- What is the outlook of the electric vehicle market as the world continues to work around COVID-19?
- Is funding still available to get started with EV infrastructure?
- If 80% of EV drivers charge at home, what’s in it for the gas station industry?
- Which chargers are right for which operations?
Gilbarco e-Mobility expert Brian Kuebert sat down on the Fuel Institute’s “Carpool Chats” with John Eichberger to tackle those questions.
The Outlook of EV
As for the state of the EV market, there are a couple of signs of a healthy outlook. Brian says, “yes, there is a slowdown in all vehicle sales. Electric vehicle sales, however, are slowing less than traditional ICE [internal combustible engine] vehicle sales.”
Another bright spot is funding. There’s still plenty of money on the table to help businesses get their EV plans started. “As it turns out, how you’re going to fund and where sites are going to go is largely a paperwork exercise,” says Brian.
For those who want to start researching their funding options, a helpful tool to locate assistance created by the e-Mobility team can be found here.
What about the challenge of overcoming home charging? It’s a valid concern when 80% of EV drivers have home chargers, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
“I personally don’t think it will stay that high,” Brian predicts. “When people start analyzing the charging experience, one word that’s top of mind for everyone is ‘convenience.’”
As Brian explains, Gilbarco’s years of research shows that people overwhelmingly want the charging experience to mirror the mechanics of the traditional fueling experience.
While home charging is the norm, it isn’t an option for many urban dwellings like apartment buildings with no access to parking. When people consider the logistics and cost of installing a home charger themselves, a trip to the local convenience store sounds a lot more, well – convenient.
“If you look at a company like Gilbarco, you’re asking, ‘why did we get into e-Mobility,’ and it’s because we know the C-store space,” Brian says. “It’s more than offering a charger by itself in some ugly corner. We want to bring it in to the full fueling environment. Give consumers the same experience they have today.”
EV Options for All
As we broaden the scope of our e-Mobility platform, Brian and his team are offering businesses and fleets more and more options to find the right fit.
“Not only do we serve convenience stores, we also serve fleets. Each market has slightly different needs to be met and different use cases that have to be solved for, and the addition of an L2 charger to our platform really, really enables us to go a little bit broader than we did before.”
One of the inevitable decision points of a site operator will be network chargers or standalone models.
“If you’re a retailer who, for whatever reason, be it economic or operational, wants to work with an operator network, that’s something we can support. But we also support independent operation and that’s where I see a really great future opportunity.”
Each model comes with trade-offs which we explain in a previous blog.
Thanks again to John Eichberger and the Fuels Institute for having us on Carpool Chats.
To learn more about Gilbarco’s e-Mobility platform or contact the EV team, click here.