The bet behind EV charging points

The ROI that’s giving energy companies a headache

  Jankowski is the CEO of Francis Energy, a graduate of Georgetown Law School, and a former executive at a renewable energy company he founded five years ago. The company has been operating a fast-charging business for electric vehicles in remote areas of the plains, stretching from Indian tribal reservations to remote stretches of Route 66. In some areas, there are few electric vehicles and few users with charging stations, but the company is optimistic about the future. In these lots, customers pay 32 cents a minute, or about $20 to charge an electric pickup to 80 percent. The utilization rate of these charging piles can gradually increase, and a healthy cash flow can be achieved.

Francis Energy’s purpose of building remote charging stations is to try to eliminate consumers’ worries about travel charging

Rivian Motors’ electric pickup truck (power hog)

  Market trends have Francis Energy in expansion mode: billions of dollars in charging infrastructure are being pushed by the government, and several popular electric pickup models from Ford, Tesla and other automakers are about to launch, this model and traditional pickups The popular style is completely different.
  But analysts have a different opinion. In densely populated cities with greater demand, electric vehicle charging piles are also currently in the investment stage. First, the profit outlook is uncertain, and the up-front investment, although usually subsidized by public funds, is not cheap. Fast charging piles can charge a car in 30 minutes, so electricity bills are high; using charging piles with lower power is cheaper, but the waiting time is longer, which is a completely contradictory choice for consumers. Second, since a single fast-charging station can cost more than $100,000, the ROI won’t be ideal for years to come.
  Francis Energy is building a charging network in fewer areas to fill in the gaps, and consumer concerns about charging for long road trips must be addressed. Ideally, operators would like to keep rates well below gasoline prices, but this is difficult to achieve in areas where fuel costs are low or wholesale electricity prices are high. Electric vehicle penetration in remote areas lags behind other regions, and operators will face extremely long payback periods if usage does not meet expectations.
  In December, the country’s federal infrastructure package to boost electrification included $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging, much of which will go to underserved rural and mountainous regions. The government will also issue guidelines in February to guide some states in planning where charging stations will be installed.
  Until then, much of the industry’s focus has been on expanding public charging in metropolitan areas to help make it easier for apartment dwellers or those whose homes can charge to jump into the arms of electric vehicles. Now, to start reaching residents in remote areas, “piggybacking” them with a fast-charging network.
  In Arkansas, officials have a plan to put a fast-charging station every 50 miles or so across the state so tourists and business travelers can move around without worry, said Becky Keogh, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Government. Can’t find a place to charge. “Our goal is to make it possible for people to find available charging stations like they do at gas stations today,” she said.
Pickup electric tiger will promote the layout of highway fast charging piles

  In recent months, Irvine, California-based startup Rivian Motors has released the industry’s first electric pickup and is building its own charging network. General Motors is also launching its first electric truck, the GMC Hummer, and plans to launch a plug-in Silverado pickup in early 2023. Ford plans to start selling the electric F-150 pickup this spring.

Roadside fast charging stations are popping up in remote areas

  Updates to the electric truck program also caught the attention of Electrify America, which operates about 3,150 fast-charging stations at 700 U.S. sites. Rob Barossa, the company’s senior director of business development, said the company plans to put more charging points along highways in rural areas, including Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota, mainly because of these Electric pickup.
  A number of nonprofit power companies are also working to provide charging points in remote areas, and rural power companies are working with local governments to install chargers in state parks or roadside dining to support tourism, officials said. “As a nonprofit, they can accept a 10- or 15-year payback period,” he said. “But that’s not going to work for a for-profit company.
  ” Place charging stations in areas with heavier traffic, which should pay off faster. The companies have also contracted to install charging stations for utilities or other third-party-operated stations, also adding a more stable revenue stream.
  Unlike other countries, U.S. Electric Power is confident about the long-term economics of charging stations, in part because of the popularity of electric pickup trucks in the country. Pickups account for a quarter of vehicles on Oklahoma roads, according to research firm iSeeCars.com. Unlike the small and medium-sized electric family cars that are running around in Asia and Europe, trucks have larger batteries, require longer charging times, and are more dependent on fast charging piles.

Share