Fragmented charging solution sector creates choice paralysis for EV drivers

Yusin Hu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

At one of the panel talks at the EV Summit held on Dec 12 in Oxford, UK, Anthony Eskinazi, founder and CEO of parking app Justpark, addressed the proliferation of parking and charging apps as EV adoption increases. He pointed out that EV drivers would need to create a dedicated folder in their smartphone and to have at least two to four parking and charging apps, which could create a choice paralysis for EV drivers.

According to projections provided by AutoTrader UK, there will be nine million electric cars on the UK roads by the end of the decade, so the panel talked about how to bring convenience and comfort to EV drivers to accelerate EV adoption.

During the same panel discussion, Richard Campion, head of acceptance at Visa, said "EV drivers really don't know what the payment experience is going to be until they arrive at the charger. And I think that's the kind of comfort we need to address in that situation."

Campion continued that the parking/charging solution sector is going to see an evolution in the coming years; however, it is still fragmented at the moment and will remain "incredibly fragmented" for the foreseeable future due to the time and investment that are required to consolidate. And for now, there is still margin for each player in the sector.

But "there will definitely be consolidation," said Eskinazi, "when that happens, there will be two or three big players, but I think we are still quite a long way away from that."

During the panel, Eskinazi also pointed out that most charging point operators in the UK now have adopted the OCPP protocol. "I think that is essential. But it's all about allowing the best app, or the best software company, to be able to communicate with all the different parts and pieces of the hardware, including the OEMs. That will enable the best possible customer experience closed networks," he added.

Both panelists mentionned that they would love to see OEMs open up their platforms so that "developers can innovate with it."