The pace of change has accelerated in the electric vehicle (EV) market and in the EV charging industry. As a result, the EV charging market in 2025 will look very different compared to what it is today. In the first episode of the Plugged Into Virta podcast, let's take a look at the the biggest trends in e-mobility and EV charging at the moment.
Guest: Elias Pöyry, Co-founder & CBO of Virta, Member of European Commission’s Sustainable Transport Forum & Chairman of Eurelectric’s e-mobility working group
Host: Jason Millward
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Hello there and welcome. My name is Jason Millward and you are listening to Plugged into Virta - the electric vehicle charging podcast. The future of mobility is electric. In this podcast we will discuss the newest and hottest topics in the world of e-mobility, smart EV charging, energy management and the business around it. We will go under the surface and discuss openly about the challenges, opportunities, solutions and trends.
We will give you honest, fact-based information and tell you what it means in practise, in plain English. So, if you want to hear insights from top experts, learn more about the world of EV charging and the future outlook, or just want to listen to some inspiring stories from around the world of EV charging, this podcast is for you.
In this episode, we're going to talk about key trends of EV charging by 2025. I'm joined today by Elias Pöyry, member of the European Commission Sustainable Transport Forum, and chairman of Eurelectric’s e-mobility working group. Thank you for joining us.
The pace of change has accelerated in the electric vehicle market and in the EV charging industry. As a result, the EV charging market in 2025 will look very different compared to today. Today we're going to look at the biggest trends in e-mobility and EV charging at the moment. So, before we dive into today’s subject, why don't you just tell us a bit more about yourself, Elias, introduce yourself.
My name is Elias Pöyry and apart from being the Chair of Eurelectric’s e-mobility working group and Member of the Sustainable Transportation Forum with the Eurelectric Mandate, I'm a co-founder of Virta, which is the second largest e-mobility operator or e-mobility platform in Europe.
So, let me paint you a picture. It's 2025, the average person can afford an EV, and also plan to buy one. EV purchase price parity has been reached and the lifetime cost of an EV is lower than the traditional internal combustion engine car. Range anxiety doesn't exist anymore as the EV drive range will be at least 400 kilometres or more. And ultra-fast chargers enable smooth driving anywhere with less than 15 minutes charging per stop. Is this just a dream? Or is this a reality in five years’ time?
Good question. Actually, it's already a reality this year for some cars, some people and some car segments. This will definitely be the big picture of reality for everybody in 2025. Maybe some angles that change this picture are that it's not just about the experience that we have with combustion cars and changing them for EVs, but also, people's tendency to use these services or people's way of thinking changes.
So, instead of thinking that you need a 15-minute fast charge, which you already almost get, you start thinking that it's so much easier to charge at home, and it only takes 6 seconds or 3 seconds to plug it in in the evening and 3 seconds to plug it out in the morning. So, it's a question, also, of setting a totally new standard and how we use these services, and how we use transportation services. I don't think that we will be fixed to just one car anymore in 2025 and beyond, but we rather use more mobility services that are well connected to each other.
What do you think the biggest changes in key trends that will transform the electric mobility and EV charging market in the coming years are? If you could pick the four or five biggest trends, what would they be?
Well, first of all, it's beginning to be business as usual. So, it means that the services are becoming cost efficient real businesses. It's no more tech ventures that someone tries to pull off with their fancy ideas.
Not start-ups anymore.
No, but they are standardising. Actually, we (Virta) are not defined as a small company anymore. We are defined as a medium sized company this year. So, this is getting professional and when it gets professional, of course, the companies that run EV business, they want to be cost efficient, so the cost efficiency is driving the service creation, in a sense. And of course, that's good for the end user, because the end users eventually pay for the course that this kind of systems create.
A second trend I would bring in, is the end user services themselves. The service level people expect is that they can use their EV charging service everywhere, which means every country. But it also means that it's the same thing you use for home, for fleets, for public charging, when you go shopping, and you get them all in one invoice. The end-to-end service kind of creation is very important, and we see that happening now.
The third trend I would pick up is the globalisation of these services. Small start-ups grow, but also there is consolidation happening in the market. What we're going to see is quite global service providers for EV charging and of course that also helps to choose the right provider, and as well it helps to have at least European wide, but also later global service offerings that help the end user in their daily charging routines.
And maybe as the fourth one, I would pick the energy services. Now, almost all EV charging companies are defining themselves as actually future energy companies. And I think that is the big picture. It relates to how we can balance the energy system and how we can make sure that the energy system is not overheating while everybody is using EVs. But, of course, the other part of the picture is that when we build extensive networks of EV charging, we have to make them very cost efficient also in terms of grid connections. And also, in terms of how end users can have the cheapest possible energy for their EVs and maybe even become prosumers that also bring some energy assets from their cars to the network. I think these would be the four key terms.
So, let's dig a bit deeper into these trends. Can you tell me some more details about some challenges you're facing, obstacles ahead or something like that?
Of course, when we do new things, the world is not ready for them and this goes also with, let's say, the globalisation of EV charging services. So, we're lacking a lot of legislation, which means that we are in an immature environment where we have to kind of speculate on how things will evolve and try to build the service models to fit the future regulations. For example, VAT regulations in Europe - it's not necessarily clear in which country you should pay your VAT, when you do cross border transactions, cross border charging events and this kind of things cause a lot of problems for the service providers. It doesn't necessarily show to the end user, because we solve them, but it's really part of the job for the players in the market to find the solutions for the immature market.
Thank you very much for joining us, Elias. It has been a pleasure to have you on.
And that’s it for this episode of Plugged into Virta: The electric vehicle charging podcast. Thank you for listening!
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Until next time, thank you for joining us. Let’s take charge of the future – together.