There are three clear phases in the development of the EV charging industry. This development framework helps to understand where we are coming from, where we are now, and what is the direction we headed towards.
Phase 1: EV charging with a household socket
In the first phase, with a relatively low penetration of EVs, charging was done mostly at homes or other private areas, like office buildings. Charging was billed mainly based on minute or hourly rates, and a large number of charging points were even free to use, as low volumes meant a relatively small price tag for the charging point owner. Typically the charging infrastructure was 'dumb': not connected to a cloud-based operator service.
Phase 2: Smart charging
In the second phase, EV sales started to grow faster, and Mode 3 enabled smart charging infrastructure to be deployed, and there is an emphasis on public charging points. Currently most geographic areas in Europe and in the US are in this phase. Smart charging enables digital services with more complex payment schemes, balancing of charging loads, and flexible access management features. EV charging operators have emerged in this phase to provide these features, and they have taken a high control over the ecosystem.
Phase 3: Bidirectional charging
In the third phase, the long-term stage, EVs will play a key role in the energy system. To protect the energy system from the new electricity demand caused by the high penetration of EV's, charging operators should be responsible for reacting to the needs from TSO’s and DSO’s, and thus provide ancillary and balancing services. These new needs would create valuable opportunities for the operators, who can start aggregating EVs and charging points to provide these valuable V2G services.
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