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Siena DeBenedittis wants to protect the planet. She has wanted to do that since she was a kid. Now her job is to imagine a world where electric vehicles (EVs) rule the streets. DeBenedittis works at ICF. It’s a consulting firm. She helps develop EV charging stations.
Her job is different every day. She works for clients such as utility companies that want charging stations for their customers. “As more and more people start getting electric vehicles, that’s going to take a lot more electricity,” DeBenedittis told TIME for Kids. “I help clients plan for that load.”COURTESY SIENA DEBENEDITTIS
Road to A Career
DeBenedittis wasn’t sure what to do after college. “I was interested in just making cities into greener places to live,” she says. She decided to focus on how people get around. Transportation “contributes to the vast majority of carbon emissions,” she says. “I thought that would be a good place to start.”
DeBenedittis talks to utility companies. She talks to contractors. She wrote a master plan for a city. It told officials how to meet the demand for electricity as EV use increases.
DeBenedittis likes big projects. A favorite was helping states build highway charging stations for EVs. Congress had passed an infrastructure bill. President Joe Biden signed it. “I help [government] agencies answer questions from the states about how to use the money,” DeBenedittis says.
DeBenedittis is surprised to be working with cars. But she knows she’s making an impact. “Cars are a cornerstone of American society,” she says. “Anything we can do to make them less harmful to the environment is a worthwhile pursuit.”
DeBenedittis has a front-seat view as EVs become more popular. “I saw a commercial yesterday for a car that I know is an EV,” she says. “But the commercial wasn’t about it being an EV. It just felt like a regular car commercial.”