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Quick guide to the EV charging business

Quick guide to the EV charging business

An overview of the market, trends and opportunities to enter the booming business of EV charging 

In this article 

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Overview of EV charging market 

Is demand for electric vehicle charging infrastructure growing? 

Even under the fast-moving standards of the tech world, EV business has swiftly broken through from a plausible alternative to a soon-to-be standard. With global trends towards decarbonization and clean energy sources, EV has been a clear area of focus towards the achievement of the goal. Signs like Electric Mobility Canada’s (EMC) plan for reaching 100% electric passenger vehicle sales by 2030 – or the BloombergNEF report predicting over 50% of cars sold in the US to be electric by the same date – suggest quick developments in the future in favor of the EV market.  

The widespread adoption of EV, governments focus on sustainable energy sourcing, and general industry trends have revealed areas of opportunity in the market. As the sector gains stable growth, EV charging solutions become an exciting ground for innovation and creativity. In this article, you’ll find important areas of consideration, as well as trends and opportunities if you’re looking to enter or conquer the business of EV charging.  

How do EV charging stations work? 

EV charging can be divided into the ‘Where’ charging takes place: 

  • Home charging / Residential 
  • Public charging / Commercial 

As a result of government funding and focus on the creation of robust EV charging infrastructures, as well as the private sector shifting towards EV, Commercial EV charging is likely to experience significant growth in CAGR.  

The types of charging available for users with three categories, also referred to in the industry as levels, to choose from fall into three categories: 

  • Level 1 (or trickle charging) 
  • This method uses a standard 120/220V plug for users at home. It’s the slowest method and should only be used with professional consultation by electricity providers. 
  • Level 2 (or AC charging) 
  • AC charging is wall boxes are available for home and public charging. It’s currently up to 3 to 4 times faster than the previous one and, of course, more widely recommended. Most users opt to have a version of this system installed at home for convenient overnight charging, however, as we’ll see later, not all users will have that option available.  
  • Level 3 (or DC fast charging) 
  • DC fast charging is the fastest available option and it’s mostly used for public charging ports. Public stations use powers starting at 50kW, which can refill a battery from 20 to 80% in around 40 minutes. Ultra-fast charging stations are also growing in availability with some offering over 150kW of power to supply EV batteries. 

Related: Sign up to download onsemi’s DC Fast EV Charging Playbook 

Lastly, we often see another category that divides EV charging depending on how fast the users need to replenish their vehicles. As we’ve seen, DC fast charging is the faster option, but while the obvious answer for most designers may be to look for faster and faster technologies, this may not be true for all users. 

What is the current state of the EV Charging infrastructure?

Today, around 80% of all EV charging is done by users at home. The current consumer trend indicates users plug in their electric or hybrid vehicles overnight to have a full battery by the morning. To do this, users rely on trickle charging (slower and only recommended as a last option) or AC household charging through a professionally installed wall box.  

These options, however, are almost only available for users who have accessibility to a garage or driveway. Busier cities, housing availability, and downtown lifestyles among other reasons may complicate this situation for a wide margin of the population. For this reason, public stations for overnight charging could see a significant growth in the near future.  

On the other hand, the convenience of the gas station pump vs the time it takes for an EV station to do the same has been a frequent argument in the historical race.  

While the shift to EV will take rethinking about mobility, longer journeys will still benefit from convenience and fast charging. Trailer or delivery companies, for example, need solutions that optimize their range and time. As every minute becomes crucial for these users, fast and ultra-fast charging businesses might have an area of opportunity here.  

On a similar audience, the EV charging market looks at an opportunity with fleet owners and companies. Designing spaces for EV from the get-go can save companies large amounts of money as compared to converting after the fact.   

Related: See Panasonic’s go-to resource covering all things EV Charging 

What are the requirements for starting EV charging stations? 

Setting up an EV charging station, either for public or home use, comes with some responsibilities. While laws and technicalities may vary from area to area, most governments will require some form of registration to ensure quality and safety for users and suppliers. We recommend you take a deep dive into your area’s policies around the topic before, to make sure your plans and designs are suited for the future.  

The bottom line

The recent trends give us enough reasons to believe that EV is well on its way to becoming a new standard, and so come along a number of opportunities to answer the challenges faced by the industry so far. Some of which are as follows: 

  • Time to charge 
    • Finding solutions for quick refill stations 
    • Offer overnight alternatives for users with no access to garages or driveways 
    • Rethink mobility. What are some alternatives for convenience and range? 
  • Increasing charging points 
    • How does a healthy EV charging infrastructure look? 
    • At home or public stations: what’s the recipe for the future? 
  • Designing for EV charging from scratch instead of redesigning 
    • What opportunities can businesses leverage by rethinking their spaces for EV? 
    • How can established businesses readapt their spaces without breaking their bank and how can they benefit from it? 

Can you design for these challenges? How will your innovations fit or revolutionize the market? Anticipate the opportunities and bring your business into the industry of the future… and the present.  

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