Who are the Major Players in EV Charging Infrastructure?
Charging infrastructure is a crucial element of electrification that many leave as an afterthought to EV adoption. This can be a big mistake for fleet managers, as installation of EV infrastructure can take up to months depending on the amount and type of stations needed. Before deciding on the equipment needed, fleet managers must consider their charging strategy, budget, available space and the infrastructure company they will work with.
For fleets opting to charge their EVs on the road, drivers can make use of the network of 46,000 public stations consisting of nearly 114,000 chargers across the US. Expansive networks like ChargePoint and Shell make it easy for EV drivers to quickly fuel up on-the-go without having to go back to the fleet yard.
Fleets choosing to charge their vehicles at a central depot or at employees’ homes will have to work with one of the many companies offering infrastructure installation. This process will include choosing desired charger types, the amount of plugs needed and discussing the logistics of installation on the premises.
READ MORE: Which EV Charger is Best for Your Fleet?
Leading companies in EV Infrastructure
Even as a growing market, there are several prominent and established names in EV infrastructure installation. The different companies specialize in various EV charging solutions from AC and DC charging, wallbox charging and some companies hoping to develop wireless EV charging infrastructure in the future. Depending on the company, they can also be better equipped to install charging stations at private businesses versus residential areas, or to assist fleets of EV buses.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names in EV charging infrastructure today.
As one the largest global energy suppliers, Shell is evolving with changing times as the world continues to move away from ICEVs. The oil and gas company has one of the largest public EV charging networks in the nation and is now offering a specialized EV solutions portfolio under the brand Shell Recharge Solutions.
The company has committed to offering commercial and fleet partners with the scalable technology and services to support wide-scale electrification. Fleets can get full assistance from the point of system design to infrastructure installation, maintenance and online charging management tools for a seamless charging experience. For businesses and workplaces hoping to install charging stations on their sites Shell also offers Charging as a Service, a subscription-based EV charging package that reduces upfront purchasing costs of infrastructure and lets Shell handle all project management and installation.
German technology and manufacturing company Siemens is tackling sustainability and electrification in a multitude of ways. The company created a charging solution called the VersiCharge IEC Wallbox which allows for easy installation in private or semi-private locations, such as garages, residences or business parking lots. A noteworthy feature of the VersiCharge IEC is its ability to preset charging times, allowing EV drivers and fleet managers to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.
In addition to providing on-site infrastructure for fleets, Siemens has been instrumental in revolutionizing charging infrastructure. Siemens’ eHighway system consists of overhead contact lines that charge electrified freight transport as they drive. The system is already being tested and used in Sweden, Germany and the USA and shows a glimpse into the future of charging infrastructure.
- Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is a French company providing multifaceted solutions for efficiency and sustainability. One of the company’s focuses is on creating holistic e-mobility infrastructure from the point of audit and consulting, to developing an energy strategy and finally deploying smart EV infrastructure to fit personal needs. They can work on smaller projects like private homes and buildings, as well as with larger scale installation projects at fleet depots or transit EV charging stations.
One of Schneider Electric’s top products is their wallbox charger EVLink EV230WS. The charging station can be easily installed at home garages, residence buildings, and business parking structures. It also claims to charge EVs up to seven times faster than other chargers, making it a good fit for fleets with minimal time in between vehicle shifts.
ABB is another leading technology company offering EV charging solutions to fill a range of needs. From single-home residences, workplace charging, commercial and industrial fleets, and heavy-duty truck or bus charging, ABB has a range of products for each situation. The company has a wide offering of EVSE including AC wallbox chargers, DC fast chargers,
ABB’s unique vehicle-to-grid equipment presents a new opportunity in energy trading. While EVSE typically works as grid-to-vehicle, the V2G technology gives utilities access to the energy stored in EV batteries which can alleviate grid bottlenecks. These bidirectional charging points make energy trading a seamless transaction and EV owners benefit by charging the grid a fee for the service.
In addition to managing the world’s largest public charging network, with over 18,000 charging locations in the US to date, ChargePoint offers their world-class electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) solutions for fleets as well. Headquartered in California and operating globally, the company handles infrastructure installation from end-to-end, from initial site qualification and preparation to ongoing maintenance and management once deployed. Fleets can choose between three types of charging stations designed for class 1 to 8 vehicles with varying power outputs and with the option of single or double ports. ChargePoint also offers dedicated home chargers for private garages, driveways and apartment complexes, perfect for EV fleets with take-home vehicle policies.
As a fleet professional, it can be worth following these companies as well as other major players in the EVSE space. Though there is a clear disparity between the current production level and demand for EVs, managers can make use of this time to work with infrastructure companies in building solid charging strategies from end to end. Especially for larger and multi-class fleets, there can be a variety of factors to consider spanning from where vehicles will be charged to the day-to-day charging schedules and amount of stations needed to fill this need.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Utilimarc can help you make the most of your EV performance and charging data, schedule a live demo with our analytics team.