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Electric Vehicle event suggests a lack of customer focus

EV-charging-small

I attended the IQPC E-Mobility Charging in Europe event in Berlin last week. It brought together a great mix of people from across the automotive, utility, charging network and oil company sectors. Here are my three takeaways from the event.

1. There’s a lack of focus on customers.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – we see it in the energy sector all the time. It would be unfair to say there is no focus on customers, but I certainly didn’t see that businesses and propositions are being built around customers, let alone considering different types of customers with different needs.

This is one area where Delta-ee can make a difference. For example, our research with prospective EV buyers has already revealed three quite different customer segments with different attitudes, behaviours and likely charging preferences.

2. Integration of EVs into the electricity system is in its infancy.

Uncontrolled EV charging will be a huge headache for the electricity sector, imposing huge costs. On the other hand influencing EV charging (and V2X) for the benefits of the electricity system (at building, community, distribution network and national level) brings potentially huge values to the electricity sector.

While this is understood at a high level, the two worlds (EVs and electricity) are only just starting to get to know each other. There are a few exceptions – Jedlix stands out as one, and a growing number of trials. But this is largely an area for the future – and full of opportunities. I’m excited about bringing our distributed energy expertise to this area.

3. It’s akin to the Wild West – there’s lots of land grabbing going on.

Now, we had some internal debate about whether the ‘Wild West’ analogy was too strong on not. Potentially it is. There are standards, progress on inter-operability, and clearing hubs to allow roaming for sure. But, as can be expected in an immature market, early movers are trying to protect their positions, companies are trying to work out whether they are competitors or potential partners, and if they are partners how they carve out the value.

Not many are making money today, and there’s a lot of questions around business models. It means the market is a bit ‘messy’ in certain ways, and there’s still very much a battleground for the EV customer – a focus of our research on the 20 leading edge propositions across Europe.

We’re pleased to be sharing highlights of our research in our next webinar on 15th May – please register (https://www.delta-ee.com/webinars) if you’re interested.

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