Taking Charge: the rise of the fleet charging market


Emerging technologies come with emerging opportunities. As more and more companies switch to an electric-powered car park, a new market for fleet-charging services opens up.

Electric-vehicle fleets - EV company car parks - are on the rise. Though EVs cost more than comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs), their superior efficiency, moderate charging costs, and high utilization makes up for that in the mid-to-long term. Combined with government subsidies and dropping purchase costs, they can even prove to be a cheaper option in the short term as well.

McKinsey estimates that EV fleets would have a total cost of ownership that is 15 to 25 percent less than that of equivalent ICE vehicles by 2030. The total share of electric fleet vehicles would amount to around 15 percent, in comparison to ICEs.

A new challenge then arises: how will we power all those vehicles?

The most obvious option would be for the employer to provide sufficient charging stations to power a fleet of EVs. But it’s not as simple as that. EVs need to be charged, charging stations need to be fed electricity. The amount of electricity needed to power 15% of all company cars is enormous.

Of course this is a debate that involves a multitude of parties and stakeholders, from government, to regulators, to providers, to manufacturers etc.

More interesting is that this huge transformation from ICE to EV opens up a new market for charging innovators and EV-enthusiasts worldwide.

Technology, infrastructure, energy-management services, grid services - there are many moving parts in the process. Can employers produce renewable power like solar power directly from the source? What will be the capacity and efficiency of commercial-scale batteries in the near future? How will the grid handle an increase in usage during peak hours?

This is where charging innovations come into place.

Hardware and software integration for instance. Digital apps like EEVEE help employers to optimize energy usage and costs. By providing insights in charging statistics, EEVEE allows users to set out the most (cost)-efficient charging pattern. Further down the line, custom solutions need to be developed that perfectly balance driving and charging - depending on demand, power prices, traffic conditions, charging-station availability etc.

Analytics and connectivity will play an increasing supporting role across the value chain, from data management to customer interactions. More and more manufacturers are opening up their APIs to third party support. Expect digital tools to enrich the electric driving experience, charging or otherwise.

Interplay with the power market will be hugely important as well. Access to price signals for instance would allow for real-time decisions to reduce costs or avoid peak-energy consumption.

Companies that can provide a whole package of EV fleet-charging services - taken into account the prescribed parameters - will have a field day in the years to come. More likely is that multiple innovators will find a way to provide a niche solution for a link in the chain.

Nevertheless, the coming transformation from ICE to EV-fleets will be an exciting one to watch.