Transitioning to E-mobility with Erika Myers
Erika Myers has made it her life’s work to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In her role as Global Senior Manager for, Electric Vehicles at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, she’s grown convinced that electric vehicles are critical to transport decarbonization. She sat down with the hosts of Talking Transport Transformation to discuss the role that women play in the future of electric mobility and her work to transform the transit sector globally.
As transport accounts for nearly a quarter of the world’s GHG emissions, she sees a lot of possibilities in that sector.
“Our goal is to take individual cars off the road,” says Myers, who has worked for nearly two decades on clean energy, alternative transportation fuels and distributed energy resource topics in government, for-profit and non-profit roles. Electric vehicles, she believes, are one of the best ways to do that.
“Huge opportunities” for reducing emissions
“EVs are one of the only fuel types that can improve their emissions over time,” Myers says, noting that the energy sector is integrating renewable energy generation at exponential rates. By moving toward EVs and investing in large-scale transportation alternatives like transit buses, not only will GHG emissions be reduced, local air pollution will be alleviated.
“There are huge opportunities for large-scale transportation electrification to reduce these emissions directly. EVs are an opportunity to improve sustainable transportation alternatives even more,” she notes. Myers herself spearheaded a campaign to decarbonize the ubiquitous yellow school bus in communities across the US. That fits into the Avoid, Shift, Improve framework towards making transport more sustainable.
Sharing the electric vehicle love with other women
Aside from her work at WRI, Myers wants to use her platform and experience in the industry to encourage more women to join the e-mobility movement. That’s why she launched the blog EV Love, aimed at encouraging women to enter the workforce and expand their careers in EV. With just one-quarter of the automotive workforce comprised of women and virtually no executive leadership positions held by women, there’s an unmistakable gender gap that needs filling.
“We think there is an opportunity to change that with electric vehicles, especially if start-up companies embrace women in their disruptive technologies; if women were to get involved from the ground up in clean energy sectors that could be accelerated significantly,” says Myers.
To that end, she hopes to make the field less daunting, more accessible, more inviting to women. If electric vehicles are the way of the future, it’s important for women to get into the industry from the ground up. With more women in the sector, the industry can also ensure that gender disparities don’t arise during planning; considering all people’s needs will mean a review of consumer charging behavior and ensuring equitable charging infrastructure is created. Myers’ unique background gives her a lot of insight into how best to leverage renewable energy and electric vehicle charging to reduce emissions. So spend a few minutes listening to the award-winning researcher’s ideas and get inspired to spread the EV love.
This article is based on a conversation with Erika Myers held as part of the TUMI podcast TTT. Listen to the podcast here.