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The Grid

How Electric Cars Will Drive Our Clean Energy Future


By Ken Cornew, CEO, Exelon Generation

Ken Cornew

As I slide into the seat of my car on my way to work, I get a little glimpse into our future. I can see it’s going to be cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient. 

My car doesn’t run on gasoline. It’s an electric vehicle (EV), using electricity for its power, which I know in my region is largely driven by zero-carbon nuclear and low-carbon natural gas. 

I may have been one of the first to buy an electric car seven years ago, and it may be one of the few times in my life when I can be called a trendsetter, but I know more of us will be driving electric cars in our future.   

Two million EVs were sold globally last year. In the U.S., two percent of all vehicle sales were EVs and the Edison Electric Institute predicts by 2030 seven percent of vehicles on the road will be electric vehicles. Growth is expected to continue at exponential rates. In fact, Exelon is investing $125 million in EV programs through Constellation Technology Ventures (CTV), a venture-investing arm of Exelon.  

A few weeks ago I was at an Electric Power Research Institute conference about electrification, and it was readily apparent the electrification of transportation will significantly reduce carbon-based fuel consumption. It is critical for all customers to have access to these clean energy solutions not just through personal electric vehicles but also through public transportation and rideshare programs. Right now, transportation is the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 28 percent of all emissions.

Through customer programs coupled with our low-carbon generating fleet, Exelon Generation can help achieve the beneficial electrification of the transportation sector, meaning replacing traditional fossil fuel use with clean sources of electricity. We are the nation’s largest producer of zero-carbon energy, and we have a unique opportunity to jumpstart adoption of clean, diverse energy technologies. 

It won’t be easy. Electrification of the transportation sector requires modernization, education, and fleet upgrades, all of which Exelon Generation is working to advance.

Here are a few ways we are doing our part to help electrify transportation.

Infrastructure Modernization 

In partnership with Exelon-funded startup company ChargePoint, Exelon Generation is modernizing customer infrastructure and our own to enable the adoption of EVs. We’ve installed nearly 150 electric vehicle charging stations at our facilities, providing convenient charging for our employees and communities. Our Constellation business also offers customers the opportunity to install charging stations with no money down through our Efficiency Made Easy program.

Consumer Education and Adoption

We are working to overcome hurdles to EV adoption – such as range anxiety, lack of awareness of the benefits and a sometimes-confusing purchase process. That’s why we launched Constellation’s EZ-EV, which uses artificial intelligence, digital marketing and social media to help consumers find the right EVs for them. The program offers discounts and simplifies the purchase process. 

In addition, we recently launched STEER, a monthly electric car subscription, which allows customers to experience the EV lifestyle with no commitment and the ability to swap out vehicles to meet their needs. 

Fleet Electrification 

We’ve also invested in two start-ups leading the way in fleet electrification. XL Hybrids works directly with vehicle manufactures such as Ford, Chevy, and GMC to upgrade commercial, utility, and municipal vehicles with hybrid technology. 

Proterra designs and manufactures zero-emission buses that eliminate dependency on fossil fuels and significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet transportation. Proterra has sold more than 350 vehicles to 35 different municipal, university, and commercial transit agencies throughout North America. 

Our future needs to be centered around clean energy, and we all must do our part to get there. Encouraging electrification is just one of the many ways Exelon Generation is working to provide a cleaner and brighter future for our customers and communities.

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