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Customer preferences put energy suppliers in a strong place to deliver smart charging

As we have previously mentioned, smart charging has become a common part of everyday vocabulary if you are in any way interested in the future of the energy industry. As EV uptake rates continue to grow and the associated impact on the electricity grid becomes clearer, the conversation around smart charging has evolved from asking if smart charging is required to the more nuanced questions of how should smart charging be delivered to the customer and who should deliver it.

How should smart charging be delivered to the customer?

We previously took a look at the different options that are being developed for delivering smart charging (see the diagram below) and detailed the how the markets are currently shaping up for each of these options.

smart charging blog dec 1 2019

The jury is still out on which option will come to dominate the smart charging world but, in a nutshell, Delta-EE believes that in the short term (< 5 years) the charger-centric option will continue to maintain a dominant market share and therefore will be integral to most local load management solutions. In the longer term (> 5 years) we believe that there will be a divergence between the home-focused approaches (home- and charger-centric) and the car-centric approach. Which approach wins will be heavily influenced by: (1) the ambition of the vehicle OEMs to integrate energy services into their connected car services and (2) market regulation – e.g. in the UK, all home charge points must be ‘smart’ (in other words they must be able to be remotely accessed and capable of receiving, interrupting and reacting to a signal) in order to be eligible for the government grant.

This leaves us with the question of who should deliver smart charging to the customer?

Delta-EE asked our European customer panel this question in our most recent customer research. Surveying over 1,000 EV and prospective EV owners (looking to purchase an EV within the next five years) across the big five European markets (the UK, Netherlands, Germany, France and Norway) we found that electricity providers are in a strong position to be smart charging service providers. The diagram below details why this is the case.

smart charging blog dec 2 2019

Despite the above indicating that energy suppliers are well positioned to be smart charging service providers, we have seen little evidence so far of them taking on this role. Non-utilities, such as GreenFlux and Jedlix, are currently leaders in the smart charging market, but this market is still in its very early stages with a lot of market development still to come. Don’t be surprised if energy suppliers start to challenge the market incumbents by taking advantage of the three factors mentioned above.

If you would like to discuss or challenge the views above, please get in touch, I’d be delighted to speak with you.

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