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EV charging: the next DCB opportunity?

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With the pledges of the COP26 ringing in everyone’s ears, attention is increasingly turning to electric vehicles (EVs) and how they can save the planet – and it offers a potential boom for telemedia and billing.

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global volume of EV charging sessions, where an EV’s battery is charged using a charging point, will exceed 1.5 billion per annum in 2026, from just 200 million in 2021.

This remarkable growth rate of more than 665% over the next five years will be driven by greater government incentives for electric vehicles, as well as more widespread charging service availability.

And they are all going to want to pay for the charging – an ideal market for DCB and other in-app and mobile payment solutions.

The research identified incentives for EV ownership as having significantly increased take-up in Europe, with coordinated incentives packages needed in North America to stimulate growth.

To support greater electrification, Juniper Research recommends that EV charging vendors work with governments and other stakeholders, including fuel retailers, to plan coordinated public charging network roll‑outs, or the mass electrification of mobility will stall.

The new research, EV Charging: Key Opportunities, Challenges & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, found that home charging will decline slightly; accounting for over 70% of all EV charging sessions in 2026, compared with just over 80% in 2021.

However, the report found that this dominance does not directly translate into hardware revenue for charging point vendors, with public charging stations accounting for 56% of charging point hardware revenue globally in 2026.

Research author Nick Maynard explained: “While EV charging at home will largely remain dominant, public charging roll-outs will be a major focus going forward, and their installation will be critical to enabling users who do not have off-road parking to join the electric mobility revolution.”

Fast charging represents next battleground

The research found that as EVs become longer range and more powerful, fast charging DC (direct current) stations will be the next key competitive battleground within the EV charging landscape.

The report recommends that vendors work on partnerships with key destinations, such as car parks and retailers now, in order to schedule fast charger roll-outs, or they will lose ground to faster-moving competitors.

Billing the fleet

Allstar Business Solutions Limited, one of the UK’s leading fuel and electric vehicle (EV) charging companies, is a prime example. It has partnered with the UK’s leading EV charging app and digital platform, Zap-Map, to provide a seamless payment solution for fleets with EVs.

Attracting 180,000 UK users per month to its app, Zap-Map provides EV drivers with access to detailed mapping of charge point locations across the UK, allowing users to search for chargers, plan their journeys, pay for charging and share live updates with other EV drivers all within one, unified app experience.

The agreement, which follows the UK government’s recent announcement setting out its strategy for net zero, will support Allstar in enhancing its on-the-road charging offering to its customers through additional features in the Zap-Map app.

Paul Holland, Managing Director of UK Fuel at Allstar Business Solutions, says: “Teaming up with Zap-Map has been a key strategic move for Allstar, allowing us to help offer our customers a seamless experience when charging on the road. Zap-Map has over 10 years of industry experience and we are excited to be joining forces.”

Alex Earl, Commercial Director at Zap-Map, adds: “Our mission is to make EV charging simple. That’s why we’re looking forward to welcoming Allstar Business Solutions into the Zap-Map community, and helping to simplify their customers’ EV charging experiences through our collective products.”

Earl continues: “As fleets are now rapidly transitioning to EVs, it’s essential that their experience is as smooth as possible. We have been developing services for the EV community for over 10 years and with Allstar’s vast experience of providing services to fleets, we are convinced that together we can have a real positive impact as they increasingly move to electric mobility.”

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