2019 was probably the most promising year for the electric vehicle sector with EV sales growth of more than 50% and many exciting announcements for 2020. Especially from established car-makers such as Ford with the usage of the iconic Mustang brand and VW with the ID3. EVs are starting to get a major role. Electric vehicle charging stations are also growing massively with national roll-out plans, but the reality is that we aren’t there yet! Not enough electric vehicle charging points and low interconnection of EV charging networks makes travelling for EV drivers challenging!
As a market actor, it is our duty to bring solutions to the industry. So, what should we wish for 2020? These are the list of my 3 wishes that I consider being the essentials for the time being.
1. More market players
There are many sectors which have the interest to offer EV charging services. Utilities which distribute electricity and OEM’s which produce and sell electric cars. Finally, all retail companies with parking spaces since it takes a while to charge EVs:
- Restaurant chains to attract travellers to enjoy refreshments while charging
- Retailers to keep drivers busy while charging
- Gaz stations at rest areas offering fast chargers to cope with the surge of EVs
The good news is that the EV charging sector will also become more dynamic thanks to “Plug & charge”. This standard manages EV charging authorization and billing by simply plugging EVs to chargers. This will obviously improve the charging experience for EV drivers. Unfortunately, offering charging services isn’t financially viable yet. This is due to low charging frequencies but especially to expensive service models for site owners. We believe that the market shouldn’t be managed by a handful of market players and that everyone should be able to propose charging services without intermediaries. Thankfully this is possible with an EV platform approach.
2. Mass electrification of parking
Every Parking shall be equipped with 5% to 10% of EV charging equipments. The 1 or 2 chargers per parking era is gone! You must think big with a proper electrification strategy. Especially, considering the latest EV forecast of Loren/McDonald’s with 3% sales in 2020 and 17% in 2028. It is also still the right time to be considered as a first mover. Let’s remember how it was in the 2000s with WiFi in coffee shops. We all knew that Starbucks had a reliable internet connection. Wouldn’t you like to be recognized as THE place to charge an electric car?
3. Interconnection of American EV charging networks
Any EV driver should be able to charge anywhere with one subscription service! What is normal with a debit card on any ATMs in the world shall be possible with EV chargers too. eRoaming solutions along with open interoperability protocols such as OCPI to interconnect multiple charging networks do exist and are well adopted in Europe. Nevertheless, despite multiple announcements of major networks, it is still not possible to drive across the US with one subscription. Interconnecting networks is not only about technical protocols but also about pricing and invoicing agreements across service providers. Thankfully these services do exist.
How can we support the EV Charging market
We believe that any companies shall be able to develop their own EV Charging service, manage their revenues and benefit from this market opportunity. That’s why we believe in EV charging platform supporting Whitelabel applications to create, operate and commercialize an EV charging network. Partners have simply to select a charging station, mandate an electrician for the installation and offer services for EV drivers. No investments in system development required the licence platform approach allows partners to grow without risks. Those kind of solutions ensures to be fully inter-operable with eRoaming hubs, enabling any drivers to charge anywhere.
This approach works internationally. I have advised clients in Europe and started to commercialize the Saascharge EV charging platform in the United States. We started last year and we are proud to roll out our first clients now.
More to come this year with demand response (V2G) and dynamic pricing solution. Let’s develop the market together! In the meanwhile, I wish you all a successful and electrified year 2020.