Poised for the Future – Strengthening Your Position in the Electric Vehicle Charging Ecosystem
EV charging expands the business opportunities for new and traditional energy market players
Last year, more than 14 million electric vehicles (EV) were on the road around the world, and that number has only gone up. Side by side with this continuing global expansion is the rise of EV charging infrastructures – critical to EV adoption – and with it, an entire EV charging ecosystem of businesses and service providers.
As new technologies emerge and the EV charging ecosystem becomes more complex, key industry players are incentivized to transform their business models to align with this new reality, delivering innovative solutions to become part of the EV charging value chain and profiting from these new business opportunities.
EV Stakeholders: Where Are You in the EV Value Chain?
A new EV charging value chain is unfolding that comprises all the tasks and activities involved in a successfully functioning EV charging ecosystem.
The value chain can be grouped into three streams:
Energy suppliers – Everything from producing and transmitting energy from source to vehicle, to monitoring energy provider and recipient information and offering an easy-to-understand, easy-to-integrate payment system.
Charging infrastructure providers – Everything from building and operating charging stations to sales and maintenance and from creating home, public, and workplace charging infrastructure programs and managing the power supply and grid effects.
E-mobility service providers – Everything from battery management and roaming environments to charging infrastructure and vehicle services to ensure flawless product performance, compliance with global standards, customer safety and satisfaction.
All along the EV value chain, key industry players are finding multiple ways to contribute to ever-increasing EV adoption – and their company’s bottom line, reshaping the ecosystem to better align with customer preferences, charging habits, and financial circumstances.
How to Make an Impact – and Win – in the EV Charging Ecosystem
These industry players – utilities, oil and gas, automotive, e-mobility service providers, EV charging station providers, and charging point operators – are emerging as key stakeholders who are recognizing the business potential, adapting their core missions to the e-mobility environment, and investing heavily in the EV market to find solutions that will help them compete in and potentially dominate the EV charging ecosystem.
Utilities can stay on as mere suppliers of electricity, gas, and water or leverage their established brands and energy distribution capabilities to enter new markets with smart charging and smart energy management offerings. In addition, their services may include installation, operation, charging equipment maintenance, and other EV-related services. They will gain new EV-using customers as well as offering current customers new reasons to stick with their brands.
Oil and gas companies may feel threatened by the growing shift to electric vehicles, but they can easily and profitably make the transition by adding charging stations to their existing gas station chains. Previously anonymous customers in petrol stations and convenience stores will now become identified users when they charge their vehicles. This will provide invaluable driver insights, enabling O&G businesses to provide additional services and products while utilizing owned real estate.
Automakers can increase their market share in the EV charging ecosystem simply by increasing the number and varieties of electric vehicles they manufacture. They can enter the EV charging ecosystem by partnering with EV service providers for mutual benefit. Using their robust customer relationships they can offer new E-mobility services to their electric vehicle car owners, taxi drivers, fleets, and commuters. They can combine EV sales with comprehensive post-sale add-ons such as branded EV charging and energy management solutions and even setting up EV charging infrastructure for their customers’ homes.
Charge point operators can build or migrate their EV charging networks to a cloud-based scalable platform to optimize operations. The ideal EV charging infrastructure solution will remotely address most EV charger-related operational problems 24/7, provide maintenance of key hardware and software, and empower customer support with powerful tools to quickly identify and resolve billing, CRM, and operations issues, ultimately increasing driver satisfaction and the bottom line.
E-mobility service providers can stay ahead by increasing driver satisfaction and retention, ensuring premium levels of service via innovative billing solutions that support flexible tariff management, various price plans, multiple currencies, real-time rating and invoicing. Delivering driver access to insightful information (e.g. charger location and availability, account details) as well as route planning, reserve-ahead, payment and other capabilities will strengthen the customer relationship. With roaming capabilities that allow access to an unlimited number of charging networks, they will further enhance their bottom lines.
EV charging service providers can adopt a host of proven best practices, including optimizing safety and energy efficiency while minimizing energy costs; determining site viability and the type of charging station that should be installed; knowing what factors to include in an installation estimate; selecting the right electrical installer; and establishing effective operations and maintenance practices – from parking policies to effective signage and usage fees.
- Diversifying offerings to create new revenue streams
- Adopting a more EV-focused business model.
- Establishing intra-industry partnerships as boundaries among players are getting blurred
These are just the first few steps to winning the future of the EV charging ecosystem. A final and critical step is using a robust, reliable and user-friendly EV charging management platform that can meet future needs.