EV Fast Charging: How to Build and Sustain Competitive Differentiation

Original Article, S. Kane et al., McKinsey & Company, June 4, 2021

As millions of electric vehicles hit the roads in the next decade, the need for fast charging will grow rapidly. To win in this already competitive market, providers must differentiate themselves.

As the EV customer base expands and it becomes possible to electrify more use cases, demand for public fast charging will increase. Across the entire EV-charging value chain, the greatest value will come from the resale of electricity for on-the-go charging—a use case in which drivers pay a premium for a charge within an hour or less, allowing them to continue a trip. Pure-play charge point operators (CPOs)—businesses that specialize in the resale of electricity in public charging—are the main players active in this market. Currently, these businesses are mostly newly founded companies with the sole purpose of serving EV-charging customers. As EV penetration increases, a range of new entrants with significant relevant experience and capital (for example, utilities and oil and gas majors) will make material investments in public charging. Success in this market will thus require competitive differentiation.

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