Electric car: the year of the acceleration of charging stations?

The market only expects them to be filled with growth. They are charging stations. The French are in the process of making the switch to electricity, with 300,000 cars already bought in 2021, and carmakers are transforming their production lines with tens of billions of euros. The installation of public recharging points must keep pace! However, we are still a long way off. The government had set a target of 100,000 terminals by the end of 2021, and had put 100 million euros on the table. Despite this generosity, intended to subsidize the costs of installation and connection to the network, only half of the program was carried out.

So this year should be the year of acceleration … if the international situation allows it. In fact, the war in Ukraine is causing price increases linked to the shortage of essential materials in the manufacture of electric cars, in particular tungsten and nickel. But the price of petrol is also rising … Dozens of players are therefore looking at the very lucrative recharging point market. An Eldorado that, according to Gianluigi Indino, partner of EY-Parthenon, would weigh 8 billion euros in eight years, just for the “ex-factory” value of the terminals, before installation.

“To block the French territory, explains the strategy expert, there are a large number of specialists at the starting line, from terminal manufacturers to energy suppliers, to service operators in relation to the driver, those who run maintenance and those who negotiate payment flows. ”

Everyone wants to be. Starting with energy megagroups like TotalEnergies, Shell or BP, forced to negotiate the transition to electricity and who want to install chargers at their service stations: at a rate of half an hour to an hour of waiting for charging, the customers will also go shopping. in their stores. The construction giants then, including the French Spie or Bouygues, who plan to install terminals in the heart of the cities. And finally, suppliers of terminals such as the German Siemens or the Dutch FastNed.

But while an inevitable concentration is expected to arrive, small structures have also rushed into this market. They specialize in the installation of terminals in condominiums, their profitability by the owners or the democratization of payment.

SGA Mobility

Unsubscribe top-up. Filling in an electrical terminal like a conventional gas pump: this is the challenge launched by SGA Mobility. The Rouen-based start-up has been offering facilities equipped with a bank terminal since 2013, accessible with a simple credit card. No subscription, no mobile app, no badge, as required by most market players.
“The terminal manager receives the full charge from the customer, who knows how much he pays in full,” said Christophe Gaillard, founder of SGA Mobility, almost the only company in France that offers this possibility.

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It develops software, distributes its terminals and pays for the sale of its machines (at a rate of about 5,000 euros per unit) and maintenance. A spin-off of SGA Industries, an electronics engineering company, SGA Mobility is seen as a complement to the energy giants with its 500 terminals installed in cities, especially in the west of France, and is especially aimed at to drivers who don’t just need one. “full” per week.

Wattpark

The community solution. In the competitive world of terminals, the young filming of the Ile-de-France has become an original place. “We invented a kit to place in your own charging station that makes it accessible to other electric vehicle owners,” explains Bertrand Lepage, CEO of Wattpark. The driver connects to the platform and reserves a meeting time. In situ, you have access to the terminal via Bluetooth, recharge and charge your bank account for the benefit of
of the owner.

This terminal, usable “Airbnb style”, is accessible to individuals, professionals and communities at a price of 500 to 800 euros. The company focuses on areas outside large metropolitan areas “with a service focus rather than load speed.” It also has partnerships with hotels and restaurants, as well as car manufacturers, who could integrate their solution into their loyalty programs. He finally plans to build a factory in Maine-et-Loire that could produce 5,000 of its kits a year.

Load back

Recharges with advertising. What if your next charge was free? This is the promise of Volta Charging, which aims to attract drivers with “full” funding for advertisers, national or local. Arriving in France last December, this American expert in electric mobility wants to double this economic model already developed in 2,000 cargo ports in the United States in five years. The terminals are equipped with digital screens where the advertising moves.

The idea is to place them in high-traffic areas, such as supermarket parking lots. Volta Charging favors recharging charge, time to go shopping. “The need for a fast load is not so important,” says Vincent Grena, the company’s European manager. “The most important thing is to be where people are.” The American also intends to spark in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, by being paid with advertising, as well as the installation and maintenance of recharging points.

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