The electric vehicle charging market is developing rapidly and is already segmented by usage.
The electric vehicle charging market continues to grow very fast and strongly. In France, there are 75,279 charging points open to the public as of October 31, 2022, which represents a +53% increase in their number in one year. Let’s face it, we’re saying it again, we’re still a long way from the 100,000 points the government has committed to by the end of 2021, but we’re getting inexorably close.
Moreover, if the pace of openings continues, the symbolic milestone of 100,000 charging points could be reached by mid-2023. Of course, this is 18 months behind the original goal, but let’s not forget that a certain Covid has been there, putting many sites on standby or slowing down for several months, inertia reinforced by a lack of components.
However, growth in charging point deployments has only picked up over the past two years, with as many openings in the first 3 quarters of 2022 as in the previous 5 years. Encouraging numbers that should reassure those tempted by electricity but still reluctant to take the plunge for fear of insufficient infrastructure.
We will have to accelerate very quickly
However, if we project ourselves into the fairly near future, say the horizon of 2035, when the marketing of thermal cars ends in Europe, energy companies and charging network operators will still have to work hard to ensure sufficient juice and energy supply. charging stations to meet demand. Considering that by mid-2023 we will reach 100,000 charging points for a fleet of slightly more than 1 million rechargeable electric and hybrid vehicles in France, i.e. one charging point for 10 cars, this is still not enough, the network must. At least 1.5 million charging points in 2035, as projections show 15 million electric cars on the road by that date.
To achieve this goal, the calculation is quite simple, about 10,000 new charging points need to be opened every month without interruption for the next 12 years. However, the current rate of dramatically accelerated openings is 2,105 new charging points per month during the first 10 months of 2022, meaning 21,048 new charging points open to the public.
We may very well see that the account is not there and will need to accelerate placements very strongly to reach the minimum acceptable bid. Well, by 2035, we can also imagine that electric cars will double their autonomy and divide the charging time until they reach a few minutes to charge, which can reduce the pressure on the stations. But you won’t need to crawl on the road.
On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that public charging points account for less than 10% of charging solutions, and about 90% of charging is done at home or at work, with roughly equal shares.
In fact, the market is already segmented by uses, which allows many specialized players to emerge and precisely address specialty demand.
As Bump’s Francois Oudot rightly pointed out in our recent podcast, there are now 5 main divisions in the electric vehicle charging sector: home charging, street charging, motorway charging, and company and destination (or public buildings – businesses) charging. open to the public). Each segment of the market has its own players. Let’s look at this in a little more detail.
Charging at home
This applies to all those who live in a detached house and therefore have the privilege of charging at night, often during off-peak hours, while the car lies in the garage. This is 55% of the population according to INSEE. As everyone moves electric, this figure will be of great importance in terms of demand on the grid. There are many players in this field, starting with suppliers of reinforced indoor sockets such as Green’UP or more “robust” solutions such as Wallbox, which must be installed by a professional IRVE (Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles). This is the solution that offers the most cost-effective price per kilometer. With an average cost of 0.17 euros/kWh and an average consumption of 18 kWh per 100 kilometers, it will cost only 3 euros to travel 100 kilometers.
Unfortunately, this solution only applies to half of the population, which brings us to the second point, namely …
Charging on the street
It is in this market that the most significant progress should be made in terms of the scope and density of the offer. It is mainly about providing what all individuals living in collective housing should be interested in. Solutions for this weak relative of electric charging are beginning to emerge, but they are still very timid due to the complexity of the subject. Because the development of charging infrastructure on public roads is not an easy task. But solutions are emerging, especially thanks to the creativity of some young companies that have made it their specialty, such as the kW Deliveroo that delivers your load to your home or office, or the robot-charger from Mob-Energy in Charles, Lyon.
But it is not only about them. For example, Izivia takes over the operation of part of the Bluely terminals in Lyon (Autolib’s equivalent) to provide strategic intramural charging points in different districts of the metropolis. Electra is also trying to move closer to city centers, as are Bump and even Tesla, which has begun placing Superchargers in the center of several major US cities and is expected to do the same in Europe soon. Belib is among the operators to watch, even if it is currently only based in Paris. Other interesting solutions include using existing infrastructure to add charging points, such as the famous lampposts that serve as charging points in London and Berlin.
We cannot close the chapter on charging on the street without mentioning the main terminal, which is often installed in the village square by long-term management energy associations and is always brave for a small extra charge during the trip.
Charging on the highway (and on the road).
If this segment makes up about 7% of the offer, it is the segment that is at the center of all attention and sometimes controversy. All efforts and investments of large operators such as Ionity, TotalEnergies, Electra, Fastned and others are currently concentrated here. Here, too, the most important means are laid, especially through fundraising, the sums of which cannot be envied by technology or crypto-startups. It is in this sector that the highest demand for research, development and innovation and the highest charging capacity are currently held by Bump with terminals capable of reaching 360 kW, ahead of Fastned and its 350 kW.
If you can’t charge at home, you may have a second chance with the terminals provided in your company’s car park. It’s the same scenario, except of course if you don’t do 3/8, you’ll fill in day instead of night. The employer can then “gift you” this supplement, which will become a benefit in kind, or bill you for part or all of it in exchange for a monthly payment. Many operators such as Zeplug, ChargeGuru or Bump are already in this market.
It is filled at the destination
This is one of the sectors that promises very strong development. We think primarily of supermarkets and hypermarkets open to the public, as well as specialized supermarkets. Operators such as Allego (with Carrefour among others), Power Dot or still Bump have already invested heavily in this promising market. Lidl can be considered both a “pure player” and an operator with more than 384 stations already deployed in France and the recent opening of new “superchargers” that makes the big names of the sector the envy of others. Another market is the hotel industry, where two operators, Tesla and Porsche, are strongly established with several hundred charging points each.
As we have seen, the segmentation of the supply by use in terms of electric vehicle charging will not solve everything, but it will certainly contribute to a better distribution of energy supply from a territorial as well as a temporal point of view. For the future, of course, we can rely on the imagination and creativity of entrepreneurs in the sector to imagine even new solutions that will enrich the offer.