EVreporter recently conducted an industry event, ‘Electric Vehicle Charging Conclave 2023‘, which saw insightful presentations and discussions by industry leaders. In this excerpt from this talk, Preetesh Singh – Specialist, CASE and Alternate Powertrains at Nomura Research Institute, summarises the stakeholders who enable the EV charging infrastructure & operations, as well as different kinds of business models emerging in the industry.
The current EV charging ecosystem consists of various stakeholders whose roles and working in the ecosystem can be understood as follows:
Stakeholders in the EV charging ecosystem
In the context of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, different stakeholders are classified into several groups based on their ownership, operation, and business models.
As seen in box A above, different kinds of entities can serve as a CPO (Charge Point Operator). Below are the typical 6 types of CPOs:
- Fleet Operator: Companies that own and operate a fleet of electric vehicles. They build and manage the charging infrastructure to meet the charging needs of their own fleet.
- System Integrator: System integrators specialize in integrating multiple EV charging infrastructure components. They create, build, and manage the entire charging system, which includes charging stations, software platforms, and network connectivity.
- Utility Player: Utility corporations typically operate by using their existing energy distribution infrastructure to provide EV charging services. They build and run charging stations, frequently in partnership with other stakeholders, and may provide specialised EV charging fee structures.
- Site Provider: Site suppliers supply places or premises for charging station installation and operation. Commercial establishments, parking lots, shopping malls, and other public locations are examples.
- Auto OEM: OEMs are also now rapidly becoming CPOs. To meet the charging needs of its electric vehicle consumers, automakers build charging networks and provide charging solutions. They might put charging stations at their dealerships or work with other CPOs to increase their charging infrastructure.
- Government Operator: Government operators, such as public transport agencies or local governments, can serve as CPOs by creating and managing public charging infrastructure. They play an important role in boosting EV adoption by assuring the presence of charging stations in public spaces, highways, and government-owned facilities.
Types of business models
Multiple business case variations exist in the charging station business on the basis of operational parameters and infrastructure-wise transactional parameters. There are various co-existing and competing product and business model options emerging in India.
Image source: Nomura Research Institute
Some of the key business models are:
- Franchise model of Charging Infra Deployment: A franchise agreement between a franchisor and a franchisee is used to construct a network of charging stations. The franchisor in this model is often an established charging infrastructure provider or a Charge Point Operator (CPO),whereas the franchisee is an individual or organization interested in operating and managing charging stations under the franchisor’s brand and rules. The charging infrastructure deployment franchise model enables the franchisor to extend their network and brand exposure while allowing the franchisee to enter the charging infrastructure industry with the assistance and knowledge of an established player.
- Energy Storage as a Service (ESaaS): The ESaaS business model is one in which energy storage devices are supplied as a service to consumers rather than being owned and controlled by them. A third-party company, generally an energy storage provider or a service provider, installs, owns, and maintains the energy storage equipment at the customer’s location. Customers pay the service provider a regular fee or tariff for the use of the energy storage system and the accompanying advantages. The ESaaS business model makes it easier and more flexible to adopt energy storage technology. It enables users to reap the benefits of energy storage systems while delegating financial, technical, and operational duties to specialized service providers.
- IoT Enabled Charging Station Aggregation & Remote Performance Management: The use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to link and manage various charging stations in a uniform and efficient manner is referred to in this approach. This method enables charging stations to be monitored, controlled, and optimized in real-time, improving their performance, reliability, and user experience. IoT-enabled charging station aggregation and remote performance management boost charging infrastructure efficiency, reliability, and user experience. It allows for the centralized monitoring, control, and optimization of many charging stations, ensuring that they run properly and satisfy the needs of EV consumers. This method also allows for proactive maintenance and fault management, which leads to increased uptime and customer satisfaction.
The future of charging infrastructure in India presents significant business opportunities. Increasing EV penetration and the government’s focus on reducing fossil fuel dependency are creating a promising landscape for entrepreneurs and investors to tap into the charging infrastructure sector. Opportunities abound for companies involved in the manufacturing, installation, and operation of charging stations. In addition, innovative solutions like fast-changing technologies, battery-swapping stations, and smart grid integration offer avenues for growth.
Private players can leverage partnerships with automakers, real estate developers, and government agencies to establish charging stations at strategic locations such as highways, residential complexes, commercial hubs, and parking lots. The market also presents opportunities for software development, data analytics, and cloud-based solutions to optimize charging networks and provide seamless user experiences.
To succeed in this evolving landscape, businesses must stay abreast of technological advancements, government policies, and consumer preferences while offering reliable, affordable, and user-friendly charging solutions.
This article was first published in EVreporter July 2023 magazine. Click here to read.
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