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Finding value in the electric vehicle charging ecosystem: Merging EV business activities into strategies - EY - Global

Finding value in the electric vehicle charging ecosystem

Merging EV business activities
into strategies

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Grouping 18 business activities into five strategy variants

  Charging station activity set Definition/Example Business strategy
1 2 3 4 5
18 Peripheral services: battery related Information management on battery swapping, recycling and second-life applications.
17 Peripheral services: related to EV owners Information management on vehicle sale, leasing/financing and maintenance services. May also include insurance and breakdown related services.
16 Engineering services Consulting services, offered to charging infrastructure owners based on technical capabilities, software development services and testing.
15 Fleet management tools Software for corporate EV fleet customers including advanced performance, consumption and cost-related features.
14 Smart energy grid management The IT system enables the energy provider to dynamically source and distribute a mix of renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy based on price, customer (private or business), time of day and other criteria.
13 Charging station network management software Ability to connect, control and monitor any of the charging stations in the network. May also control and monitor the usage of the network by different EV owners.
12 Metering capability in network of charging stations Ability to measure and communicate the amount of energy dispensed by consumer, time of day, etc.
11 Billing capability in network of chargingstations Ability to generate an invoice on private/business customers based on usage of charging stations.
10 Smart charging Controls the measure of energy dispensed to a vehicle remotely. This is done by monitoring the level of charge in the vehicle, the time of day, price of energy, load on the grid, etc.
9 Smart grid interface Compatibility of charging station network with flexible/smart energy grid systems.
8 Mobile/Web-based customer portal Mobile/Web portal and customer relationship management.
7 In-vehicle charging infrastructure information In-vehicle information for EV drivers (e.g., public/semi-public charging stations, cost of electricity).
6 Vehicle performance diagnostic for OEMs Monitors and communicates vehicle performance and diagnostics information for drivers and OEMs.
5 Installation Physical installation involving groundwork, wiring, testing, etc. and also connecting the charging station to the grid.
4 Maintenance and servicing of charging stations Contracts between station owner and maintenance service provider for conducting routine maintenance and servicing charging station network on a regular basis over the contract period.
3 Charging station retailing Companies that only brand and sell charging stations.
2 Branded charging station manufacturer Manufacturer of charging stations that sells these chargers under its own brand.
1 Unbranded charging station manufacturer Manufacturer of charging stations that allows other companies to brand the charging station device.


This is a business that will be won or lost early, and conducted on a grand scale.

18 business activities

We grouped 18 business activities into five strategy variants.

Grouping 18 business activities
into five strategy variants

Grouping 18 business activities into five strategy variants

5 possible business strategies

Industry structures, including the EV charging value chain, typically develop around the needs of the customer or the convenience of the supplier.

The models in our value chain move from the most basic elements (hardware manufactures) to the most high value (EV maintenance contracts). Yet from the second step up, these businesses may own or outsource the lower-value elements.

Five possible business strategy variants are likely to co-exist


1 The builder
A supplier of infrastructure hardware.
2 The maintenance-installer
An installer and operator of charging stations.
3 The broker-operator
A supplier of charging stations who acts as a middleman to the power markets.
4 The gridmaster
A smart grid operator or agent who uses the idle capacity of parked car batteries to smooth overall power loads.
5 The guardian
A provider of support and maintenance for the vehicles who won't necessarily own or operate charging stations.

This is a business that will be won or lost early, and conducted on a grand scale. Why?

None of the five business models seems to have breakthrough value propositions. Most have relatively low barriers to entry. Few look stable and defensible.

It may be possible to gain leverage through some kind of real estate-like component, much like other recent physical technology roll outs, such as cell phone coverage and cable TV, but only to a player able to cultivate good relationships with power companies, municipalities and parking lot owners.



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