Electric vehicles (EV) are rapidly gaining popularity. EV drivers choose their shopping places or restaurants based on the availability of charging services, especially the new High Power Charging. Business owners can benefit from this – without extensive investments in charging networks or customer support. But what is High Power Charging and how you can increase customer flow and real estate value with HPC.
Electric car charging in its core essence may not be the number one on your list when you do future planning for your business or property. Yet it’s a topic you should dive into, especially if you are located next to the highway or other major driving route.
Historically the gas stations have been the place for drivers to stop, not just to refill the tank but also for food, beverages, and shopping. This has been a foundation for large service complexes along the highways for decades.
Now electrification is bringing its twist to the equation, as setting up a charging station is substantially easier than setting up a fuel pump.
As electric vehicles are gaining popularity, the drivers tend to choose the shopping centres, restaurants, and other services partly based on the availability of charging services. And there’s some new charging technology available.
High Power Charging is the new premium
2020 was a special year of an ever-growing selection of battery electric vehicles. Especially the latest models, including ID.3 from Volkswagen, Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model 3, and e-208 from Peugeot, benefit from the so-called High Power Charging, or HPC.
HPC is a new level of fast charging. It increases the charging power of normal fast charging, commonly 50 kilowatts, to significantly higher, usually to 150-350 kilowatts.
For new electric car owners, this means remarkably faster charging times, often cutting down the time needed for nearly full recharge from 30% to even 70%. For example, the charging time of the Audi e-tron has decreased from one and a half hours to less than 30 minutes.
With the charging power of the HPC, chargers can deliver all the power the new vehicles of the market can utilize. HPC charging is also a real game-changer for long-distance driving, as it dramatically reduces the time needed for charging over the journey. New charging power is also a feature the vehicle owners have paid for when selecting their new car, so they will be asking for it on their travels.
Increase customer flow and real estate value with HPC
McKinsey is expecting the share of electric vehicles to increase from just a few percent of today to 31% by 2030. As the number of electric vehicles increases, even greater part of these vehicles will be charged at the public charging stations, as more and more of the new electric vehicle owners don't have the opportunity to charge their vehicles at home.
This will lead to an ever-growing demand for public charging services. The throughput of your charging location may not be a bottleneck now, but it might turn into one in the not-so-distant future. Already now existing charging stations with medium to high traffic may already have issues with congestion during peak demand hours.
Of course, you can simply add more normal fast chargers. This probably solves the congestion issue, for a while, but it doesn't shorten the charging time of a single vehicle with a bigger battery. It also requires more land and parking lots, installation work and maintenance for chargers. During off-peak hours those new, expensive chargers would stand useless next to your parking lot.
High Power Charging solves all these problems.
More throughput, more power, more revenue
While high power charging (HPC) remarkably decreases the charging time for a single vehicle, it directly increases the throughput of a charging station and upgrades the service level of a single charging spot.
HPC is a premium service, so it may come with premium pricing to your customers. This is up to you, as a charging station owner. As a business owner, it would mean more revenue per kilowatt-hour sold over an HPC charger while probably increasing your operational cost just a little.
The promise of HPC charging is very attractive for both the new electric vehicle owners and for the charging service providers. But still, for now, these new fast chargers are a rare occurrence. Now is the time when electric car drivers look for HPC and are willing to drive the extra mile for them.
Why to invest in a High Power Charging
- HPC charging station offers 2-3 times the throughput compared to normal fast charging stations. This means 2-3 times higher revenues during high demand peak hours.
- HPC is a premium service for EV drivers and therefore a higher price can be asked.
- HPC offers room for growth: the devices are often modular and they can be upgraded and expanded later with growing demand.
- While normal fast charging stations are becoming a norm along the highways, the HPC is not yet a common service for EV drivers. This means lower existing competition for your new charging service.
- HPC stations are considerably more expensive than normal fast charging stations, but higher revenues and profits for the growing EV market compensate this over time.
Hardware is just the first step
The chargers need to be easy to find, easy to use and drivers need a proper customer service when problems arise.
Setting up all this probably is not your core business. Luckily it doesn't have to be.
By joining the Virta network, you attract EV drivers for half an hour break and convert them to your paying customers. You don’t need to worry about managing the charging service or customer experience, as Virta handles all that. Virta also takes care of billing and access control.
Also, your charger will be a part of the tens of thousands of charging stations across Europe by Virta and its partners – and even larger network of networks via roaming service Hubject.
A large charging network with good geographical coverage is a must-have feature for any charging service provider and network. With Virta as your partner, you benefit from every single charger unit of the huge network and you don't need to build any of that yourself.
High Power Charging enables new level of fast charging
- HPC enables higher power to fast charging, usually up to 100, 150, or 200 kilowatts, depending on the vehicle.
- The highest charging power is achieved with Audi e-tron, Tesla Model 3, and Porsche Taycan.
- Charging time for 100 kilometers of driving distance is just to 5-10 minutes in optimal conditions.
- HPC cuts down the charging time 20%–70%, depending on the vehicle and charging conditions such as battery temperature.
- The charging connector is the normal CCS. Cables are liquid-cooled and there's often an "HPC" marking at the connector.
- HPC is backward compatible, so it can charge any EV with a CCS connector, including the older vehicles. Also RFID-tags and mobile apps are used with HPC-chargers the same way as with other chargers.
- HPC comes in two versions: 400 volts and 800 volts. All vehicles can charge with 400 volt systems and only Porsche Taycan can charge using a new 800-volt system, with up to about 270 kilowatts.
- The highest power of current HPC installations is 350 kilowatts and even higher powers are planned for future EV's.