In the past decade the increased interest in sustainable transportation has been pushing the EV manufacturers, infrastructure developers and charging station makers to constantly innovate and improve the century-old technology. The race is on for a better drive range, efficient charging, superior battery capabilities and of course outstanding customer experience.
Motivated by their efforts to decrease CO2 emissions, many governments (mostly European) introduced incentives for EV owners. These measures not surprisingly led to a significant surge of EV sales, which in turn generated demand for charging stations.
Today, the future seems bright for the EV Charging market. Let’s take a look at what lies ahead and, more importantly what market players can already do to win the race against their competitors.
A fast-growing EV Charging Market
The EV charging station market is expected to grow 5 to 7 times in the next 5 years. It was valued at 5 billion dollars in 2020 and optimistic predictions see it reach around 35 billion by 2026, which would make EVs represent 15% of all car sales worldwide within 5 years.
The Asia-Pacific region, in particular China is the champion of the EV Charging market, followed not surprisingly by Europe and the US.
The ambition of charging station manufacturers is to decrease the costs related to making the final product and deploying it on the market. For example, shortage or increased price of key components such as copper could be a significant obstacle to overcome. This is a challenge that would affect the operators as well as consumers.
The good news for this market is that there is already an existing electric infrastructure in place, which makes deployment of charging stations in multiple regions a relatively easy task.
Future of EV Charging
Taking a glimpse into the future we will see a lot of improvement of the current charging technology. For instance, it will look a lot like the refueling experience. In the following years the cars charging voltage will be increased from 500V to 800V, also the power of a single charger will increase to 350kW compared to the current 60kW. In practice, this means charging time will be shortened from about 1 hour to 10 - 15 minutes.
The IoT would bring a revolution to the EV charging experience. It will smartly connect grids, networks, green energy, batteries and cars for optimal use of resources and for a better charging experience. This system would be known as IoV (Internet of Vehicles)
Demand for electric trucks and buses will increase significantly. Big companies of the likes of Amazon and Walmart want to be perceived as environmentally friendly. Part of their current strategy is deployment of zero emission commercial vehicles. For that reason, EV charging players would need to create mega-chargers which will allow the long-distance operability of these large electric vehicles.
Public EV chargers will continue to expand with a double-digit percentage increase per year. In terms of growth speed and development, this makes the industry one of the most promising ones. In 2019 public chargers were up 85% compared to the year before. In 2020 the growth was half of that, mostly due to the covid-19 pandemic. Today, the majority of EV drivers charge their cars at home or at the office with mostly slow chargers. We will see a great surge in demand for fast and ultra-fast public chargers in the coming years, eased by convenience as well as shorter charging times at a lower cost in the future.
How to win the EV charging competition
As of 2021, EV charging is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. Consumers will continue following their normal behavior when it comes to their preferences in any product or service out there. They will support brands that make their customer journey as convenient and rewarding as possible.
A few simple steps can take your EV charging brand very far ahead in this race:
- Make sure you can quickly deploy easy-to-use multiple output chargers in different regions (preferably start with the ones showing the fastest growth like the Nordics, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, France, Spain etc.).
- Create a loyalty program within your frequent customers network and give them discounts and promotions when certain milestones are reached.
- Have a payment terminal on your charger that accepts multiple payments from anyone who would like to use your station. Remember, if they can´t make the transaction with you, they will go straight to your competitor who allows them to pay with their payment card.
- Choose the right payment partner; this is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business. Find a partner, who can follow you everywhere and can unburden you from all the work around deploying a payment solution in multiple countries. You will have enough challenges on your way, so let the payment be handled by a partner with experience and a good reputation so you can focus on your customers.
- Think big – imagine how people will use EVs 5 to10 years from now. Anticipate trends and behavioral patterns. Always give your customers more than what they expect.
This article was originally published on blog.ingenico.com. Since October 28, 2020, Ingenico has joined Worldline.