Did you know that many of the electric charging stations are not connected. It is therefore difficult for an electric vehicle user to geolocate them, to monitor the charge, and moreover to pay it, for lack of mobile apps.
However, all these terminals are not housed in the same boat. According to a study by Berg Insight on charging infrastructure, in 2021 there were 3.3 million connected points in Europe and North America (a charging point corresponds to a socket on a terminal). In this study, the Old Continent has the highest density with 2.6 million points, or 57% connectivity compared to 700,000 (52%) in North America.
Berg Insight estimates that a 40% annual growth rate will lead to 18 million connected charging points in 2026, the two regions of the world combined.
Behind this network of terminals there is a multitude of actors detailed by the research firm. These are software providers dedicated to station management, hardware providers and charging point infrastructure operators — charge point operator (CPO) in English. Their common point is to offer back-office software platforms developed internally by the CPOs, which can be offered as a white label to other CPOs.
In North America, the main players are called Shell Recharge Solutions, Tesla, ChargePoint or Enel X, the latter two comprising the majority of connected home chargers in the subcontinent.
In Europe, there is no shortage of companies offering software platforms for charging stations, starting with the French Last Mile Solutions, which connects nearly 105,000 terminals and manages some 577,000 charging cards in 22 countries. Among the most active are also Virta (Finland), AMPECO (Bulgaria) and Greenflux (Netherlands).
The study mentions other more hardware-focused players with home charging stations. Examples cited are Easee (Norway), Pod Point (United Kingdom) and Zaptec (Norway), whose particularity is to take “generally support a less comprehensive set of use cases with their software offering”.
Others, like EVBox (Engie) and Shell Recharge Solutions, have become essential references in Europe by providing complete solutions (connected terminals + back-office software). Result, “they have a considerable number of charging points connected to their back-office platforms”.
Finally, players such as Vattenfall (Sweden), Innogy (Germany) or Allego (Netherlands) have developed in-house software solutions and manage many charging points.
According to Caspar Jansson, connected objects (IoT) analyst at Berg Insight, “the integration of communication technology into EV charging stations can have a significant impact on their energy costs”. He adds that “connected charging points can be closely monitored and controlled so that they only use excess energy or only charge when energy prices are low”leading to a growing interest in “connected and smart charging solutions”.
If the majority of these connected charging points are in the public or semi-public domain, Caspar Jansson predicts that “the share of home-connected charging stations is expected to increase alongside the general trend of our homes becoming smarter”.
As a reminder, France had 82,107 charging points open to the public as of December 31, 2022 (+53% in one year), according to the latest Avere barometer. By counting private charging points, the agency, which relies on data provided by Gireve and Enedis, estimates that there are 1,200,000 charging points throughout the national territory.
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