In the early stages of the automobile industry, electricity was competing with steam and gasoline as means of powering cars. According to a Census Bureau report in 1900, more than one-third of all cars manufactured in the U.S. were electric!
Fast forward to 2021. Electric cars are taking a growing share of the automobile industry as most of the car manufacturers today are already selling electric versions of their existing models. This is certainly a sign that electric vehicles are becoming mainstream, and it has many companies scrambling to solve the problem of refueling these cars considering most of them have limited ranges.
Types of charging
There are three current category types for EV chargers: slow, fast, and ultra-fast. The most common are slow chargers, which are typically in use overnight at home. They use around 7kW and typically take 8 hours to charge an average EV car from empty. Fast chargers are typically 50kW models and can add about 100 miles of travel in about 35 minutes. Ultra-fast 150kW chargers are beginning to show prevalence and can bring a quick charging time down to only several minutes.
The sales of electric vehicles have fluctuated over the past couple of years as electric cars failed to gain much market share. Global EV sales grew by 41% from 2019 and the global electric car sales share rose to a record 4.6% in 2020. That represents a total of some 10 million units.
In 2021 new EV registrations are expected to total 300,000 units in the United States, 1.2 million units in China, and 1.4 million units in Europe. The leading countries pushing this trend in Europe are the Scandinavian countries.
The EV market share is expected to increase to about 15% of the market by 2025.
“Fill Up the Tank”
As the market continues to grow, the need for places where cars can be quickly charged is growing as well. In 2020 there were approximately 1.3 million public charging spots worldwide. In Europe, 38,000 public fast chargers were accessible, representing a growth of 55% from the previous year.
The number of slow chargers is also increasing. China, who leads the world in the number of slow chargers, has around a half million chargers compared to Europe, which has a quarter million. The United States lags behind with only 82,000 slow chargers.
The Market Forecast
The United States has 17% of the world’s electric vehicles, China has 44% and Europe has 31%.
According to Pew Research, the EV market will grow faster in China and Europe compared to the United States. Today, 7% have electric hybrid vehicles, however 39% stated that they would consider purchasing an electric vehicle next time they buy a car.
According to meticulous research, the electric vehicle market is expected to reach 234 million units by 2027. According to Mordor Intelligence, the electric vehicle (EV) market was valued at $171 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of $725 billion by 2026.
It Pays to Charge
With the exploding need for charging EV’s, charging stations are quickly becoming a new growth opportunity for operators. This is true for business models that provide only charging as well as for existing operations such as service stations and car washes which can add charging to their service offering and attract more customers and generate more revenue.
A recent study found that drivers of electric vehicles are more than twice as wealthy as the average American, with a median income of over $150,000. This means that the opportunity of offering additional goods and services is a viable option for growth.
The Ultimate Payment Solution for Charging Stations
Today there are not many options when it comes to charging stations but there are different business models that are at play in the market. It pays to take into consideration that customers tend to be sophisticated consumers of higher income brackets. Therefore, solutions should need to be suited to their tastes and sensibilities.
For example, some chains are locking devices to subscription-based payment platforms, which of course places restrictions on drivers. Other charging station operators in the market provide an open system, a model which is likely to be more successful with sophisticated consumers.