[0:41] Dispelling Myths Surrounding EVs with Matt Bianco
Rachael: So, we're actually welcoming back to the podcast Matt Bianco. He's president of Fed Way Consulting, and an expert on all things related to electric vehicles and charging integration within the US federal government ecosystem and beyond. As you know, this is such an exciting topic.
So many questions and passionate points of view on how we as a society and with the government leading the charge, transition to EV in the next decade. I mean, Matt, welcome back. This is gonna be fun.
Matt: I'm excited to be back. I was anxiously awaiting getting some updates so I could get back to you guys and join you again. So thank you for having me.
Rachael: Definitely. And so many updates. I mean, before we got on the podcast, we were talking about really just all the funding and initiatives and the holistic approach to try to, how do you make this a reality, particularly within the government. And, you've been having some really good conversations on where confusion lies.
And I'd love it if you could kind of dispel some of the confusion and myths that people are operating within.
Matt: Yes, first off, I'm so excited to talk about this whenever I have a chance, because, it's just that topic that when you're at a party at a house or you're with family or whoever it is, they always have questions. And there are a lot of different thoughts and understandings of EVs. So I love that I can have this chance to clear it up.
The Federal Charging Ecosystem for EVs
Matt: So there are two sides of the coin, let's say. There's the NEVY funding, which comes from the infrastructure funds and things like that, that the government put something like 120 billion toward. And it's going to be divvied up to the states. And the states will have their decisions on getting these charging hubs, fast charging hubs.
It's gonna be very focused on level three, fast charging.
So you're looking at like 150 kilowatts and above. Typically they want like four or five ports of charging that can charge at that rate simultaneously. So it's gonna be heavy infrastructure.
It'll help support not only families on trips but also medium and heavy-duty trucks that are on their trips and things like that. So just get these charging hubs. That's the first set there.
Then they're gonna start opening that up to the states allowing to give grants and things to private industries so people can start putting that in for employees to use and things like that. So that side of the house, I'm not super a super expert on, but it's an important side.
And the joint energy office with DOE and even some GSA involvement and things like that, they're really heavily involved in that.
There's a government presence as far as guidance on how to make this happen. They're doing a ton of research for them. So the government's involved from that standpoint. They're funding it, they're helping educate, they're helping to get the wheels turning on it, and that type of thing.
Then the states will take over. The side I'm most of an expert on is the federal charging ecosystem.
Accelerating the Electrification Journey
Matt: They have executive order 1457, which is requiring them to have all their new purchases be electric by 2027. So that's light duty. The medium and heavy-duty will be in 2035. I've also heard and seen from the military perspective, they're even looking at electrifying tactical vehicles by 2050. 2050 sounds far away, but we're in 2023 now, and it's like, we're gonna be 2030 before we know it.
So they're very lofty goals. It's gonna be challenging, but that's why these executive orders are always challenging. So that's where I lie. So what I do is I work with federal agencies on a regular basis every day. I'm talking to agencies that either have gotten EVs or they got blindsided and they need some way to charge them. And they're just throwing them into a one-10 outlet for now and getting a few miles back.
And they can't control who uses those plugs. They can't report on the information, all of that stuff. So there are agencies like that. There are agencies like DHS I like naming them because they're really the trailblazer. They have a team of about 60 or 70 people that are on their electrification team. So they're planning out infrastructure, pushing it down to their components.
Like a Coast Guard, like Flatz, like the secret service, things like that as they start to get vehicles. So they're planning ahead. They're gonna have the infrastructure in place before the vehicles get there.
They also had the first federal law enforcement vehicle with CBP. They did a ribbon cutting here in DC related to that at the St. Elizabeth campus. So they're even electrifying some of the law enforcement.
Navigating the Landscape of EVs
Matt: So that needs hefty charging. Most of their charging can be done at just the level two rates. So I'm getting into the details here a little bit love, but they have to plan and that's gonna be the key. And then they have to fund it. So right now they don't really have a pot of money that's dedicated to this type of infrastructure.
They can move money or around and do some things.
Some agencies like DHS, and the military, have dedicated funds for this, but a lot of agencies just don't have the funding. So they're waiting and they're being told they have to get these vehicles. It's kind of that conundrum and you know, chicken egg theory, that type of thing, cuz you need the charging to get the vehicles.
It's exciting. But I wanted to just clarify those two sides of the house. Nevi funding is different than what we're doing on the electrification of the federal fleet and postal services included in that. That's an exciting project I was involved in too. They're gonna be going all-electric here in the next five, 10 years.
Petko: Matt, I'm just kind of curious from a cybersecurity standpoint, I mean, what are some of the risks around EVs or charging infrastructure that we might not be aware of that we should be aware of? Either on the personal vehicle or on the government vehicle, or both?
Matt: Yes, it's a good question. Actually, for a year in between, I left ChargePoint, they're the market leader of charging stations outside of obviously the Tesla ecosystem. I, in a year I left ChargePoint and I did this on the side as Fed Way consulting.
[6:54] Understanding the Intricacies of EVs Charging Infrastructure
Matt: I worked for a company called Hacker One, and I worked a lot with DOT and doing this proactive hacking of the vehicles and that type of thing. I haven't gotten involved in the vehicle side of things from a security perspective. But I know that's being thought of.
Because that's one thing.
These are fully integrated systems as an EV driver as well. These are like driving computers. I mean they just are very hackable, that's for sure. But you know, they are looking ahead of that so that side of the house I'm not a super expert on.
But from a charging infrastructure side of things, I think there are a few things that people probably don't understand.
Even people that are putting in charging stations and installing them don't quite understand because they'll even ask, do we need a data line for these level two chargers? You really don't need it. So with a level two charger, which is about 20, 25 miles of range per hour, up to about say 50, depending on the kilowatts,
I can nerd out on the text and specs of level two charging. But it ranges from seven to about 19.2 kilowatts of output to the vehicle. In that, there is no data that's transferred.
So when you plug in the vehicle, it is just an electrical signal. It's just a handshake between the vehicle and the station. I can give this much power as the station. I can take this much power as the vehicle, with no data. So the data is all captured through a network charging station through an RFID process.
So you're gonna be tapping your ID card that's associated with your fleet vehicle.
Exploring the Integration of Charging Infrastructure for EVs
Matt: You can anonymize the data within the software that's controlling all of this. And then you can set access policies based on those cards. So the fleet will have their cards only that card can open that station as you load them into the system.
And then from a driver's POV or a personal vehicle driver, they call them POVs, personally owned vehicles versus government-owned vehicles.
So they are starting to open these up to personally owned vehicles. That person will have their own RFID card that they're using around town to log into stations and pay for charging sessions.
Then they just start opening it up to these personal vehicles. I'm a big believer, not to digress a little bit, but I'm a big believer that let's use this infrastructure for personal vehicles too.
You're putting the infrastructure in. They're gonna be using them at night mostly because they're gonna drive their vehicle 30, 50 miles. They charge it in and plug it in every night. And you know, they don't need a fast charger. So I'm a big believer in using that for POVs during the day.
And that's a little different side of the cyber house cuz that's all covered under PCI compliance and the government doesn't care about that data as much.
They care, but they know it's covered and it's not government-owned data. So they're not quite as concerned. It's the GB side from a cyber perspective they're most concerned about. And from level two, the only thing you need to worry about is the authentication process through the RFID.
The vehicle does not talk to the station. Level three, there is something called ISO 1 5 1 1 5 1 18, which is a plug-in charge.
Navigating Cyber Risks and Standard Compliance for EVs
Matt: So, Petko, it's like charging at a Tesla supercharger, you plug in it knows who you are, and it knows to charge your card. It's a quick seamless process. That's great because it's a closed ecosystem. But when you get into other chargers that are universal now they're interacting with many different vehicles.
So that's still not quite there yet. And the cyber risks really lie in that because now you're plugging it in, it knows everything about the vehicle. You can also probably hack that to get into GPS data and that type of thing from where the vehicle has been, and that type of thing.
I'm sure there's lots of data that can be gleaned that way so that ISO 15118, everyone wants to be compliant to that. But it hasn't really been implemented too much. So still with level three charging, for the most part, you're still using your RFID card at ev, go Electrify
America ChargePoint stations, wherever it is you're using your account and your card to pay for the session and it's not really talking. The last thought on cyber is they all connect via cellular. So typically you don't want a hardwired connection, land connection to the station.
You want to use that cellular connection to be sure that there's no conduit to the networks.
Petko: Matt, I just wanna step back a little bit. So level one is just a regular one 10 outlet that I might plug in, right? Level two is kind of that drier vent 240 volts that I might plug in. Not adjusting for the amps and everything else. But that's the size of it.
Demystifying the Charging Level EVs
Petko: And then level three is the huge ones we see. Usually, we think of when we see the chargers for Teslas and others that are on the road that will charge potentially 20 miles a minute or something like that, crazy. So level two doesn't require internet, it's just the regular power.
But level three is the one that typically is gonna require more internet back and forth. And they're not just because you have to coordinate, does charging speed the battery health and everything else because it is such a high voltage? Is that about right?
Matt: They're typically still gonna connect via cellular, but then now when you plug in the vehicle, there's gonna be a lot more communication. There's actually a communication line from the station to the vehicle compared to level two where there's not, so there's more communication between the vehicle and the station.
That's the critical piece. Most stations now will connect via cellular and use that connection to control the power, do demand charges, and do all kinds of stuff that you can do behind the scenes from that standpoint.
Petko: Is it your belief that the primary risks outside of the vehicle are really just the level three charging because of the data line that might be there?
Matt: Good question. No, and I talk with agencies about this all the time because I try to make sure they understand. Like I have an intelligence agency that I work with where I convince them that, hey, don't worry too much.
ou can put whatever data you want. You don't have to put that, it's a Chevy Bolt, you can put its vehicle number one.
[13:11] Cybersecurity Risks and Compliance Measures for EVs
Matt: You don't put a tag number, you don't put any type of data. You can just anonymize it at level two and you just use that RFID and as long as that RFID serial number is allowed to charge the vehicle, you can't glean a lot of data from that.
You could see charging behaviors, how long they're charging, what station they're at, that type of thing. If you hacked into it you can't just normally see that.
So with level three, it's very similar. Now, there's not really a whole lot of risks, but because of that data line and when ISO 15118 gets implemented, that's where that risk is gonna be because there's that communication with the vehicle. So that is definitely kind of the way I view it.
Level two, you really don't have a whole lot to worry about. Maybe the vehicle is more than the station with level three charging. You probably have to worry a little bit about both, the vehicle itself as well as the charging.
Petko: And last time, I think when you were here on the podcast we were talking GSA was determining whether it's gonna be FedRAMP or interstate hundred 171 for compliance for the federal vehicle charging.
I think GSA is determined it's gonna be FedRAMP. I'm kind of curious about two things, what made him decide it requires FedRAMP, I mean if I'm just using a regular charger, like two level two where it's like a dry event, what data's there that's sensitive that would require to be FedRAMPed?
EVs and Data Security
Matt: Yes, it's so interesting because they went down that pathway of NIST a hundred, 171, they wanted some type of certification. Well, NIST eight hundred requires C ui, you know, or the opposite. I'm not as intelligent with that. But because of that, lack of C ui, then it couldn't really fall, into NIST eight hundred.
So they decided we need to approach it a different way. So what they decided on the way they're gonna do this is you're gonna have a gov cloud for the, let's say it's ChargePoint. Cuz that's what I know the best. ChargePoint has a network operating system that has everything mixed together.
Commercial states, local municipalities, the federal government, all of that's in one silo. So what they wanted was to have their own gov cloud, it's FedRAMP tailored. It's just a low-impact level that they've determined is about the same lift as an NS 800 lift as well. You just have to report a little bit more often and that type of thing.
So they decided that that's what they wanted, that data still is important.
I've been on these calls where they dig down into the data, but they're also going as far as, if a ticket is opened on the system through Jira or something like that. Is Jira FedRAMP certified, making sure that all those mechanisms are set? So the two-factor authentication you are using, we want you to use products that are FedRAMP certified.
So they're just following the data. Again, that's my frustration, is there's not a whole lot of data that really matters that much.
Balancing Data Privacy and Charging Infrastructure
Matt: So I do feel like they're going over a little bit when you get into telematics and like Geotab where you have GPS data and that type of thing. That's not my dog, I promise I don't have one of those.
So that's my biggest frustration is how important is this data. If you're protecting the data from a telematics level you really don't need to worry as much about the charging sessions themselves. And again, the vehicle's probably more important to worry about than the charging station, but they've decided that's the pathway they want to go.
Petko: I can imagine a lot of it has to do with if I can get a history of how often someone charges what vehicles there. I have a pattern of life potentially for that vehicle or that individual, or I can get a view of how many vehicles are owned by each agency. I can then identify where they've been or where they charge often by the agency.
So I think a lot of it's just about that aggregation of data or the metadata associated to is probably what they want some assurances.
And that makes a lot of sense. I am curious though, if just from a ChargePoint standpoint. As you had mentioned earlier, is the charging infrastructure dedicated to them, or are they allowed to, like, can I charge that if I use a charge for infrastructure for a personal vehicle?
Or let's say a government vehicle does. Is ChargePoint data smart enough for the infrastructure or smart enough to say, oh, this goes to our commercial instance, or this data billing goes to the government infrastructure?
Ensuring Secure Charging for Government and Personal EVs
Matt: Yes, so the way it's done is through the RFID cards. Through the serial numbers. So actually, the POVs could use their iPhone app or something like that and start a session. That way they can tap to charge, and they can do all kinds of cool stuff that the government probably won't because they'll just use the physical RFID card to avoid any worries.
And you can't download the app to a government-issued phone. And we'd have to go through a whole process for that.
They may eventually get there, but it does know. So what you do in the software is tag an RFID to each fleet vehicle. And so when that fleet vehicle pulls in and taps the station, it knows this is a fleet vehicle and it captures the data appropriately and that type of thing.
When it's a personal vehicle, it really doesn't worry too much about that person's vehicle information and that type of thing. It's gonna just packet that information, charge their credit card, that's all gonna be done outside of the, the gov cloud. We're gonna keep it separated. So then that's all PCI compliant.
They'll run that session. And then the thing that the government cares about the most is ChargePoint doesn't make money on those charging sessions. They send 90% of it back to the government, and 10% for processing it and things. So they're processing those payments for the federal government.
They don't want to touch that information. They want to keep that separate. So then we usually will ach that payment to an entity at the end of the month here's your money back that we've collected from your POV drivers.
[19:09] Securing Payments and Protecting Data of EVs Charging Infrastructure
Matt: Agencies are doing that. Some of them are putting it into a reimbursable utility account or something like that. They are concerned about that. We don't want that to happen anymore. So typically we would then just send a paper check and obviously government spends money very well, they don't take money very well. It's very difficult for them to take money without a third party of some sort.
So we send that check back and now they have to process it and hopefully keep it in their appropriated budget. The funny thing is it's only a couple hundred dollars a month. Even if you have a good handful of stations, it's not a lot of money. So they're not worried about that. They were worried more about we don't want government ach, to information within the system.
So get rid of that. We'll just have you send a paper check and then that keeps that side of the house clean from the POV perspective. So it's interesting
Petko: What, Yes, I didn't factor in the bank data as being sensitive. That's interesting.
Matt: Yes, and it varies. Some agencies send it to a treasury account, they have to set up a treasury account. Some agencies use their utility and they just get it into an account that pays that utility. Pay.gov is another way that other agencies are starting to use that, which is essentially treasury as well.
So Yes, it makes sense to keep that out of the picture. But then they trust that we're protecting the data from the personal driver's perspective, their credit card information, all of that.
The Role of Companies in Ensuring a Secure Transition to EVs
Matt: Honestly, they're not worried about it. They're signing an agreement that says that their personal information could be compromised or it may be when they sign up for their charger ChargePoint account.
So they want hands off from a P O V perspective, all we care about is the data associated with the govs and we'll just let those people use our stations when nice. When they're allowed to and the agency is able to that
Petko: That was a great insight. I'm kind of curious about what other barriers or major obstacles are. I mean given that the Biden administration is trying to electrify the whole hundred percent of its fleet by 2027. What other major obstacles do you see or do you think we're on track? I mean what role do you see in companies like ChargePoint and others?
I guess I think Paolo, SunGard and Beam, and other ones playing in this securing, not just securing it but getting to a hundred percent.
Matt: Yes, I'm glad you brought that up actually cuz it's so federally consulting, after I left ChargePoint then I worked for HackerOne for a year. And then it got so busy I decided, let me just go full bo with this charging stuff. So some of the agreements and things that companies I work with are Apollo Sard, which their role is really just a service-disabled veteran-owned small business.
We know what that does in the government. They've had three blanket purchase agreements with the GSA. exactly. And that's really just the contractual kind of side of things. They've been a mainstay.
They've been doing this for 10 years, this new blanket purchase agreement is what requires FedRAMP, which is a new kind of certification.
Resilient and Portable Charging Solutions for EVs
Matt: Then there's Beam, you can put any charging station onto the EVs arc, which is basically the infrastructure. Instead of doing a grid side pole of electricity, you're gonna place this into a parking spot. Army just bought 367 of these VA bought 140 of 'em, DHS bought 32 and they're gonna buy about 50 more this year.
That's gonna bring in the resiliency and that's what the government's looking for is this resiliency. And it also avoids some of the challenges that the charge points of the world are gonna have in getting their stations in the ground.
As there's huge supply chain demand or delays for transformers and electrical panels and things that they need to upgrade to get this power to their site. Because some of it's antiquated with the agencies and, and sites so that's gonna help avoid that. Something like that.
They're starting to look at tying these stations into microgrids that are just essentially batteries that feed from solar. Let's keep it resilient so we don't have to worry about these.
But those are huge projects. That's why the EVs arc is $80,000 and you pop it into a spot and it's portable and they can move it, they can stow it and that's why I think they're, they're glomming onto that. But it's slower charging. It's level two charging.
But if you're only driving like the Army 15, 20 miles a day on average with their light-duty vehicle, you just plug it in every night, you're good to go. It's gonna charge in an hour or maybe two. Those are challenges I think, the biggest is the supply chain, and getting the infrastructure in place to do this.
Beam's Off-Grid EV Infrastructure Revolutionizing Charging for EVs
Matt: There are delays in the vehicles as well. So the demand for the vehicles I talk to agencies every day that were expecting five Ford Lightnings. When are you getting them? We don't know. They said it was gonna be last month, then they'll call me back in December this year.
I know I'll get calls in July. Oh, we got vehicles now all of a sudden they showed up and we don't have any way to charge them. What do we do?
So that's where a product that's off the grid is beneficial if it depends on the vehicle and that type of thing. But those are the biggest challenges I think that infrastructure.
And we all know that we don't fully know the effect this is gonna have on the grid and that type of thing, but I don't dabble in that too much because that's kind of above my pay grade. But I think the resiliency side is important. So talking about microgrids and that type of thing, keeping it separate.
Rachael: Well it seems like an innovation opportunity.
Matt: Right? I think that's where Beam really has thrived because basically, it's a piece of infrastructure that sits in a parking spot. It's got a 43-kilowatt-hour battery, it's got a 4.3-kilowatt solar array. It charges it gets about, it produces about 265 e miles in a day.
So even if you're driving a couple of vehicles and you have a dual port charging station on that. You can drive a hundred miles and have plenty of power you can feed from the grid-like in scenarios that maybe it's cloudy for a couple of months.
[25:30] Innovations in Portability and Off-Grid Solutions for EVs
Matt: We're gonna be putting some of them in Alaska and you're not gonna produce those 265 e miles, but you'll still produce energy. So I think that's gonna be a way for people to get around it. There are other companies looking at that innovation and how to get something down fast without the need for electricity charge points working on something.
And it has introduced something called a skid mount, which is the electrical panel on this skid and there are two fast chargers that skid can be moved when needed and just essentially plugged into the building. A little bit more to it than that. But the idea there is portability and things like that too.
Cuz you may have power here, then you may need that power. Well, let's move it over to this other area and that type of thing. So lots of innovation going on from that really.
Rachael: Yes, it's Alia. I know someone who's got an electric vehicle or sidebar and she ran outta juice and had to get a tow truck to pick up her car and take it back home so she could plug it in. So I think, innovations in that portability would be kind of amazing.
Matt: Yes, they're, it's funny, I don't know what their deal is now. There's a company called Spark Charge and they were on Shark Tank and I have to look up and see where they've gone with this, but they had a portable charging station.
Now it charged at like if I remember right, 12 or 15 kilowatts of charge, which is equivalent to about 10, 15 miles of range per hour.
Solar-Powered EVs: Exploring the Potential and Challenges of Onboard Solar Panels
Matt: So you'd have to plug it in for a little bit of time. But they were gonna try and improve that. Again, I don't know a whole lot about their technology, but the idea was I think something like you have AAA where they can bring it out and give you a charge enough to get to it.
A charging station and it takes time. As an EV driver and Petko, you'll probably agree with this, the wintertime is the toughest part. You know, I drive from DC to upstate New York and I get probably only about 60, maybe 60, 70% of my available power.
Now they have heating that they're working on to help with the batteries and that type of thing, and some of the newer vehicles will help with that, but it's always gonna have that effect.
So if you're not really well-versed and you just get the vehicle or, you get into a predicament where you haven't planned your trip out, it could be challenging. It's gonna get easier as all these stations go in.
Rachael: Can I just ask too, sorry, Petko, but I have to ask the solar question. I mean, is that a pathway forward too? I mean, having little solar panels on the top of the car with the sun powering up or regenerating power there.
Matt: There have been companies that have tried that. I just don't think they can generate enough power. There was something called an electric highway at some point, and I don't know if they were gonna do that, where you can have inductive charging as you drive it just wirelessly charges.
The Future of EVs: Exploring Solar Panels and Vehicle-to-Grid Technology
Matt: But you think of the infrastructure demand cost-wise, maintenance-wise. I mean it's, it's really kind of a little bit crazy. Even inductive charging, in general, it's got its limitations and things like that. But the solar panels, there is a company that tried that. I don't know where they ended up. They may, they may still be working on it. I think it could supplement. Yes. But it wouldn't create enough power to maintain. But it's a good thought.
Petko: I think Fisker, one of the other brands was actually putting solar panels on top of their car. But I think the cyber truck, from what I've seen, there are add-ons now that you can buy a solar array while you're stationary or camping and charged a vehicle. At least, you know.
Matt: That's awesome.
Petko: I've actually been fortunate. I've had a great range of my Tesla. The issue I find is my driving, not the weather.
Matt: So I hear you launching off. Got a lot of fun. I'll have to stop at the stoplights launching off of that. That'll burn your battery pretty quickly too. And going 75, 80 and 65. That's what I tend to do too.
Petko: No, I wouldn't do that.
Matt: They won't find me. I'm not worried about that. But Yes, so the other thing to think about with all of this resiliency, and it popped into my head as we were going, is vehicle to grid. So there's a lot to learn about this, but as you look at the Ford Lightning, it's got a pretty large battery.
Unlocking the Potential of Vehicle-to-Grid Technology
Matt: I don't know the Tex specs from the vehicles, I should know it better than I do, but my Tesla has a 100 kilowatt-hour battery, I believe theirs is like 200-kilowatt hours. You don't get the efficiency because it's a bigger truck and things like that. So the range is about the same, but the battery's bigger.
They have a 2, 2 40 volt plug that you can actually feed back power and use as a generator. Currently right now, if your power went out, you were in Texas and the grid went down or whatever, you could plug your Ford Lightning into your house and feed it like that.
So there's lots of really cool innovation from a vehicle perspective where it can do bidirectional charging and things like that, which will help support the grid ultimately. Again, I'm not a super expert on that, but if you have, you know, especially large fleets,
if like postal service, if they were able, or like school buses or things like that. If they're able to take that power at the end of the day, feed it back into the grid, and then charge up overnight, there's this balance where they could support the grid that way.
So I think that's gonna be a critical piece too. I don't know a whole lot about it, but something to think about.
Petko: It's funny, I actually looked into it. There are some countries that have it in their regulation for like the power standards that they actually support that you need to have like a transformer to be able to convert that over.
[31:12] The Potential of Autonomous EVs for Self-Charging
Petko: But I could see a huge need. I mean, just the example of the buses, imagine, a school runs outta power. Well, maybe we just plugged the bus right into it. You don't even realize the power ran out, we just plugged it in. All of a sudden we're powering the whole school with a couple of fleets of buses or in the case of emergencies, maybe a hospital or something else we could power very quickly.
Versus a generator that is dirty power and tends to hit the electrical appliances harder.
Matt: You're right. And as I talk, we're on here talking about cybersecurity, mainly, that opens up more cyber concerns obviously. So there's gonna be some work behind the scenes that I know there are a couple of agencies that the energy labs are getting very involved with the cyber aspects of this.
Making sure that everybody is covered. So certainly they're looking into that vehicle to the grid is a huge conversation.
It's just not at the implementation stage. There are some pilots and some things that some groups have done but yes, the cyber side of it, that's gonna open up a little bit more. Cuz now you've got reliance on that if you do run out of power. So yes, they could just tear it off, attack the grid, then attack the vehicle, the grid, and now you're completely down and that type of thing.
Petko: Well, or what about the autonomous side? If you've got autonomous vehicles out there, that becomes now common. What if it says, oh, I'm running outta parrot, lemme just go charge myself, and self-charging, I guess it would be autonomous cars that are self-charging, kinda like that. I think it's the Roomba vacuum cleaner.
Challenges and Considerations in Policing EVs Charging
Matt: Charges itself when it runs outta.
Rachael: Power. That's right. It goes back to the home base except for your vehicles.
Matt: So do we see it'll get there? It'll get there.
Rachael: I mean it's an interesting path of discussion too, if you follow it, right? Remember, back in the day people would put a hose in somebody's gas tank and then siphon out the gas. What does that look like in the ev world of someone trying to siphon off electricity from a car to get their car going?
I mean, is that kind of, the next wave of crime as it relates to cars, or I'm fascinated to see where that can go?
Matt: Yes. It's challenging. That would have to require that bidirectional charging. So you could actually pull it out of there. But I don't think that's too much of a worry. I think more of the policing of charging is gonna be the big thing.
I mean, you see it all over. It's Twitter now and things like that too where, an ice car, an ice vehicle parks, where it's supposed to be vehicle charging and you can't move them. I mean, there's nothing you can do other than physically move them.
The charging stations have rules in the systems and pricing policies that after two hours you can charge someone, more money in three hours, like idle-type fees. You can get people off the station there. But, I think it's just the police, someone's sitting there for too long or unplugging a vehicle or something like that.
The Changing Landscape: The Future of Gas Stations
Matt: Most of them have locking mechanisms and that type of thing. I get asked that a lot. I'm digressing a little bit, but I get asked that a lot. Can you drive away with a cord in your vehicle? Like you could a gas. A gas hoses and I know the Tesla does and most of these vehicles have mechanisms that you can't even engage into drive with the car plugged in.
I would say 90, 99% of them have that. I don't know if there's a vehicle out there that doesn't, but I get asked that because the agencies want to have spare parts, right?
Do we need spare cords if somebody drives off with one, right? Well, someone could cut the cord. We see that a lot where people don't like EVs and they'll go and just cut the charging cord and make it unusable and smash it with a baseball bat. We've seen all kinds of stuff. Just because they're against the EVs or whatever it may be.
And that's the type of crime we'll see around it. Is that type of stuff? Not so much pulling off the electricity and that type of thing, but it's great. It's a crazy world right now. It really is with EVs.
Rachael: How does the future of gas stations, right? I mean, to that point it's now I'm starting to imagine what happens to my Shell station in the next 10 years.
Redefining the Gas Station Experience
Matt: Well the good thing. I mean, Shell has something called a recharge. So Shells in the game then you've got pretty much every gas company trying to figure out how to transition through, right? Because again, I think a majority of their money is made on the goods and services that they sell, not so much the gas itself.
So why not put a few fast chargers in and have people sit there for 15 minutes? And I mean, I know I stop at the sheets and the Wawas on my trips and I go in and I always buy something that I don't need. So it happens when you're charging too.
Rachael: You gotta do something,
Matt: But they're all involved. And that's what we always say. It's very cliche at this point. I almost hate saying it, but people ask how long does it take to charge? And it's like, oh, it takes me 20 seconds, I just plug it in. That's not what they're looking for.
But it is true. I mean if you have a charger at home, you just plug it in every night.
You pay 10, 12, 15 cents a kilowatt hour, it's much cheaper than you would pay for gas. A lot of people find free charging.
I find there's a Starbucks down the street from me that I stop and charge for a few hours and do some work and it's free. It's gonna be interesting where this all plays out, but the idea is you just plug and do whatever you're gonna do while it's charging.
You don't stand there and wait for the gas to pour in and move along your way.
[36:52]Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Charging Solutions for EVs
Rachael: That's fantastic. I just see there are so many windows of opportunity here. How do you keep people entertained for that 15, 20 minutes I think Shark Tank's gonna get really busy with a lot of great ideas in the next few years for this.
Matt: I agree. It’s time for innovation that's for sure, but also the more innovation brings the more cyber. Points of attack and that type of thing. So gotta stay ahead of it.
Petko: Yes. Thanks. That was really valuable information. Is there somewhere our viewers can find out more, or create contact with you?
Matt: Yes. My email is email@example.com. And then from a ChargePoint perspective, if you wanna learn more about levels of charging and different types of offerings.
The nice thing about ChargePoint, not to talk about one brand specifically. But they have home chargers and then they have level two, and level three and then they have their ultra-fast charger that goes up to 500 kilowatts into a vehicle. Without the gel-cooled cables.
But when you get above three 50, you have to cool the cables with gel cooling capabilities so it won't melt the cord and that type of thing.
Empowering the Electric Revolution
Matt: It's getting that much 500 kilowatts of output is like 2,500 miles of range per hour. So now you're looking at a few minute charge, but Chargepoint's got that whole realm and they've got the software and the networking capabilities. So if you go there, you can learn a lot.
They have lots of really good blogs and things like that too. If you wanna learn more about GSA I love their fleet team.
There's a girl Stephanie Selfie that I've worked with for nine years on this stuff from the Office of Fleet perspective. A much bigger team now, but if you just Google GSA electric vehicles, you'll see their vehicles page, you'll see their charging station, BPA that they've got different offerings.
There are several different manufacturers of that and that type of thing. So that's a good resource too from that perspective.
Insights and Updates on the Path to Electrification
Rachael: Well thanks, Matt. It's so great having you back on the podcast. I wanna make this like a regular thing cuz things are moving so quickly as you know. It's get you back in another nine, 12 months, or whatever and you're like, well we've already met the goal then what's the next thing?
I just, I, I love that. I love how quickly and aggressively, um, this is being pursued. Um, cuz I think that's what it takes
Matt: It's gonna make a huge impact. And FedRAMP, update-wise, just to take two seconds on that. ChargePoint will be FedRAMP authorized, they'll get them from GSA probably in the August timeframe. So they're moving very quickly.
They just got their determination in December. It might have been September, but we didn't really get moving on until, it's gonna be less than a year, which is pretty hyper speed when it comes to FedRAMP as we all know.
That'll be done. So maybe nine, 12 months then it'll be all settled in and we can talk about how it's being implemented and working.
Rachael: Love that. Awesome. Well, Petko, do you wanna bring it home for us today?
Petko: Sure. This has been Rachael's line at Petko. Bring you another episode of To the Points, cybersecurity. Remember to stay informed, stay secure, and always stay ahead of the ever-changing threat landscape. Until next time.
About Our Guest