As the transition to e-mobility gains momentum, charging point operators are searching for a distinctive approach to stand out among competitors. PetrolPlaza delved into how Electric Era and GRIDSERVE are addressing charging speed and sustainability to shape their businesses and distinguish themselves in what is projected to be a fiercely competitive landscape.
As electric vehicle (EV) sales continue their steady rise internationally, e-mobility adoption is exponentially picking up pace every year. In response, charging point operators (CPO) are vying to seize a share of a market that is projected to nearly triple in less than ten years.
Electricity’s role as a reliable transport energy is reshaping the mobility industry. Factors such as charging speed, power sources, accessibility and reliability are gaining relevance among drivers who seek capabilities that align with their desired charging experience. In this rapidly evolving landscape, how are CPOs differentiating from the competition? What drives these companies to establish themselves as impactful and reliable players in the market?
Electric Era: Setting charging’s pace
Charging anxiety has proven to be a major issue for EV drivers in recent years, often stemming from an unpleasant experience with outdated equipment. One of the main concerns for CPOs is providing convenience, enabling drivers to quickly charge their vehicles whenever and wherever they see fit. US-based Electric Era envisions a future where fast charging is the primary solution for urban mobility and transportation.
Established in 2019 by former SpaceX engineers, the company is dedicated to empowering the next generation of EV drivers with fast-charging capabilities. Offering an ecosystem of solutions for e-mobility, which includes charging infrastructure, scalability, power monitoring and data management solutions, Electric Era strives to be a force for change in the sector.
“We wanted to make a larger contribution to electrification and the decarbonization of transportation. Electric Era was founded for the next generation of drivers and there’s a major gap in that market. Even though SpaceX offered the possibility of contributing to the future of society, now all of us can exert a greater level of influence to contribute with more direct control, access and agency,” describes Quincy Lee, CEO and Founder of the company.
The provider brings a “first-principles engineering mentality,” a tech-focused approach to e-mobility, dedicated to design ubiquitously affordable and reliable fast-charging ecosystem. Their goal is to make fast-charging the go-to solution for EV drivers, as they are confident that the shift away from Level-2 charging is inevitable.
“Drivers value convenience, speed and optionality. Level-2 charging is fundamentally constraining, you have to engineer your whole day around it and people don’t really like that. EV drivers seek reliable charging infrastructure that they can count on their day-to-day lives, which is not true with other charging providers,” emphasizes Lee.
GRIDSERVE: Building a sustainable ecosystem
While a swift and dependable charging experience presents an enticing proposition, environmental awareness also represents an important matter among early adopters of EVs. The role of energy sources is pivotal in facilitating the transition and that is what British GRIDSERVE has been focusing on since its foundation in 2017.
The company’s CEO, Toddington Harper, is a second-generation professional in the solar energy and energy storage industry. Throughout his entire career, he has followed in his parents’ footsteps, who pioneered some of the world’s first commercial deployments of solar energy and battery storage systems approximately 45 years ago.
Building on this legacy and driven by a commitment to delivering sustainable energy solutions, Harper conceptualized the “Sun-to-Wheel” ecosystem. This innovative approach not only draws inspiration from the traditional ‘oil-to-wheel’ paradigm for fossil fuel vehicles but also redefines it by placing emphasis on how energy is generated and efficiently utilized.
This overarching philosophy is embedded in all aspects of the firm’s operations, which involves collaborative efforts with landowners to develop hybrid solar farms. These are developed to power the company’s Electric Highway, designed to provide drivers with complete range and charging confidence. This comprehensive strategy reflects the company’s dedication to creating a sustainable and efficient energy landscape.
“GRIDSERVE’s Electric Highway completely reimagines the EV charging experience, because we believe that change, while much needed, does not mean compromise. Our purpose is to deliver sustainable energy on the scale needed to move the needle on climate change,” states a GRIDSERVE representative.
As an integral component of its Electric Highway, GRIDSERVE has introduced an award-winning concept aimed at redefining the charging experience—Electric Forecourts. These projects go beyond mere charging locations by serving also as an awareness center. Visitors can engage in on-site test drives of the most popular EV models from various brands, gain insights into EV charging solutions, and explore leasing offers—all conveniently available in one location.
Both firms exemplify distinct yet unique approaches to their respective markets. Despite their different proposals, these companies share a common goal in their pursuits—to emerge as transformative forces within the dynamic landscape of the mobility industry. Amid this EV Race, the goal of making a lasting impact on society seems to be a key factor in standing out.