The Implications of On-Demand EV Charging for the Gig Economy

Electric vehicles are growing, and there’s likely no putting the cork back in that bottle – but how will the sector’s explosive growth impact gig workers and the gig economy?

The conversation was sparked by a partnership between Allstate and Sparkcharge, a company looking to build an on-demand platform for EV charging where gig workers would bring batteries to drivers in need of a top-off.

On this episode of MarketScale TV, host and Voice of B2B Daniel Litwin invited Ken Jacobs, Chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, to share his insights.

“The idea of you calling someone like Allstate and them coming out and charging your battery, of course, is nothing new. There’s a long history of doing that with regular, gasoline-powered vehicles,” Jacobs said. “I think, in this case, what we’re looking at is the potential for something that is done in a way that pushes off all the major infrastructure costs onto individuals, [which] saves the charging company a lot of money.”

That raises a fundamental question about what kinds of jobs the new, “green” economy will create. As Jacobs said, the only way to get to “good” jobs is to reinforce their creation with policies that encourage fair labor practices, conditions that prevent risk being shouldered by workers, and more.

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