Meet the CEO developing an electric vehicle charging infrastructure to reach Black communities

Abu Mubarik December 03, 2022
Sheryl Ponds. Photo credit:

Sheryl E. Ponds is the founder and CEO of Dai Technologies Corp., a startup that designs and builds electric vehicle charging stations. The company, based in Washington, D.C., has been successful in getting business from customers seeking home installations as green technology becomes popular, Forbes reports.

Ponds is one of the few Black entrepreneurs who are seeking to ensure that Blacks are not left behind in America’s transition to electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are essential for reducing transportation emissions, but only about 2% of EV owners are Black. This is not only due to the cost of electric vehicles but the lack of charging stations in Black neighborhoods.

“The thing is, we have more to gain from EV adoption than most communities,” Ponds told Forbes. “We tend to live in neighborhoods where we need decarbonization, we need environmental justice and we need health outcomes that will improve as a result of reducing fuel emissions.”

The core of Ponds’ customers tends to be suburban, affluent and white. While she values them, she said she wants to make sure the infrastructure she develops also reaches urban and Black communities. So she started introducing her services to apartment property managers in areas with a more diverse population.

“They aren’t necessarily too excited about installing an amenity they can’t recoup through rents,” Ponds said of the managers of apartment properties. “In multifamily, if I’m not willing to deal with the extra [work] that comes with selling to property managers, then Black families will be on the back end of getting served in this industry. They’re going to be locked out of EV adoption.”

Ponds said in the near future, EV charging will become mainstream hence the reason she is deeply involved. “I decided to jump into this business now as opposed to waiting until it becomes mainstream,” Ponds told the Washington Informer. “It’s going to be big once everyone figures out that electric vehicles are not just a passing fancy,” she said.

Ponds developed a love for STEM while in middle school. She went to the University of Tennessee where she majored in mechanical engineering. She launched her company after university and has since been contracted by high-profile companies for EV installations.

She was selected to provide home charger installations for Volvo Cars’ new electric vehicle owners in the D.C. metropolitan area, according to the Informer.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 3, 2022


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