EVC Blog

Blog: Growth of E-Mobility Requires a Reliable Charging Infrastructure

September 01, 2022  |  REINT JAN HOLTERMAN

Support for e-Mobility is no longer optional. 

On the brink of adoption by the early majority, electric vehicles (EV) are crossing the chasm right now. According to D.A. Davidson’s industry update for July 2022, in Europe between 150,000 and 200,000 new EVs are registered each month. In the U.S., sales of EVs went up 35% over the last year, with on average 70,000 new passenger vehicles monthly entering the U.S. roads.

Demand for public charging points will be huge…
As a result, the demand for public EV charging services is growing rapidly. According to BCG, 95% of fuel retailers are either already offering or planning to offer EV charging. EV growth will intensify pressure on fuel retailers and others to expand the charging infrastructure. Yet, of the projected 150 – 200 million charging points in place by 2030, only around 15% will be public. This is most likely because the biggest challenge for public charging services providers will be how to make money from a charging network in these early days of EV adoption. 

…but how to make money?
It’s a chicken and egg problem: how do you justify the purchase of an EV when you don’t see a broad-based charging infrastructure in place, and how do you justify investing in the charging infrastructure until there is a sufficient volume of EVs on the road? That’s why governments have stepped in. In the U.S., the federal government is spending $7.5 billion to build a national public charging network for EVs. In Europe, countries like the Netherlands - which has one public charging point for every 140 inhabitants - together with Sweden, Luxembourg and Norway, are leading the pack enabled by huge governmental investments. However, as early adopters, most investments have been poured into slower AC chargers, not in DC fast chargers. So, these front-runners also still need additional investments in a fast-charging network.

Reliability of service is key
Because of range anxiety, low numbers of public charging stations hinder EV adoption. But it’s not only about the network density of chargers deployed. Reliability of service is just as important to solve EV drivers’ range anxiety. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a charging station out-of-order while your car battery is almost empty. This just exacerbates the whole range anxiety problem. Reliability is about having charging ports up-and-running at all times. Unfortunately, these uptimes are typically sub-par, which does not help the “money making” part either, as drivers will not spend money while charging nor come back a next time if the charging service is unreliable. 

Network quality will become a competitive differentiator
It’s often a challenge for charge point operators (CPOs) to find adequately trained support staff to install and maintain charging equipment. Plus, the uptime reporting requirements associated with the acceptance of government funding will lead to CPOs having their infrastructure availability statistics publicly known. We expect to see meeting service level agreements (SLAs), network breadth and quality metrics becoming a key source of competition over the next two years, and current levels of service availability won’t cut it.  

Solving the reliability and uptime challenges calls for sophisticated (remote) monitoring of devices, preventive maintenance services, and, in general, a broadly available servicing infrastructure consisting of specialized service staff as well as close-by spare parts stocking locations. Combined, this ensures malfunctioning chargers and (payment) peripherals can be repaired within only a couple of hours rather than days or even weeks, meeting even the most demanding SLAs.

Power your growth with Diebold Nixdorf
The market for EVs is on the brink of shifting from early adopters to early majority, and this will require a new focus on both convenience and availability of a robust public charging infrastructure. Successful operators shift their attention from just getting ports in the ground to keeping ports up and running at a high and consistent level. 

Diebold Nixdorf is here to help. Benefit from having one dedicated business partner servicing all your charging stations reliably and efficiently, wherever they are. Get direct access to our global network of 11,000 specialized service technicians, a 24/7 multilingual helpdesk, and 5,000 spare parts stocking locations in over 100 countries. No other company offers the same level of global support backed by decades of experience servicing customer-facing equipment. Diebold Nixdorf provides you the advice and technical expertise you need to power your growth at every step of the way!

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