Francesca Wahl, Senior Charging Policy Manager, Public Policy and Business Development at Tesla, was the featured guest speaker for a webinar held on October 9th at 12:00pm PDT. Francesca previously held roles at SolarCity, and the Silicon Valley Leadership group, and is on the advisory board for the ESM program at USFCA. The webinar was hosted by Dr. Jim Williams of the USFCA Energy Systems Management faculty.
Francesca spoke about her background and interests in the energy and environmental policy space that eventually led her to working on the electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure for one of the premier EV manufacturers of the country. She shared insights about the cross-disciplinary daily work in her current role at the intersection of policy and business development in the North American market – which includes product management, providing expert testimony, utility and design program for electric charging incentivization, and local level support in permitting for the deployment of highway EV charging stations in regional markets.
The webinar ended with a Q&A session with students and faculty members. She offered students tips on how to branch out into the policy space, and shared her thoughts on near term priorities in the electric vehicle industry such as political challenges in policy implementation, industry standardization of charging products, program design incentivizing the growth of the EV charging network for disadvantaged customers, environmental ramifications of EV usage for people living in marginalized communities, technological advancements in EV fast charging for medium and heavy duty commercial fleets, and vehicle-to-grid charging.