Electric vehicles are growing exponentially and are expected to surpass the number of cars with Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) by 2050. One of the biggest factors and hesitance in moving towards the EV’s is the lack of charging stations like gas filling stations.
There are 3 defined levels of chargers –
- Level 1 charging stations – This mostly comes free with all EV’s. The basic chord that will plug into a 120V home outlet.
- Level 2 charging stations – Costs around $1000 for setting up this charging station. This plugs into 240V outlet.
- Level 3 charging stations – Fast charging stations or DC charging stations that typically costs around $50,000 for setting up.
So wide availability and existence of EV charging stations will be the key for adoption of EV’s.
Let us see some of the opportunities that EV charging stations will bring along with it.
1) Boost in the value of commercial space – Unlike the traditional fueling station, the space needed for charging the vehicles will be bigger. Also, these stations may not just be charging stations because of the time that the user has to wait there. We will see more of the workplace, shopping malls, theatres and other places where the parking lot is big trying to add the EV charging stations in an incremental way. This may also lead to vertical parking structures to accommodate more vehicles in a small space compared to the traditional bigger land space. Currently, the charging time varies from 20 minutes to 12 hours to charge an electric car depending on the charger they use. This may boost the commercial land space pricing and demand.
2) IT Ecosystem – We can see business support system(BSS) related to electric charging stations emerge. Off-the-shelf products and solutions will help quickly set up the charging stations. Payment models may include monthly pass to pay-as-you-go model. Also, machine learning and algorithms will help in deciding about where there will be high demand for charging stations. Analytics will help in deriving the occupancy and utilization rate of an individual spot in the station.
3) Airbnb of garage – Leasing or renting a garage is not new. But we will soon see renting garages for hours and days and not months and years. As adoption of EV increases, more and more home garages will be equipped with EV charging stations. This will define new line of business and extended business model similar to Airbnb for stay.
4) Increased solar energy generation in homes – Solar roofs are widely promoted by the countries to make homes more sustainable and energy efficient. Individuals get renewable energy subsidies for generating solar energy at home. Many countries even let the individual sell their energy back to the grid. Charging EV through the solar energy generated from home will almost let the car run at no additional cost.
5) Standard protocols for charging – At present there are many standards being followed by different EV manufacturers for charging their vehicles. Open charge alliance is a global consortium of private and public electric vehicle infrastructure leaders coming together to form a standard protocol. They are based on the adoption of Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and Open Smart Charging Protocol (OSCP).
6) Plug and play battery – This may not be feasible with the existing EV’s. However, in the future there may be chances of swapping the battery with ease and convenience for battery power rather than letting the car wait for longer time for the battery to be charged.
With more and more ways to charge EV’s, there will be more adoption of electric vehicles.
Share your thoughts on what other opportunities that EV charging stations may bring.