If ever an industry is positioned to transform itself by adopting the latest technologies, it’s the oil and gas (O&G) industry. Many have already expanded their offerings to provide renewable energy. Now, it’s time for them to leverage their vast market presence, existing infrastructure, and competitive advantages to step into the EV charging business and extend their gas stations into charging locations for electric vehicles.
If oil and gas companies don’t embrace the transition and react to the exponential EV market growth, they will simply be left behind.
In addition, this transition is being forced upon oil & gas companies by both government regulations and the exponential adoption of electric vehicles. For example, Germany, as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan, is requiring that every gas station in the country offer EV charge points to help address range anxiety and accelerate consumer demand for electric vehicles.
Realizing the EV charging market potential
By adding charge points to existing petrol stations, O&G companies can leverage their existing assets. They already have the real estate with sites at major intersections and along every highway. Using existing locations, they can keep pace with the steady transition to EVs by increasing the number of charge points and reducing the number of oil and gas pumps over time.
As petrol stations’ owners already have the infrastructure in place to manage customer-facing relations and back-end billing operations, they would need to implement the chargers and an EV charging and energy management solution to optimize EV charging operations and deliver a seamless EV charging experience to their customers.
Many of their sites already have the amenities that maximize the value of EV charging customers. Even with ultrafast charging, it still takes longer to charge an EV than it does to fill an internal combustion engine-based vehicle. During that time, customers can purchase snacks and coffee at the sites’ convenience stores or buy a meal at the onsite restaurants.
EV Charging in petrol stations
Adding EV charge points allows these companies to attract new audiences of consumers who want to be associated with a “green” brand. As the volume of electric vehicles increases, consumers will increasingly need to charge on the road, and being able to offer EV charging services will provide stations with diverse, expanding revenue streams while futureproofing their business for when EVs become the dominant force on the road.
With a random check of consumers’ wallets, it’s likely that at least a few of them have branded O&G credit cards. By offering EV charging to existing customers, they will further strengthen brand loyalty.
By its nature, EV charging requires customers to register their vehicles, so O&G companies will benefit from the huge customer data boon EV charging will deliver.
Essentially, previously anonymous customers in petrol stations and convenience stores will now become identified users when they charge their vehicles. This will provide valuable driver insights, enabling companies to provide added-value services and products.
To summarize, not many companies are as well-positioned as Oil & Gas companies to reach for the future. EV charging is yet another opportunity by which they can expand their market reach and their bottom lines.