Earlier this month, PennDOT's Bureau of Innovations (BOI) hosted the first webinar of the 2023 Innovation in Motion webinar series titled Transformational Transportation Technologies focused on Electric Vehicles (EVs), Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs), and how infrastructure must adapt to meet the ever-changing demands of the transportation landscape.
Presenters included Colton Brown, alternative fuels infrastructure coordinator in PennDOT's Strategic Development and Implementation Office, and Natasha Fackler, infrastructure implementation coordinator in the Governor's Office of the Budget to discuss the benefits of EVs and brief attendees on PennDOT's EV initiatives.
In addition, BOI welcomed Gunnar Rhone, P.E., an engineering specialist in PennDOT's Strategic Development and Implementation Office, to provide an overview of CAV technology and discuss the wide-ranging transportation challenges that these technologies can address.
Brown and Fackler provided an overview of EVs including financial, environmental, and economic benefits before discussing how the vehicles are charged. Brown and Fackler also provided insight on some of the programs currently in the works at PennDOT for EVs. These programs include ADA accessible charging stations, transitioning fleet vehicles to EV, education and outreach, and the EV Mobility Plan, which recommends the installation of at least 5,000 new EV-charging ports on at least 2,000 sites by 2028.
"PennDOT is working on transitioning a large portion of its fleet to electric vehicles by 2025," said Brown. "So far, PennDOT has over a 100 plug- in hybrids and many more electric vehicles on order, and there's also over 300 charging plugs either installed or in progress at PennDOT fleet locations."
Later, Fackler covered the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.
"Pennsylvania received $171.5 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law across five years to support our electric vehicle initiatives," said Fackler. "In the first year we will be focusing on filling out our alternative fuel corridors."
Later, Gunnar Rhone covered the ins and outs of CAVs including how they work, network and connection requirements, and the ongoing testing happening in Pennsylvania today.
"Full deployment is really far off in the future," said Rhone. "We're building everything that's needed to deploy them right now in a way that has benefits for the public right now."
To watch the full webinar, click here.
More information on the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program can be found on the PennDOT website.
More information on the CAVs and testing can be found on the PennDOT website.