Get to know Plug In America’s staff and board! This week’s spotlight is on Policy Director Katherine Stainken. She has been advocating for electric vehicles at the federal and state levels with Plug In America for nearly four years.
What is your role at Plug In America?
I am the policy director at Plug In America. My job is to contribute to PIA’s mission of putting more EVs on the road by ensuring that states, cities, communities, utilities, businesses, transit agencies, and other key stakeholders implement the right supportive policies and programs to help with the transition to transportation electrification. To accomplish this, I do a lot of outreach and education about EVs, the EV market, and EV policies to these audiences.
Why are you interested in electric vehicles?
I am always interested in efficiency! And EVs are a super-efficient technology—10x fewer moving parts than gas engines. Plus, EVs have zero tailpipe pollution and contribute to clean air compared to other technologies on the road today. Since I love hiking and being outdoors, I certainly appreciate the clean air!
What are 3 words to describe Plug In America?
Fun, flexible, and fast-paced!
What are your goals for electric vehicles?
Total domination of the transportation sector! Seriously though, technology is always changing. We didn’t stay in the horse and buggy era, nor did we stay in the bulky cell-phone era—we adopt new technology. EVs are increasing in affordability, save consumers money on fuel and maintenance costs, benefit local economies (because the money saved is usually invested back into local economies), benefit the electric grid, benefit air quality…electric transportation is a win-win-win-win.
Describe a memorable moment from your experience with Plug In America.
My most memorable moment is the moment when a policymaker or a consumer has their preconceived notion of an EV busted. EVs for the wealthy? Not true. You can find a used LEAF for a very affordable price. EVs can only go 200 miles on a charge? Not true. Many BEVs can go at least 250 miles. Tesla is the only maker of EVs? Not true, most automakers have EVs available for purchase today!
Anything else you would like to share?
I love to tell jokes about electric transportation—i.e. “What does an EV drink for breakfast?…….JUICE!” or “As an EV driver, don’t turn down a dead-end road, because there is NO OUTLET.” Hahaha. If anyone has a good one, please share it!
Photo: Katherine Stainken (right) at the Arizona Transportation Electrification Forum in October 2019.