One of the things that has struck me about Electric Vehicles (EVs) is the type of mentality change that needs to occur for owners. Rather than stopping to get fuel when they are low, drivers must adopt a ‘top-up’ mentality of always seeking out additional charging whenever possible. A large part of this is due to the time it takes to charge up an electric vehicle: rather than a quick 5-10 minutes like a combustion engine, an electric vehicle can often take anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours to fully charge.
As a result, most EV charging is done when the car can park for a long time. This usually includes charging at home or at work, but not these are not the only places people travel to. For example, people may want to take vacations or drive to new places. In order to accomplish this, infrastructure is needed to make sure that people can recharge overnight in new cities.
Up until now, many companies, such as Tesla, have followed the supercharging model. This includes providing the infrastructure, installing stations and essentially owning the property where it is stored. However, this approach has limits: therefore, a push has been made towards what is considered destination charging. This is where a company (such as Tesla) provides the chargers to the property owners, which then maintain and supply power at their own discretion (similar to a franchising model).
However, this model is less about property owners making money through electric charging and more about attracting customers to their property. One of the cool things about property owners being able to utilize this technology is that it can act as an amenity which can be used as an incentive to visit. We have already seen something similar happen with social phenomenon such as Pokemon Go. Businesses would often spend money in this game in order to provide a virtual amenity, which also increased the number of customers that came to their store.
I believe that this might be the model which drives and improves upon EV infrastructure.