well. So sometimes it, it’s a good thing not to be number one, right? Sometimes you get to, you get to learn a lot from the other folks that have gone first.

Josh Raulerson (20:52):

Well, I think those, those states that you mentioned are another area where, where they have gone ahead of Pennsylvania and that’s the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that’s all still very much up in the air and you’ve already pretty well disclaimed how many moving parts there are to this and how difficult that makes it to, you know, predict. But I would really be interested in your kind of analysis of how the changes we’re talking about here affect the dynamics surrounding RGGI where that goes from here. And, you know, and, and while we’re at it, I’ll just roll another question into the deal, and that’s with the new governor coming in, how has this new administration going to shape the development of, of the kind of policy we’re talking about, the build out of infrastructure and, and all the things that need to happen?

Pam Frank (21:33):

Listen, it’s my hope that electric vehicles and the adoption of electric vehicles are not seen in any way through a partisan lens. Because like I like to highlight, there’s something in here for everybody whatever your politics are, there is great economic opportunity for manufacturers of which there are some significant ones in the Commonwealth. For the drivers themselves, right? I mean, I just, I want to stop for one moment and say what may be obvious but maybe isn’t so obvious, which is there is nothing as potent politically as the sticker shock of gasoline prices at the pump. You know that as well as I know that that really gets people upset very quickly. And that’s because first of all, these expenses are not typically discretionary expenses. People have to be able to get from point A to point B to conduct their lives, okay?

Pam Frank (22:36):

So it’s money they have to spend and it goes right, you know, right to their, to their pocketbook. And so being able to move off gasoline towards electricity, there is a huge savings. And the other thing I’ll mention too, which is important, gasoline and the cost of gasoline, the price of gasoline, I’m sorry, is not regulated. The price of electricity is regulated, which means as you take a look at a graph and you see what gasoline prices have done over the last 10 years, it’s a pretty noisy graph, right? You see ups, you see downs, and people feel that in their everyday lives. When you look at the cost of electricity for consumers over the same time period, you see much more stability, right? So for everybody that is really important. I think, look, we’re living in an unprecedented time in terms of extreme weather events and a lot of unpredictable things that happen in the world.

Pam Frank (23:40):

It would be so helpful to be able to give consumers and businesses and anyone who relies on transportation, which is pretty much everybody, a much more stable pricing system, it helps everybody, right? So, and then we get to the savings, which is significant. And so I think there is a good reason and a good justification for moving aggressively towards trying to get as much savings into people’s pockets. And by the way, it’s not, and I make this point over and over again, it’s not just the EV drivers, right? It’s electric customers, but it’s also some of the models that moving to electricity liberates. So as an example, on the other side of the Delaware in New Jersey here, there is a very exciting program that is going to hopefully be unveiled in 2023, which is a community-based electric vehicle ride share, car share for the people of Trenton, New Jersey.

Pam Frank (24:47):

Now I happen to live right next to Trenton in a town called Lawrenceville. And I regularly see people take cabs to supermarkets because there’s no supermarket in Trenton. Now we could, there’s a lot of places in Pennsylvania where I can say the same thing, right? People can’t get to healthcare, they can’t get to jobs, they can’t get to food in an easy way either because public transit doesn’t get them there. Maybe it’s unpredictable, et cetera. So maybe they live in more rural areas where that’s just not even available to them. But these models, these new models that are being created because of this technology are very exciting when it comes to being able to solve the issue of transportation access. So again, I think there are so many good reasons to really pushing aggressively. Now you mentioned RGGI, RGGI does liberate, right? If, if this happens in the Commonwealth, there’s a considerable amount of resources, how those resources get spent and allocated. It will, will be a very robust debate in the Commonwealth, should we have that opportunity. And so again, that may be one more resource and the new governor obviously is going to have to study a lot of these issues really carefully. You know, whether or not RGGI is going to happen, when it’s going to happen and how it would happen, but how those proceeds might get used. The other thing I’ll also mention to is unprecedented federal investments and leveraging those is also a great opportunity for the Commonwealth.

Josh Raulerson (26:35):

Right. All of these pieces are, are in place or will be soon. One of them that’s still kind of out there maybe is the actual presence of electric vehicles on the highways. You mentioned that manufacturers are really decisively moving in that direction. It’s kind of a matter of time, but as of today, I’m just curious. So you said 12 million vehicles on the road in PA. Any idea how many of those are currently electric vehicles? What’s the sort of projected adoption rate over the next you know, few years and how does this potentially change that? I guess what I’m wondering is do EV sales actually increase with these policy changes? Does it drive behavior in both directions?

Pam Frank (27:14):

Look, the, I think the adoption for these vehicles is projected to be pretty dramatic. The national projection is something along 25 to 30% of total vehicle sales by 2030 will be EVs new and used, you know, total vehicle sales. And I think that we have seen over the last three to four years, each manufacturing auto manufacturing company make their announcements about their new line of electric vehicles. That, again, some of this has been delayed because of the pandemic and because of supply chain constraints and what’s going on with China and, and the, and the war in Ukraine. And I’m not going to say that we’re not going to continue to have global disruptions. I’m sure we’re going to, however, progress is being made, right? The manufacturers are investing billions of dollars in new factories to stand up this new product. And what’s notable about electric vehicles and sometimes get swept under the rug, people like to focus on the carbon emissions.

Pam Frank (28:26):

Well, the other sort of little secret for people that drive electric vehicles is they’re kind of awesome, meaning the performance, if you’re a gearhead, if you’re someone who just loves to drive and drive fast, and by the way, I, I’m one of those people I love to drive and drive fast. These cars are superior performance. And once you drive one of these cars, you’re never going to want to go back to an IC engine vehicle. It feels clunky, it feels slow. It, I mean, they’re just superior in every way from a driving experience, right? And so, yeah, they save you money. Yeah, they’re good for the environment, but if you don’t care about those things and you really just care about performance, these things are awesome. So I think the consumers once they have access to these vehicles because the prices are more affordable and the prices are coming down, right, there may be some rebates and other incentives out there to help speed along adoption. This is going to be one of these things where it’s such a great product that the adoption is, assuming, again, we’ve got the supply right in place, we’re going to have sort of adoption taking off relatively quickly. Now, these are expensive, right? Cars are expensive. It’s not like this thing, the cell phone, right? Which took off because they, they figured out a way, you don’t have to pay $800 for it, we’re going to let you pay $25 a month, right?

Josh Raulerson (29:45):

Can we look forward to a day when I could finance my electric vehicle purchase through my utility the way I get my iPhone through my phone company?

Pam Frank (29:53):

Right? That’s a nice idea. I like that on-bill financing. But even a car purchase or car lease, it’s a big investment. People typically turn over their cars every seven to 11 years. And so it is going to take time to get to everybody, but I’m going to tell you right now, once, once you’ve been in these things, once you’ve experienced an electric vehicle, you want one. So that’s going to help adoption for sure.

Josh Raulerson (30:20):

When you mentioned that Super Bowl ad my mind went to another, I don’t know if it was actually in the form of a commercial, but it was a video I saw, I think in the last year where they, they took a guy who is I don’t know, farmer, somebody working in a blue collar type job, used to driving pickups, big trucks, and he test drives an electric truck. And is, is just blown away. It’s, it was a really fascinating kind of fun video to watch, but it really does point to how there are so many reasons, there are so many ways of coming at this issue that don’t boil down to climate and carbon emissions.

Pam Frank (30:52):

Well, you know what I, to that point, I have a, a kind of a cute story that I like to tell. I’ve been driving a Chevy Bolt with a “B” for the last six years, I think I’ve got over a hundred thousand miles on it, right? And when you drive an electric vehicle, you learn pretty quickly that you know, don’t be sort of taken in by, you know, people talk about the range of the vehicle, right? And it’s a average, right? It turns out one of the biggest things that affect your range happens to be how cold it is outside, okay? And, and a lot of people don’t realize this. And so there was a day a few years ago where I was driving out to Harrisburg, New Jersey, and it was a very cold day, and I, it, I had to basically charge on my way home to be able to get home.

Pam Frank (31:40):

And I stopped someplace and went in to get myself a cup of coffee. Now I pulled my car into what’s called a level two charger, which gives me 25 miles every hour. It wasn’t a fast charger, which is really what I could have used, but more of those are coming, so don’t worry. But this is several years ago, I pull into a parking space with a level two charger, and the parking lot is sort of empty. And as I’m getting ready to get out of my car to plug my car in, I noticed that a truck driver with a pretty big truck, like an F 350, pulls in literally right next to me. This is like being in a movie theater and it’s empty and you sit down and someone comes in and sits right next to you. Like I was like a little creeped out.

Pam Frank (32:22):

I’m thinking, okay, he’s going to make some crack. He’s going to say something obnoxious. I get out and plug my car in. He’s sitting in his seat, he’s watching, and he gets out of his truck and he looks at me and I’m thinking, here it comes. And you know what he says, when are they going to make one of those for me? And then we got into a great conversation because his whole point, and he knew, he’s like, it’s going to be a lot less money. You know, I’m sick and tired of paying whatever he was paying to fill up his tank. And that was a really good discussion, right? Because he realized there were a lot of benefits to operating and owning an electric vehicle. And that’s what the conversation was about. It was about the savings, it was about the power, it was about the performance. And I think that’s, you know, over the next few years we’re going to see a lot of these vehicles coming into the market, different shapes and sizes, different price points.

Pam Frank (33:12):

It’s not just going to be like a, you know, like a Tesla. You’re going to see a lot of great vehicles in a lot of different classes, much more affordable. Still some high end ones coming out, you know, but I think there’s going to be a lot more options. And this guy who I met at a rest stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, he’s going to have options. You know, someone asked me the other day and this is what’s so interesting about this transition there’s a lot of new players here, there’s a lot of incumbents that are trying to figure out how they get into this market, right? And not completely die trying. And it, it’s, it’s a really interesting time to sort of watch the, the companies in this space, some really interesting mergers some cooperative agreements, right? And, and typically those are done when a company realizes we’re not going to get there by, by ourselves. And time is of the essence, right? So that’s a kind of a fun space for geeks like me to watch.

Josh Raulerson (34:19):

Well, Pam Frank with Gabel Associates on behalf of the ChargeEVC-PA Coalition, thank you so much for being on Pennsylvania Legacies. It was great talking with you.

Pam Frank (34:27):

A pleasure. Have a great holiday