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Electrifying the Educational Journey

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Dec. 8, 2022—The conversations surrounding vehicle electrification are just as important as the actual construction of electric vehicles. It is the axis of knowledge and action that gives change an opportunity to happen. Sometimes, the conversation and the construction can even go hand-and-hand.  

This is a familiar concept for Dr. Veronika Wright of Electrified Veronika, which is a social enterprise focused on fueling electric vehicle adoption and spreading awareness about electrification and renewable energy. Education is a key component of the work that Wright does, and the way in which she does this work keeps her busy.  

Wright is a content creator, author, and electrification consultant. She also has her PhD in Technical Physics. Wright is originally from Austria where she previously worked for Austrian-based powertrain development and testing company AVL.  

“I really just developed a passion while I was doing that,” Wright says. “A passion for batteries and the opportunities that we have with them not only in the transportation sector but also on the energy side. I was super excited, and at the same time I saw that there were lots of challenges still, lots of things we don’t understand even down to the electrochemical level of batteries.” 

This is part of the thought process that led her to where she is today, living in Wisconsin and running Electrified Veronika. Wright works on a lot of different projects with Electrified Veronika. She does some consultation work, including work that she is currently excited about revolving around the life cycle of batteries. Additionally, she is working on converting a 1999 Jeep Wrangler to electric.  

“This has been an adventure so far,” Wright says of the Jeep project. “It’s really … super exciting.”  

Image (34).jpegElectrified Veronika's 1999 Jeep Wrangler on display at SEMA Electrified during the 2022 SEMA Show in November. 

 

In addition to all this hands-on work, she also makes content for her various social media platforms to inform her audience about electrification topics as well as the progress she is making on her projects.  

“I use social media as a marketing tool just to get my name out there and [show] what I’m doing,” Wright says. “At the same time, I really enjoy combining that with the fact that I can educate people about things that I’ve learned about [through] my expertise that I’ve built up in this space and I always had this educational piece and mindset. It’s just a great way, especially on YouTube, to pass on our adventure [and] the conversion of the Jeep Wrangler and see how excited people are for it.”  

Wright says she has received feedback from audiences who are thankful for her transparency. They appreciate being able to see the process, and Wright is happy to show it through her online videos and social media content.  

“The educational piece is really important to me,” Wright says. “It’s just a very big opportunity to do that through social media. You can really reach a lot of people and I’m growing more and more and it’s very exciting.”  

Another way in which Wright gets information out there is through her book. She wrote “The Drive to Electric,” which explores the opportunities surrounding an electrified future.  

“I decided to go out there and just interview all sorts of different experts in different areas that I haven’t covered before,” Wright says. “For example, the charging sector and the energy generation sector … and [I] went out there and interviewed all those incredibly amazing people around the world, so it’s very international."

Through these various interviews, Wright says she spoke with her subjects about their own personal journeys as well as the potential provided by electrification. She says they tackled topics such as the recycling of batteries, the supply of lithium for battery production and how electric vehicle charging works overall.  

Wright authored this book earlier in her electrification journey, and she says it helped her understand electric vehicle technology.  

“The intention was really to find answers for myself,” Wright says. “But then also for everybody else out there.”  

There is no denying that Wright is passionate about spreading education in many different formats, and this approach helps her reach a wider audience. But there are always more people to reach, and Electrified Veronika isn’t slowing down anytime soon. 

For example, she has her sights set in the long-term to help drive the circular economy of the electric vehicle market. 

“Right now, we have to of course mine lots of raw materials [to] build the batteries used in electric cars,” Wright says. “But [what’s] also very important is we can reuse them in energy storage systems in their second life and give them another 15 years, and at some point, we can recycle them.”  

Wright says that effectively establishing this circular economy would allow for the eventual end of mining for new raw materials. But that is just one consideration that Wright has for the future. Overall, she plans to stay busy spreading awareness and education through every one of her endeavors.  

“I would say we want to be very innovative and proactive and working on projects that not everybody is doing,” Wright says.  

Wright understands that not everyone may be on board with her teachings on electrification right away, but that won’t stop her from showcasing the work that she is doing and reaching the people who want to hear more about it.  

“When I started out with my idea to convert a Jeep to electric, there were lots of opinions out there and not everybody was so excited,” Wright says. “I just enjoy really doing things that nobody else has done before and sharing those.”  

To hear more from Dr. Veronika Wright, listen to her full interview on the ADAPT Podcast.


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