Innovation & New Technologies The Changing Landscape of EV Charging: How Consumer Needs Are Shaping Business Opportunities Innovation & New Technologies In recent years, there has been a significant shift in consumer needs and expectations when it comes to electric vehicle (EV) charging. As the range of electric cars continues to grow, the traditional model of fueling up at gas stations is being challenged. This change in consumer behavior is set to have a profound impact on businesses that provide EV charging and mobility services. Share this story: We interviewed one of our experts in the area of EV charging, Antti Ojaranta, Solutions Architect at Etteplan to get an understanding on how consumer needs are shaping the landscape of EV charging. Antti has a proven track record of guiding businesses through their digitalization journeys including supporting solution development for EV charging. EV Charging Stations and Micro-Mobility Options Take Center Stage Normally, establishing a fuel station requires complex permits, intricate metering systems, and extensive retail spaces. With modern EV charging infrastructure, the process becomes much simpler. All that is needed is a basic charging station that can be installed almost anywhere – from parking lots to shopping centers to residential areas. “A clear transformation is already happening. Demand for convenient charging everywhere is rising, not just at traditional fuel stations,” highlights Antti. “Moreover, home charging allows consumers to take advantage of cheaper electricity rates during off-peak hours, while commercial charging often includes additional costs like integrations and services that can drive the price up for consumers.” This evolving landscape also brings about new opportunities for electric transportation of any kind, including public transport, micro-mobility options such as e-scooters and bikes, and heavier commercial vehicles. The need for convenient charging service remains the same regardless of the mode of transportation. The Importance of Amenities in EV Charging Facilities for a Holistic Customer Experience To truly understand the changing needs of consumers, it's important to examine why people visit traditional gas stations apart from refueling their vehicles. Surprisingly, it's not just about getting gas. Why would someone with an electric car soon capable of covering 1000km on a single charge opt for commercial charging stations when they can easily charge at home? The answer lies in cost-effectiveness and convenience. “Research shows that amenities such as restrooms and food options play a significant role in attracting customers. This insight highlights an opportunity for businesses offering EV charging services to consider incorporating these elements into their facilities to create a more holistic customer experience,” continues Antti. Embracing the Evolution: Challenges and Opportunities in the Changing Landscape of EV Charging As consumer needs continue to evolve, businesses that are part of the EV charging ecosystem must adapt accordingly. Upgrading the electricity grid infrastructure becomes crucial in accommodating the growing demand for EV charging. Implementing smart charging solutions that optimize energy usage and ensure grid stability will be paramount. In fact, the future of EV charging may not solely rely on electricity being pushed into vehicles. “We may see a shift towards bidirectional charging, where electric cars can actually provide surplus power back to the grid during peak hours. This not only helps balance the electricity load but also benefits consumers by potentially reducing their energy costs,” explains Antti. How Businesses Can Stay Relevant in the EV Charging Industry The traditional model of fuel stations is being challenged by the convenience and cost-effectiveness of home charging. The changing landscape of EV charging presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses in this sector. As consumer needs regarding EV charging continue to change, businesses must adapt to stay relevant. “Offering innovative solutions will be key to staying competitive. By providing a seamless charging experience, incorporating amenities that enhance convenience, and leveraging emerging technologies like bidirectional charging, businesses can position themselves as leaders in the evolving world of electric mobility,” concludes Antti. You can read about other drivers propelling the alternative fuels industry forward from our article 'Driving the Development of Alternative Fuels Services: 6 Industry Drivers'. Need support in developing solutions for EV charging? Contact us today to discuss your needs and ideas!