Happy First Anniversary, Voltera!
One year ago, we publicly announced the launch of Voltera. Though we all had high hopes for the company, the progress in the past year has been far beyond what I’d expected. We’ve grown so much in just 12 months – building an incredible team, assembling a strong real estate portfolio, developing an innovative technology platform, and forming deep relationships with industry-leading customers.
I’ve said before that building the infrastructure to support carbon-free transportation is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. One year in, I am more convinced than ever that Voltera will embrace that challenge and is well-positioned to help lead this transformation. The work is still just beginning of course, and huge obstacles remain, but I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished in the past year, and I am excited for the forward progress we have planned for the year ahead.
The rapid development of such a talented, committed team is one of the things I’m most proud that we’ve accomplished at Voltera. Our team has grown from under a dozen people when we launched last year to nearly 60 today. To support our growing team, we’ve also secured three new offices this year – Palo Alto, CA, Washington, DC, and Denver, CO. It is no exaggeration to say that the number one reason we’ve been able to accomplish what we have is our team and our shared culture.
Our guiding principles tell us to think big, plan well, and act now. We embrace the challenges that our customers face, and we work to build trust and support with our team, our customers and our partners – when you’re charting new territory like we are, we’ve found trust is key to accelerating progress.
Deploying at Scale
Over the past year we’ve talked a lot about scale – the scale of planned EV rollouts, the scale of power required to support those vehicles, the necessary scale of each charging facility itself. It has been inspiring to see several of our earliest customers really beginning to scale their programs significantly. Across a range of segments – from drayage to ride-hail – companies are moving full-speed ahead with their electrification plans at scale.
At the same time, there are still many companies working through the pilot stage of their electrification journeys. The market will continue to grow exponentially as more of these companies begin to fully electrify their fleets across new geographies.
Regulations and incentives including California’s Advanced Clean Fleets program and the federal government’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act have driven tremendous early adoption of electrification at scale in various locations across the country. Demand for EV charging infrastructure is particularly robust in regions like metro Los Angeles (including the Port of Long Beach) and the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of our early deployments are in those markets.
Importantly, we’re expanding into many other markets across the country as well, with active or soon-to-launch deployments in 18 major metro areas. In these geographies we’re both developing sites on behalf of specific customers as well as proactively investing in areas where we strongly believe there will be a need for EV charging at scale. Our business development team has engaged with hundreds of current and potential customers to assess their needs and our real estate team has analyzed more than 1,500 properties to determine where we’ll deploy.
As exciting as these developments are, challenges still abound. Timelines for permitting and utility interconnection are often two or three times longer than fleets’ planned EV rollouts. Part of the solution is educating authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) on what for them is a very new type of use. Utilities in geographies where EV charging at scale is relatively new often find themselves overwhelmed with requests for information about where transmission capacity is available. On the power procurement front, supply chain constraints continue to impact developers with long delays for distribution equipment. (Learn more about how Voltera is solving these challenges in our Electrification at Scale Playbook series.)
Talent is another big challenge for the clean transportation industry as people with deep expertise in transportation electrification are hard to find. We all need to do a better job of creating new opportunities and training for those that are new to the industry to get in and build their careers here.
So much has developed in the past year alone, it’s impossible to say for certain what exciting news I’ll be sharing this time next year. Our industry is evolving rapidly with new participants arriving, new partnerships forming, and billions in capital being invested. For Voltera, there are some big announcements on the near horizon, including the launch of our next site for 60+ class 8 trucks near the Port of Long Beach, and our high-capacity EV charging facility for a fleet of light-duty vehicles in downtown San Francisco. We’ll be announcing more deployments in California and other states as well. (We’ll also be deploying our first hydrogen fueling stations.)
Building the infrastructure to support carbon-free transportation is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. I couldn’t be prouder of what Voltera has accomplished in the past year and I look forward to the big plans we have for the year ahead.
Matt Horton, Voltera CEO