How a lack of public EV charging stations is creating big business opportunities

The number of electric vehicles is rising faster than the availability of high-powered charging points — that’s a huge gap in the market that roadside service stations are best positioned to fill 

Across the globe, the electric vehicle (EV) revolution is in full swing. Annual passenger EV sales are projected to hit 10 million by just 2025, before nearly tripling to 28 million in 2030 [1].

Today, most people charge their EVs at home because residential charging is convenient and inexpensive [2]. It’s when drivers leave home, however, that they find public EV charging points are not yet as readily available as gas stations.

Increased availability of high-powered charging stations will not only increase convenience and flexibility for those EV drivers with existing residential solutions, but also make EVs an even more compelling option for the many people — especially city dwellers – who rely on on-street parking [3].

For roadside service stations this situation presents an opportunity.  Though many operators may not realize they need to install an electrical infrastructure that is ready to support this kind of charging load, those who do adapt will be first movers in a fast-growing market.

EV charging infrastructure for the future is available today

An ever-increasing number of electric vehicles with bigger batteries means roadside charging will come with higher power needs at faster speeds.

With the right grid connection, electrical infrastructure and charging technology, gas-station operators and other roadside venues can offer customers high power fast-charging for all types of EVs, ranging from cars right through to SUVs and trucks. The most advanced electrical infrastructure on the market today addresses safety, reliability and connectivity concerns in plug-and-play, modular solutions.

By choosing the right technology partner now, gas stations and other roadside businesses can offer their customers charging infrastructure that is optimized for today and scalable for the future. This will be especially important as the next generation of electric vehicles hits our roads.

Time to bring power to the people

Governments around the world have set ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions. These aspirations are underpinned by public demand for goods and services — especially transport — that are more sustainable and help reduce emissions.

By 2040, more than 50% of new vehicles will have an electric powertrain [4]. The car market is evolving much faster than anyone anticipated and the global EV tipping point is just around the corner. While EV costs are coming down, early adopters of EVs tend to be more affluent (42% earned $150,000 or more [5]) and willing to spend on brands with values that match theirs. Anyone who can offer EV charging now in any one of today’s charging blackspots will have this highly valuable premium customer segment to themselves. And once EV owners stop for fuel, there is an obvious cross-selling opportunity for add-on products and services. The business case writes itself.

While today there exist charging blackspots, where it is difficult or inconvenient for EV owners to re-charge, the pace of change means this won’t be the case for much longer. Businesses that move now to fill these blackspots won’t just enjoy first-mover advantage, as they support the rapidly growing numbers of EV owners. They will also be able to snap up the best locations and develop innovative future proof business models that complement the new EV charging sector.

This is the business opportunity of a generation. Those blackspots on the charging map are commercial white spaces; entrepreneurial thinkers who can get the electrical infrastructure building blocks right from the start can design almost any business model they care to imagine.

Visit solutions.abb/e-mobility to learn how investment in electrification solutions today impacts the transport of tomorrow.

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About the author

Pam Cannon

I am the Global Marketing Manager, for ABB’s Packaging and Solutions product group with a focus on ABB’s Modular Systems portfolio. We provide integrated products and solutions such as compact secondary substations, battery energy storage systems and eHouses across a variety of segments in order to help our client’s reduce site work, risk and meeting scheduling requirements.  With more than 20 years of experience in the electrical industry, my goal is to help our clients as they transition to digitalization and the new energy future.
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