There were nearly 5 million light-duty electric vehicles on the
road at the end of 2018 — roughly 50 percent more than the
year before. Wood Mackenzie now expects the global EV stock to
surpass 37 million by 2025.
That’s 37 million drivers looking for suitable places to
charge their cars. The electric vehicle (EV) revolution depends on
getting the right infrastructure, in the right locations.
Drivers who don’t have a convenient private driveway available
will turn to workplace and commercial charging. A new Wood
report on workplace charging finds that there is a business
opportunity for workplaces that give their staff and customers a
place to plug in.
Charging is integral to the EV revolution
Continued growth in EV sales depend on the deployment of
sufficient charging infrastructure.
recent forecast predicts that charging equipment market will
reach US$8 billion globally by 2019 — and US$20 billion by
Figure: Forecasted EV Stock by Region
Source: Wood Mackenzie
Getting the right mix of public, residential and workplace units
As it stands, most EV early adopters in both the U.S. and Europe
have access to home charging. But as falling battery costs, public
policy and consumer preference drive EVs into the mainstream, the
demographics will become more diverse.
Not everyone will have a handy driveway where their vehicle can
charge overnight, particularly those living in apartments in urban
centers. And residential charging alone may not be enough to
overcome range anxiety for more rural drivers.
Workplace charging is on the rise
Wood Mackenzie’s research on the North America and Europe
workplace EV charging markets finds that these areas could see
500,000 workplace charger units by 2022 and reach over 1.25 million
chargers by 2025. Europe has the potential to contribute 700,000 of
those units, thanks to the higher proportion of people living in
Figure: Workplace Chargers in Europe and North America
Source: Wood Mackenzie
EV charging costs to the driver will vary. Businesses have
significant latitude to define if and how fees will be assessed for
customers and employees plugging into chargers operating under the
businesses meter. Some businesses may choose to provide free
charging while others set a paid tariff.
Either way, the business case for developing the infrastructure
depends how a business or non-profit assesses both direct and
indirect economic benefits to identify clear returns.
Engaging the workforce and customers with workplace
Today’s businesses must attract and retain a modern workforce,
who may value perks like EV charging that not only make their lives
easier but that also support aspirations to cut carbon emissions
Convenient charging outlets could also attract customers.
Providing EV charging is unlikely to generate significant direct
revenue for a retail business in and of itself, but drivers may use
the time to browse a store, and that is valuable.
For the time being, most EV owners are likely to be middle to
upper-middle income, and there’s an obvious opportunity in
encouraging them to spend time — and money — on the premises.
As the EV stock grows, notably in China, Europe and North America,
businesses will look to tap into a growing “captive audience”
seeking spots to charge away from home.
Workplace charging as a grid flexibility resource
Looking longer term, there is a grid component to the evolution
of workplace charging. Daytime charging is coincident with solar
power output, so EVs could be used to absorb solar energy during
peak generation periods and even respond to renewable
That means there’s an opportunity for businesses to take
advantage of staff- and customer-owned mobile storage as a
flexibility resource to capture utility incentives and potentially
lower their own energy bills.
If widely implemented, vehicle to grid could be an industry
game-changer. And while we estimate that significant penetration is
still several years away, there is strong interest in California in
particular, due to the volume of EVs in the market. For example,
BMW started testing EV charging as a grid resource back in
2015, working with Pacific Gas & Electric.
Subsidy policies in areas like California also help make the
Electric cars aren’t the only option for those seeking a
greener commute. China is driving electric
bus demand, and growth is also set to accelerate in the U.S.
and Europe. However, workplace charging is an opportunity for
businesses and individuals, and an important enabler for the
broader EV revolution.
Source: FS – Transport 2
WoodMac: Workplace EV Charging Is on the Rise