At the beginning of September, I joined SACE as our Electric Transportation Policy Director. Today, I’d like to share a bit of my personal journey to this position and why I’m excited to work with utilities, cities, states and other SACE allies across the Southeast to further electrify transportation.Stan Cross | September 29, 2019
My work in the electric transportation industry started in 2009 when I co-founded North Carolina-based Brightfield Transportation Solutions with the vision to leapfrog fossil fuel and drive on sunshine. Since then, the Brightfield team succeeded in growing the regional market. We installed over $2 million of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and raised $2.5 million in grants and investment capital. Our business demonstrated the environmental, economic, and consumer awareness benefits derived from integrating charging stations with our patented grid-connected solar canopies.
Brightfield is at a start-up pivot point, having planted seeds that are waiting to sprout. Which seeds take root will dictate the course Brightfield follows. This moment in Brightfield’s journey allows me to step away and ask the question I’ve asked throughout my career; where can I best contribute my energy now to help arrest climate change?
The answer is to join the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as our Electric Transportation Policy Director. My task is to help identify and remove the policy and regulatory roadblocks that slow our transition to electric transportation and replace them with innovative reforms and effective stakeholder collaboration to accelerate the Southeast market. I know these roadblocks well, having run into them again and again over the past decade.
During my entrepreneurial journey in the electric transportation space, I engaged with utilities, industry partners, businesses, stakeholders, state governments, and municipalities, including as a consultant for the Cities of Raleigh and Charlotte, NC. I intend to leverage these experiences and relationships, coupled with SACE’s 30 years of clean energy work in the Southeast, to advance meaningful regional policy change.
Working to get favorable electric transportation policies and regulations in place is a worthy cause and a challenge The benefits of driving electric are many:
- EVs enhance energy security by diversifying transportation fuel away from our dependence on oil.
- EV drivers pay approximately $1,300/year less on transportation because electricity is cheap and EVs require virtually no maintenance.
- Municipal and state governments are poised to save significant taxpayer dollars by electrifying fleets.
- EVs retain community wealth because most of the money spent on gas and diesel in the Southeast goes back to oil-producing states and nations.
- EVs at scale will spread utility capital cost recovery over a larger user base, which has the potential to put downward pressure on rates if coupled with smart rate design.
- EVs reduce greenhouse gas emissions by upwards of 60% if powered by today’s utility resources, 100% if you’re driving on sunshine!
The EV market is rapidly expanding as the cost of vehicles comes down, battery range goes up, and the public charger footprint grows. Now is the time to get the right policies and regulatory reforms in place. The climate crisis demands that we act urgently. I’m excited to get rolling. And for those of you who are curious, I am an EV driver proudly driving the talk since 2015!