In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a really great conversation with Carola Jonas. Carola is the CEO and Co-Founder of Everty, who build software for electric vehicle charging. She has a background in logistics and freight, and has moved into green tech. She is very passionate about keeping our planet clean and green. We talk about some of the impacts of energy infrastructure and transport coming together in a digital sense, and Carola then talks about some of the leading initiatives happening in Australia. She shares what Everty does and what they are doing in the Smart City Space. She also shares some learnings from around the world, including how to increase uptake and also getting the infrastructure ready. We have a little bit of a chat about demand on the energy grid, and finish talking about connected and automated vehicles integrating into our public infrastructure, and then some examples of emerging trends from overseas. As always, I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.
What we discuss in this episode:
- Carola’s background in logistics and freight and how her passion for clean tech has led her to the Smart City space
- What a Smart City is to Carola and the convergence of trends that make it so important
- How Australia is embracing the Smart City concept and the electric vehicle space more specifically
- What Everty does and how their work fits into the Smart City space
- The key concepts and policies we need to get right to be ready for an increase in uptake of EVs
- How Canberra is leading the way with electric car infrastructure planning
- Challenges and opportunities for our energy grid management that we need to consider to service EV demand
- How mobility and transport need to change going forward to reduce congestion and increase efficiency
- Examples we can learn from in the adoption of EVs and other mobility options around the world
I’ve always had a bit of a passion for doing something that benefits the planet, because if you look at the Great Barrier Reef or the fantastic Kimberley region, all this lovely nature that we have in Australia, I think it’s really important that we preserve that for future generations. Keeping our cities clean and the rest of the planet is a big passion of mine.
For me cities are the backbone that allows us as people to come together and go about our daily lives… as long as they’re clean and Smart, they become liveable cities. So that means less air pollution, less noise, less congestion, and we as people can function better in the city and have a higher productivity.
In the traditional Smart City space, theres a lot of talk about connectivity and that we have intelligent systems that help us be more efficient…but also it’s about what we do in the city, how we can, as a society, create value for each other.
I think what we’re already seeing is a convergence of a couple of trends: energy and infrastructure and transportation is all coming together through the electrification of cars and other transport systems. We are also seeing a lot of digitalisation. All these systems need to connect and interact with each other to be really Smart and allow us to use them to their full potential.
If you look at the way mobility is going to change in the future, there’s a lot that cities are already doings and there’s a lot where cities can become more integral parts of how we are bringing people, energy and infrastructure together.
We all know that the future is electric and that [electric cars] will be coming to our cities sooner or later, but we haven’t yet sorted out the infrastructure that is needed.
We could benefit from better policy making on a Federal and state level [regarding electric vehicles] to really allow us to grow that sector. At the moment the car manufacturers don’t see Australia as the preferred market with a lot of demand, so they bring their cars to other markets first.
[Electric vehicles] create less air pollution, less noise, and if we could also work on the congestion problem that we have in big cities, then we will definitely have a more liveable and more enjoyable city.
We’re building buildings that are meant to last at least 70 years, and in 70 years most cars will be electric. So why not put the right infrastructure in, rather than trying to wait and see if we can do it later? Because later is always more costly.
If we can improve the time that we commute but also the way we commute, more convenient…there’s so many things we can use our time more productively.
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The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.