The EV Charging Industry is witnessing a massive growth and Europe is rapidly developing a significant EV charging network. In the below article, we have conducted a critical analysis of the EV Charging Industry in Europe, discussing what drives the industry, what withholds it from moving forward, what challenges are being faced and what opportunities can be used moving ahead in the future:
What drives the EV charging industry:
1. Beneficial subsidies and Government Policies
Norms relating to reducing the CO2 emissions have encouraged the Government to provide favorable subsidies to increase the use of Electric Vehicles. These subsidies also enable OEMs to use new technologies and innovations to develop Electric Vehicles. Government policies have also been put in place to provide and install numerous charging stations across Europe.
2. Heavy investments by the automakers/OEMs in the EV Industry
With more subsidies being given by the Government to automakers for the production of Electric Vehicles, these automakers and OEMs are now heavily investing in developing EVs for public and private use. Since they are heavily investing in the manufacturing process of EVs, they play a major role in the EV revolution and are able to cater to high demand of consumers.
3. Environmental concerns
The major benefit of Electric Vehicles is the fact that they contribute to the well-being of the environment by improving air quality and reducing pollution. Even though the production of batteries in are harmful to the environment.
4. Better range per charge
With newer technologies and innovations in EV Charging, range anxiety of EVs has decreased and users can drive their vehicles for a longer distance by charging it once. Rapid charging and fast charging are ways to charge the EV faster and give it better range to cover longer distances. Range also depends on how efficient the model of the vehicle is.
What withholds the industry to move forward:
1. Lack of sufficient standardization of charging stations
The growth of the EV Market and variation in charging points has led to the need of standardization of charging technology. Governments are emphasizing on the need to standardize charging infrastructure for the development of a sustainable ecosystem and to increase the use and sale of EVs.
2. Concerns of disposal of drained EV batteries
The rapid rise of EVs could lead to a serious battery waste problem. One of the solutions to avoid this waste issue, is recycling. However, collecting useful materials from used lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles remains tedious and risky. Innovations to solve this issue such as robotic disassembly of lithium-ion batteries to salvage useful materials are being put to test but at the moment, there is no proper infrastructure or system to conduct this process successfully.
Challenges faced by the EV Charging Industry:
1. The cost of EVs is higher than that of ICE Vehicles
The cost to construct an Electric Vehicle is much higher in comparison to an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicle. This is due to advanced technology and developed infrastructure needs to run an Electric Vehicle. The Electric Vehicle runs on a battery which requires very frequent charging. The battery requires to be charged which calls for an additional equipment. The cost of battery, charger, and installation gets added to the cost of an EV. This is one of the major challenges that EV manufacturers face.
2. Strict rules to install charging stations
The installation of charging stations is a very complicated process. Certain rules and regulations as set by the authorities have to be abided by. In most cases, service providers need approvals from local governments, land owners and utility providers to set up a charging station. Setting up charging stations in commercial areas is much more complex than that of installing charging stations in residential zones.
3. Range anxiety of EVs
One of the major barriers in adoption of EVs is that fact that they need to be frequently charged and do not cover long distances. Due to the lack of charging infrastructure, users fear that the battery of the vehicle may run out and there is no station to charge the battery mid-way. To ensure and enable rapid market penetration of EVs, the problem of range anxiety must be addressed.
4. Battery costs are extremely high
On an average, an electric vehicle is priced at twice the amount of a normal ICE vehicle. This is due to high costs of the battery of the EV. The battery is made of hundreds of large lithium-ion cells that use metals like lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese. High battery costs are the largest single factor in this price differential.
Opportunities to take advantage of:
1. Vehicle-to-Grid charging stations can be used to charge EVs
V2G storage charging stations enable Electric Vehicles to store and discharge electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as solar energy or wind energy. V2G technology improves the electrical performance and also adds value for EV owners.
2. Solar Panels can be used to charge EVs
EVs can be charged either using a charging station or through a solar panel. This method of charging an Electric Vehicle is cost-effective and friendly in terms of environmental aspects.