The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts a tipping point in the not-so-distant future when more drivers will more likely charge their vehicles rather than fill up with gasoline. The IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2021 reports that people drive more than 10 million electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide. Moreover, electric car registrations increased by 41 percent in 2020, despite a 16 percent downturn in global car sales last year due to the pandemic. Adoption, in part, is due to policies such as those established by the European Commission with a goal to have 28 million hybrid and electric vehicles on the road by 2028.
To make EVs go, drivers need to charge their vehicles. And unless they can charge at home, they need to find charging stations and pay for a charge when they’re on the road. Government leaders are helping to ensure charging stations are available for the growing number of EV vehicles. For example, the UK has mandated that all new homes and businesses include electric charging stations beginning this year. Overall, the demand and supportive legislation are driving the EV charging station market. In fact, Industry Research predicts the market will grow at a 34 percent CAGR through 2024 to reach $19.9 billion.
EV Charging Challenges
One of the biggest challenges that EV drivers now face is finding a charging station. But as businesses address the demand and deploy these solutions, other issues are surfacing. The correct payments integration can help overcome those issues – and perhaps even pave the way for more effective deployments. You have the opportunity to solve challenges related to:
Drivers expect an easy way to pay using the payment methods they prefer. Also, remember that the people plugging into an EV charging station also demand convenient payment experiences in stores, restaurants, online and from salons and other service providers. Your expertise in providing outstanding customer experiences with other types of transactions can create positive experiences at the EV charging station.
Make the interface intuitive and transactions easy for consumers to understand, including letting them know what their charge will cost based on the current price per kilowatt hour (kWh). Also, consider giving EV charging station providers the option to offer a loyalty rewards program that can further enhance experiences
Some EV charging manufacturers install processor-specific payment devices. This might seem convenient for businesses that deploy EV charging stations – one contract for the devices and payments. However, just as with point of sale and payment solutions that lock you into a specific payment processor, the convenience fades when consumers can’t use the payment method they prefer or when processing fees increase above the competition.
Independent software vendors working with EV charging station manufacturers will find that integrating the system with a payments company that enables processor choice as well as the payment types that drivers want to use, including EMV cards, contactless payments, QR code or in-app payments.
As you develop a solution for EV charging, security must be a top priority. Your clients must comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards to accept digital payments and protect consumers’ accounts and your clients’ businesses. Also, work cooperatively with device manufacturers to ensure charging station payment devices are tamperproof.
Get on the Starting Line
The EV market is still in its infancy but with government in the UK, EU and around the world committed to investing in and incentivizing the transition to electric vehicle adoption – and the demand for the solutions you provide – is likely.
As one of the first-movers, you’ll also have the opportunity to speak with business owners with property conducive to installing EV charging stations, such as a mall or large restaurants with large parking lots, municipalities, and healthcare facilities. Explaining that EV adoption is growing and business owners who install charging stations can build new revenue streams is sure to capture attention and help you build a strong customer base.
EV charging challenges exist, but your expertise as a solution provider and with payments integration can help you overcome them and grow your business.