Electric car charging providers businesses need to know

15 July, 2019

New technology brings a whole range of new suppliers and the green driving revolution is no different. From energy providers to charging companies and add-on service suppliers, it’s worth knowing who’s who in the world of green driving before you need their services.

 

Challenge = opportunity

For every obstacle that electrification provided, there was an opportunity for businesses to create new, or adapt existing, solutions. The move to electric vehicles (EVs) has also opened up fresh avenues for established businesses and created space for new firms to gain a toehold in the market. This has resulted in a wide range of brand new names in the EV market that you might not have heard of.

The companies associated with EVs occupy three main sections of the charging supply chain:

  1. Energy supply - this includes activities ranging from energy production to distribution and billing customers
  2. Charging infrastructure - covers enterprises including charging station production and electricity sales, installation, operation and maintenance of chargers and charging stations
  3. Add-on services - all activities needed by EVs or enabled by the development of the charging infrastructure, from roaming and battery management to billing

 

Meet your EV energy supply providers

The move from fossil fuels to electricity shuts one door and opens another for energy production companies. The creation of electricity is a major activity requiring serious long-term investment and a UK-wide distribution infrastructure. So it’s hardly surprising that existing energy companies like Eon, EDF and Centrica are providing the electricity that makes the entire EV revolution possible.

 

Charging Infrastructure's main players:

The need for EV charging points has opened up a completely new market segment and it’s newer businesses, like Ecotricity and Tesla, that have cornered the market on many stretches of motorway. Ecotricity’s Electric Highway provides EV drivers with charging stations across the UK, all powered by 100% renewable energy in line with Ecotricity’s overarching green business model.

And they’re not the only brand out there. Other common electricity charging companies include:

 

Polar GeniePoint Ubitricity
Charge Your Car InstaVolt Alba Power
Source London Pod Point  



Car makers - like Tesla - and logistics firms - like HDL - are also involved in developing charging infrastructure, to help make it viable to drive EVs and increase sales.

Petrol station brands, like Shell and BP, are also waking up to the potential profit that charging points could bring to their network of forecourts. BP have hit fast forward in this game by buying Chargemaster, one of the pure players that sprung up solely in response to the EV market. So expect to see charging points coming to a petrol station near you.

 

Brands for businesses seeking workplace charging points

If your organisation wants to install charging points at work, there are a range of products available but these are some of the biggest brands:

Twin POD Point A universal charger that allows you to charge two cars at the same time.
BP Chargemaster Onecharge A slim wall mounted charging point that’s a good choice for businesses who only need one or two stations. They also offer organisations the opportunity to open their charging point to the public enabling you to make money from your installation.
Andersen A2 Fast-charging, slim and wall mounted, Andersen also provide installation.
Alfen Eve Double ProLine Mounted on a post or the wall, this is another double charger with workplaces in mind.

 

Read our article on workplace charging for more details on this topic.

 

The firms selling you add-on EV services

As the number of companies providing electric charging club memberships has expanded, another gap has opened up in the market. Now there are a number of EV roaming companies, that aim to make it possible to drive your EV wherever you want with a single membership that enables you to roam and charge with a single membership:

Chargemap Provides a single pass so drivers can charge up at any charging station around the world
Ionity Provide 400 charging stations along major European highways

These memberships could be useful for organisations whose workforce travels within the UK or businesses with people across Europe or around the world. Enabling you to use and manage a single provider more easily.

With more on-board computing power and data, digital tech is better able to connect to smarter electric vehicles. Originally, IT and telecoms companies started to provide add-on services for EV drivers to make the most of this new technology but today:

  • Providers like BP are partnering with tech firms to develop mobile apps that enable hybrid drivers to pay for a mix of fuels without leaving their car.
  • Microsoft are involved in ensuring the electricity grid can adapt and meet demand from electric vehicles by:
    • monitoring and servicing charging points remotely
    • helping operators reschedule charges to align to optimal power capacities, availability of renewable resources and lower energy rates

If your organisation already has electric vehicles in your fleet or you’re about to adopt greener vehicles, you could soon be using services from these providers. As with any supplier, do your due diligence, assess a number of options and opt for the provider that best meets your needs.

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