The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) will require a massive expansion of charging infrastructure. Here are some key trends that will shape the future of EV charging.
At-Home Smart Charging
At-home charging currently accounts for over 80% of EV charging. Smart chargers that allow customizable scheduling and electricity metering are gaining popularity. These enable owners to track energy use and charge when rates are lowest.
Emerging bidirectional chargers can not only charge EVs but also send power from the vehicle battery back to the electrical grid. This vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration will be key for grid stability as EV adoption grows.
More public high-speed charging
While most charging is done at home, public DC fast charging stations that can add 200+ miles of range per hour are critical for long trips. Charging plazas located along highways and in retail centers are becoming more prevalent to serve travelers and shoppers.
Future charging stations will offer improved two-way screens, live chat customer service, lounge areas, bathrooms, and amenities to enhance the experience. Well-designed stations can build brand loyalty.
Charging Stations as Experiential Retail
Some companies are taking an experiential approach to EV charging plazas. Offering amenities like lounges, cafes, convenience stores, entertainment options, and green space makes charging enjoyable while also driving revenue.
Charging and retail can become synergistic, with drivers often spending 15–30 minutes during each session. Premium locations also provide branding and marketing opportunities.
Advanced Charging Technologies
Cutting-edge solutions on the horizon include wireless inductive charging, which allows contactless charging by parking over a charging pad. This eliminates plugging in.
In-road wireless charging via electrified roadways is also being tested to charge EVs while driving. While still years away, this could dramatically expand the range.
Connected Charging Networks
Networked charging platforms are emerging that allow drivers to easily locate stations, check real-time availability, pay for charging, and even reserve spots in advance, making public charging simpler.
Apps can route drivers to appropriate charging stations and integrate charging into mapping and navigation. Plug-and-charge technology enables automated authentication and payment.
To enable smart integration with the electrical grid, charging may be incentivized to occur during off-peak times to reduce strain. Rate structures, smart meters, and managed charging will optimize timing.
Localized battery storage at charging plazas can provide buffering and energy arbitrage. On-site solar power and geothermal heating and cooling also contribute to sustainability.
Realizing mass adoption of electric vehicles will require strategic collaboration between the public and private sectors to build out a ubiquitous, customer-friendly charging network.
Policymakers must provide planning, incentives, and utility programs to spur infrastructure growth in a sustainable manner. Companies like ours are also needed to develop innovative charging solutions.
Significant investments in charging technology and infrastructure will be essential in the coming years to create an EV future. With creative thinking and partnerships, we can build an EV charging network that matches rising demand and accelerates the transition to electric transportation.
Are you interested in investing in our future-forward portfolio of properties with EV charging infrastructure capabilities? Get in touch with us today at tad@GAINCRE.com for more information.