Enterprising Black women disrupt the electric vehicle industry

Written by: Madelyn Collins, Drive Electric Tennessee

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Over the past decade, the electric vehicle ownership trends have remained relatively the same. In a study conducted by Fuels Institute in 2019, it was found that middle-aged white men were the top demographic in EV ownership. The National Center for Sustainable Transportation and the University of California found in 2020 found that Black people only made up 2% of EV ownership. 

This statistic is concerning as according to the American Lung Association, despite income, Black people are not only more likely to live in counties with higher levels of pollution, but they also have a higher risk of premature death from particle pollution. Greener transportation is a dire need for the Black population, and EV adoption can be a pathway for cleaner air and better health.

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Black communities cannot continue to be left out of the EV revolution and the health benefits that come with it. Here are three Black women-owned EV charging companies that are defying marginalization in the EV space.

Natalie King

Source: Instagram @dunamiscleanenergy

Former attorney Natalie King is the CEO and Founder of Dunamis Charge and the first Black-woman-owned charging station company in the world. During a short nap in church one day, she had a vision of her getting into electric vehicle charging manufacturing. The rest was groundbreaking history.

King has a commitment to making sure low-income, minority communities are not left behind in sustainability and environmental developments.

She told Forbes in an interview, “I want to make sure communities of color are not marginalized and not left out of this opportunity and the multiple benefits the industry brings.”

One way King does this is by putting her assembly plant in the city of Detroit. She wanted those underserved families to be able to live off this emergence of EV technology and develop the skills to work in the industry as well.

Recently, Dunamis Charging has been selected by Apple for the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. This program will allow Dunamis Charging to continue to help to “combat systemic barriers to opportunity, while also advancing innovative solutions for communities most impacted by climate change.”

Source: LinkedIn

Kameale Terry & Evette Ellis

Kameale Terry and Evette Ellis are co-founders for the tech start-up, ChargerHelp!. ChargerHelp! employs EVSE technicians to conduct maintenance on EV chargers. Terry came up with the idea from her time working with EV Connect where she noticed the gaps when it came to preventative care and repair service at charging stations.

Both Terry and Ellis have a focus on equity when it comes to the EV space. In a Linkedin post to commemorate the two’s work together, Terry said “Just as I, she believes that you can build a profitable successful company AND treat your #frontlineworkers #equitably…. 2020 is only the beginning of how we will usher in an #equitablegreeneconomy for the #cleantech industry.”

Sheryl Ponds

A University of Tennessee graduate and now Washington resident, Sheryl Ponds, CEO of Dai Technologies Corporation, created the region’s first and only company founded by a Black woman focused on equitable charging stations for all drivers.

According to the company, it focuses on “tailor-made, end-to-end electric vehicle solutions for residential & commercial clients in the DC metro area.”

Ponds recently did an interview with The Baltimore Times commenting on her company, its mission and the importance of EV charging visibility.

She noted that “drivers who live in urban and multifamily settings are discouraged from adopting those needed outlets without equitable access to EV charging stations…for the sake of our planet, electric vehicles must be the wave of the immediate future.”

Her goal is to “make it practical for the average driver from an urban or underserved market” to switch to a car “energized with electricity.”

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