Norway is the first mass market for EVs. Many owners of electric vehicles are now on their second or third car. Vehicles used in work, like taxis, small goods transport and other vehicles are also growing based on public incentives like free parking, cash back and free charging. All in all, more than 85% all new private and work vehicles are pure electrical or hybrids, with pure battery electrical vehicles (BEV) being 62% of total new car sales in 2021 so far based on public statistics.
This means that the public charging infrastructure has been under development for more than 10 years. Tesla has more than twice as many superchargers in Norway as in the UK, when UK is 10 times Norway in population. But the charging market for EVs is very different from the petrol market for (Internal Combustion Engine) ICE vehicles. The simple reason is that 80% or more of the charging is done at home or at work. At a much lower price than at public charging stations. This is one of the reasons for the slow build up of public charging, it is difficult to make a profit on the volume of electricity sold on fast chargers (DC chargers).
At the same time, the competition for slow chargers (AC) for the home has dropped the prices for single home chargers very low. The one market with an interesting profile is the communal garage or parking facility where the chargers need an infrastructure to deliver power to many chargers, and where there is a need for fair pricing of the charging. This applies to public parking facilities with charging, workplace parking and communal home parking. In this market, a good charger or good infrastructure is not enough, a good partner for operations is necessary.
Electric Freeway started on the premise that seasoned EV users need better service. There are many good PowerPoints and great web sites claiming to deliver state of the art services in charging. But the reality from the first mass market for EV charging is that this is not the case. Users complain of difficulties with payments, starting and stopping charging, lack of roaming and many other things. And even though there are many standards in the charging market, each company have their own flair for how they comply with the standards. Once you buy in to one supplier, you are usually stuck with that suppliers’ solutions. A typical user in Norway will have 5-20 apps on the phone to use public chargers, and maybe some RFID tags to start charging at the workplace and at home. And pricing is a whole separate issue.
What we are doing is employing a service that can be used on a whole host of charging infrastructures, letting the user choose what hardware and electrical set-up they want or need. We then let the user choose how payment and charging is being done and what service level the owner wants from us. It is all based on standards, so the user can later choose to switch to another service company if we are not living up to expectations. In the system roaming opportunities will appear in a map, and if the user wants to use the same RFID tag at home and at work, then that is possible.
The important information is that we are delivering a service that follows standards, that let the user decide how to use the service and the owners have full control. The prices follow the service levels, and the customer can decide how much we need to be involved.