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Finding value in the electric vehicle charging ecosystem - EY - Global

Finding value in the electric vehicle charging ecosystem

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Overall, the biggest revenue opportunities will probably go to large-scale players or nimble startups who can reach scale rapidly.

Battery-powered electronic vehicles (EV) are poised to change the social, political and economic landscape. But who will capture the value from charging stations?

Mapping the EV charging landscape

At this early stage in the EV market, no one knows who will own the value created by EV business strategy. Yet there is potential for large and small players to succeed. We outline the points for you to consider.

Potential charging infrastructure

Today, there’s not a strong charging infrastructure to support widespread adoption of EVs. But it’s on its way.

How can companies get involved? How can they package a commercially viable proposition and differentiate themselves in a non-existent, yet crowded marketplace?

Begin by taking stock of today’s players.

We’ve identified 143 companies that have staked a claim to the emerging EV charging infrastructure. Looking closely at those companies, we saw 18 distinct business activities that were grouped to develop five potential business strategies.

Business strategy summary

The general observations we found from looking at the 143 business strategies included:

  • Most companies advertise that they offer solutions for a wide range of customers — from utilities to car rentals, to hotels and home users — but lack a differentiated package and convincing revenue model.
  • Several players have not considered the role OEMs and energy utilities will play in this emerging ecosystem. Until these two central stakeholders decide where they want to sit, a stable value chain is unlikely to emerge.
  • Charging station companies in the upper end of the value chain propose services that could be claimed by other, more natural players.
  • To be a fast-mover is critical, but does not necessarily secure a market share. Manufacturing charging hardware will rapidly become a high-volume, low-margin business.
  • Other segments of the EV charging value chain are likely to invest on services that can be offered by leveraging the growing network of charging stations. Overall, the biggest revenue opportunities will probably go to large-scale players or nimble startups who can reach scale rapidly.
  • The emergence of the EV charging infrastructure will likely force OEMs to take a different look at managing the customer relationship. Some OEMs already recognize the challenge and are turning it into an opportunity.


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