Will the petroleum retailers be the EV network operators of the future?

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  • #160601 Reply
    Brydo
    Participant

    As electric vehicle (EV) uptake around the UK continues to grow, the need to expand the charging network is becoming increasingly key. This has been highlighted by a number of organisations and bodies, including the House of Lords’ Science and Technology Select Committee, which this week criticised the pace of the expansion of the charging network.

    While there is clearly a large opportunity, who will be the big players in the space? Companies like Tesla, InstaVolt and Ecotricity have been quick to establish themselves, although the latter’s Electric Highway was recently sold to GRIDSERVE, but as demand increases oil and gas majors will take on an increasingly important role said Eric Denivelle, EMEA e-mobility business director at Gilbarco Veeder-Root during a recent call.

    The retail and commercial fuelling solutions and services company is seeing two types of chargepoint operators (CPOs), the first of these being the car manufacturers who are entering the space to boost their vehicle sales by being able to provide a fuller package.

    Then there are the utilities, with Denivelle explaining: “They want to make sure that by having a network of chargers they will be the only ones selling electricity to that network, and this is very often at premium rates, especially when it is on the go charging.”

    The question now therefore is are those two types of CPO in it for the long run, he continued. Gilbarco Veeder-Root believes it’s unlikely, as car manufacturers are not adapted to manage a network while utilities may favour joint ventures in the future.

    Instead, Denivelle argued that the petroleum retailers, with their established infrastructure and experience in delivering fuel across a network will be the “true retailers” for EV charging. These are likely to transition to become mobility service providers, allowing them to continue to serve their fleet customers and maximise the potential of their existing networks.

    Already, the likes of Shell, Engie and BP have entered the EV charging space, both through acquisitions and expansion. EV charging company BP Pulse for example opened the UK’s first rapid EV charging hub for fleets in June, while Shell acquired on-street charging firm ubitricity earlier this, following on from its acquisition of NewMotion in 2017.

    Previously, fuel retailers simply hosted chargers on their sites, signing agreements with CPOs who would then manage the EV chargers. But the problem with this said Denivelle, is that those CPOs are then also managing the customers, providing little visibility and smaller benefits for the fuel retailer.

    This is particularly key, as simply selling the electricity from the installed chargepoints is not enough of a positive business case, he continued. While this is starting to change in markets like Norway where EV uptake is higher, at the moment in the UK, the value case for many CPOs lies in the market around the process.

    As such, network operators have signed partnerships with cafes and supermarkets, bringing shared value through ensuring a refueling point is a destination of interest. EV charging network InstaVolt has signed partnerships with Costa Coffee, KFC and McDonalds for example.

    Such an approach can help manage the upfront cost of chargepoint installation and network expansion whilst the market grows. One key cost that remains a concern is grid connection, in particular in places like London where the grid is already constrained.

    “In some cases, people have told me that to add one megawatt of power on a certain location, you need to pay £1 million. And that is just to increase the grid, you still don’t have your EV charging equipment at that point,” said Denivelle.

    This has pushed some to build out EV charger capacity early, to ensure market share before the grid becomes still more constrained, and to put in multiple chargepoints to maximise the infrastructure there.

    But in order for O&G retailers to truly step into the space, they will have to adapt their operations to offer something interesting enough to attract people to their sites to charge. They will have to compete with cinemas and shopping centres as locations to refuel, with a culture shift around refueling needed throughout the industry finished Denivelle.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #160604 Reply
    ajn

    I think this electric car growth will be slower than expected, however I’m not so self important to be proved wrong by not being able to see into the future, and I guess time will tell..

     

    #160607 Reply
    Tim

    Charging station capacity will probably be like property values.

    #160612 Reply
    Brydo
    Participant

    Maybe ajn but we are only heading in one direction and that’s ev. In the near future all the problems with EVs will be a thing of the past. Charging is getting quicker, prices are coming down and range anxiety will be a thing of the past.

    So the only question we have is what will we argue about then 😂😂😂

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

    #160615 Reply
    ajn

    Hhmmm maybe not Brydo, thing is with arguing, demonstrations, activists, it will never stop..

    Electric  cars will have a down fall somewhere through out production..

    Then out will come the new breed of demonstrator, possibly with a more worthy cause than what we have now.

    Will electric cars save the world, I don’t  think so, it seems the human race are hell bent on destroying everything, even each other..

    This is a supposed forum of people situations in which we can relate to amongst each other, I find it all a bit, well uncomfortable tbh..

    Some comments on here are deliberate way of under hand snidest attempts, very ugly comments with intent get posted around on here, sometimes it just means taking heads out of arses to see it..

    Just a little forum like this, meant to be amongst other disabled people or people in similar situations and still arguments, now when we then discuss the World and all in it, well hhhmmm..🤔

    #160647 Reply
    sif

    The will turn into nothing more than convenience stores with a charger or two. Why would anyone need a petrol station when battery technology allows 600+ miles on a charge? You will need a few, a very few, spaced out and as an add on. But specialist petrol stations, even with chargers? They are next years ‘Blockbuster Video’

    #160648 Reply
    Tim

    Unless in your analogy blockbuster actually buys Netflix while they had the chance – Petrol stations buy capacity and once charging technology evolves to the point of a 5 minute to full era (It’s coming), we will no longer be charging at home, because we won’t have the hardware to do so.

    #160652 Reply
    brydo

    Most ICE cars can do 500-600 on a tank and there are still plenty of petrol stations, so filling stations will still exist but in fewer numbers mostly peppered along the sides of motorways. Although many can charge at home lots will just fill up at an ultra fast charging point five minutes, done.

    Charging at home, or to be more accurate, connected at home, will be needed. V2G is essential to make the move to zero emissions work. Taking some electricity from most car batteries at various times of the day will help the grid at peak demand and with the move away from gas heating to electric this will be a vital piece of the jigsaw.

    #160654 Reply
    ChrisK
    Participant

    The problem with the lack of expanding charging networks is much the same with everything in the UK?

    Take a look at networks maps for 4G and 5G for the UK against nearly every other advance nation on Earth and you will see ours looks like a Swiss cheese in comparison.

    Now the mobile phone companies that operate in the UK are much the same, if not, are the same that operate abroad and looking at the networks aboard there miles ahead of our networks.

    The only reason there could be for that is the good old British ethos of spend as little money as you can to get as much money as you can back in return.

    Much is the same for EV charging infrastructure i.e. I’m only going to spend a million if I get a billion back by the end of the year.

    Just my thoughts.

    #160707 Reply
    Sue

    A move over to a plug in car is just not possible for a lot of people right now. I can’t charge one, no driveway, blimey not even able to park outside the house on a regular basis (that’s another story) and very few charging points around the town (3 for a population of 30k which is increased by a massive amount in the summer). For a lot, it is not a viable option until you can recharge in the same amount of time as you would refuel and with the same ease and range if home charging is not possible.

    It’s going to take a huge amount of investment to change things around to make it accessible for all.

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