IS THE BUSINESS OF
CHARGING STATIONS
FOR ELECTRICAL CARS
PROFITABLE?

IS THE BUSINESS OF CHARGING STATIONS FOR ELECTRICAL CARS PROFITABLE?

The topic of fuel is highly relevant now, or rather of problems with fuel, so nowadays the transition to electric vehicles is not only a matter of environmental protection, but also a practical solution of the problems faced. The number of companies producing electrical cars is significantly increasing worldwide, which makes the price more affordable. Public transport is also switching to electric. Electric trucks and tractors are also produced. The world is rapidly moving towards reducing the number of vehicles running on gasoline and diesel engines. Then the question arises: “Will someday all vehicles become electric?”.

Electric cars are divided into 3 main categories:

  • Battery Electric Vehicles are powered solely by electricity stored in the battery.
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine a gasoline or diesel engine with an electric motor and a large battery.
  • Fuel cell vehicles split electrons from hydrogen molecules to produce electricity to run the engine.

HOW DO BATTERIES OF ELECTRIC CARS WORK?

The electric car receives energy directly from the package, which consists of thousands of separate lithium-ion batteries working together. Electricity is used for chemical reactions inside its batteries while the car is being charged. These reactions change in order to produce electricity when the car is moving. The mechanism for connecting the battery and electric motor is quite simple. The battery is connected to one or more electric motors that drive the wheels. When the accelerator pedal is pressed the car instantly supplies energy to the engine, which gradually consumes the energy stored in the batteries.

Electric motors also act like generators, so when you take your foot off the throttle, the car slows down, turning its forward and backward movement into electricity - it becomes more intense when you press the brakes. The regenerative braking recovers energy that would otherwise have been lost, stores it in the batteries and increases the car’s range.

LITHIUM-ION BATTERY OF THE ELECTRIC CARS

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery of the electric car is a type of rechargeable battery used in electric vehicles and a number of portable electronics. They have a higher energy density than typical lead-acid or nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries. Accordingly, the size of the battery can be reduced, which is crucial during the designing of the car. It is also worth noting that lithium-ion batteries are significantly safer. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring safety precautions to protect customers in an unlikely event of battery breakdown. For instance, manufacturers equip electric vehicles with charging protection in order to protect batteries during repeated fast charging sessions in a short period of time.

WHO OWNS THE LARGEST CHARGING STATIONS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES NETWORK?

Nowadays, China has the largest network of charging stations. The country has added nearly 240,000 public chargers so far in 2021 alone, totaling 1.04 million in all – a 72.3% increase compared to 2020. This is due to the fact that China is currently has the largest sales of EVs on earth, as shown in the cart.

Infographic

The example of the UK can show the rapid growth in sales of electric vehicles.

Infographic

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR AT HOME?

Why invest in EV charging stations if everyone has an outlet in the house? However, is it possible and beneficial to charge an electric car at home? The car charging requires direct current while outlets in our houses provide us with alternating current. This problem was easily solved. For today, most modern models of electric cars have special chargers that convert direct current to alternating current. The higher their power is, the faster the battery is charged. For people who have the garage the best solution is to install a home charging station. It allows the car to be charged quickly and safely.

What should be done if you live in an apartment and do not have a garage? In such cases the best solution is to use charging stations. They are usually located in parks, near shopping and entertainment centres, so the car can be charged while you do shopping. Therefore, it is obviously better to install EV charging stations in large cities.

Still, how long may it take to charge the electric car at home using a regular outlet with an adapter? It can take up to 15 hours. The exact time depends on the car model and battery capacity as well as on mains voltage. For instance, it takes up to 5 hours at special charging stations. If it is a fast charging station (they are mainly located in cities), the charging time will be reduced to half an hour.

It takes about 25 kW to charge a completely discharged battery. The electric car will be able to drive little more than 150 km with such charging. Appliances in the average apartment (kettle, stove, refrigerator, TV and computer) consume about 2-3 kW of electricity per day. If the maximum value is taken, then one full charge of an electric car consumes as much energy as all consumers of electricity in the house for 7-8 days.

WHO CAN SET AN EV CHARGING POINT?

Any qualified electrician is authorised to legally install a home charging point in the home if they have the specific skills and specialist accreditation for the hardware, although an increasing number of manufacturers and businesses are undertaking further training.

For ease of usage and search for charging stations, companies usually create applications for their users. One of such applications was created by our company.

In order to control all reservations the Embrox Team created a separate independent que server that collects requests, puts them in que and turns charging points on/off. The additional system was also developed for updating charging stations availability. For the end user's convenience EV stations are presented in different ways: on the map, as a list, grouped by categories. Users are also able to filter stations if they intend to find the most suitable option for them. The Team has developed all versions of OCPP servers from scratch in order to be able to cover all known EV protocols. Aimed to be open and flexible to 3rd party partners, the development team has also implemented an OCPI protocol which allows controlling charging points from anywhere. A powerful dashboard tool was developed for a business that owns charging stations . It represents a web application for managing, controlling access to stations, reviewing analytical information and handling their billing data about charging transactions.

In conclusion we can assert that the future is electric vehicles. Residents of large cities really need EV charging stations. Every business has its own risks and the business with charging stations is no exception. Moreover, the competition is growing. Still, it can be a profitable investment as well as a significant help in preserving the environment with the right approach.

Electric Vehicles
EV charging stations
Electrical cars
Lithium-ion battery
Energy

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