New research uncovers how drivers will behave and what it means for charging infrastructure, utilities and the electricity system
Delta-ee (Delta Energy and Environment), the specialist ‘new energy’ research and consulting company, has launched its new Electric Vehicles (EVs) & Electricity Research Service. It has found that, in the next 3-10 years, only eight per cent of charging is expected to use public charging infrastructure.
The service will offer insights into the burgeoning market, with initial research focusing on charging behaviour and retailing electricity and services to EV drivers across Europe. The research draws on extensive surveys to profile the next wave of (UK) EV drivers – the early adopters – who behave very differently to today’s ‘innovators’. Of these, 85 per cent will have off-street parking and 50 per cent will use their car for commuting. Public charging infrastructure is expected to be important for addressing range anxiety but will account for a small portion of total charging.
However, within early adopters, the research identifies three distinct segments with vastly different charging patterns and behaviour:
The suburban commuters (the largest segment): charge at home and work, will seek a deal that fits with their regular schedule
The mix-and-matchers: urban movers looking for the best deal. Happy to use public chargers and latest tech to find the best deal
The home dwellers (the smallest segment): rural-suburban homeowners who are financially secure. Tend to be older and retired, not particularly tech savvy.
The research profiles each segment and its needs in detail, as well as what that means for the electricity system and for companies seeking to market EVs or related services.
“Understanding who is going to be driving EVs and how they will behave is critical for a lot of actors, for varying reasons,” explains Matti Kahola, Senior Analyst, Delta-ee. “Electricity network operators will need to understand when, how and where different groups are going to be charging in order to manage demand on the grid. Then you have the brewing battle to capture the market for EV-related services. Winning that will require building new business models and propositions around different types of customers. Will we see companies selling mobility, not cars; kilometres rather than kilowatts?”
The research profiles 20 leading early-entrants into the space across Europe, representing OEMS, oil majors, utilities and new entrants, finding that while there are many active players, very few offer integrated solutions for customers so far. Finnish utility company Fortum is the current stand out leader in Europe.
Alexander Lewis-Jones, Analyst, Delta-ee comments: “The EV revolution will be just that – a revolution but not just for the automotive sector, also for the electricity sector. EVs have the potential to change not just the cars we drive, but how we balance the electricity system and the shape of our electricity infrastructure. But it also brings into question who we buy electricity from and how we buy it. No one can take anything for granted. We’re already seeing the boundaries between the transport and electricity industries becoming more blurred; an understanding of tomorrow’s customers and their needs is one of the ingredients to make the most of these opportunities.”