The competitive outlook in electric vehicle space maturing

According to Cornwall Insight, the electric vehicle (EV) and energy space is starting to mature, with companies continually innovating, not only their offerings but the way they access customers. This fact is further cemented by the partnership between E.ON and vehicle leasing specialist ALD Automotive. This sees E.ON become the third supplier to announce a wide-ranging arrangement with a leasing company, joining ENGIE and Scottish Power.

Jacob Briggs, Analyst at Cornwall Insight, said:

“Utility retailers could realise significant benefits from the electrification of transport by securing access to larger volumes of supply, accessing revenue from adjacent spaces, and deepening their engagement with the customer. However, given EV services transition different sectors, energy suppliers are not always naturally equipped to make this move unilaterally.

“As such, partnerships such as the E.ON and ALD Automotive partnership, or those with vehicle manufacturers can prove key in their ability to access the market. These arrangements allow the partners to maximise the customer value captured in bundled propositions that combine strengths in energy supply, charging, vehicles and data management. Realising these benefits requires a compelling customer proposition, underpinned by strong digital capabilities.

“With smart charging a requisite, the ability to provide charging, load management, and billing services will be critical to the future success of EV offerings. As an example, alongside its ALD Automotive partnership, E.ON has also acquired a stake in an American e-mobility software company to support a data-driven platform for EV fleet customers. E.ON are not alone, with numerous others making similar moves, including Centrica, Shell, and BP.

“Change will continue. Models may soon extend to developing technology which enables ring-fenced tracking, billing and optimising of EV charging through the domestic meter. We may even see charging at multiple locations managed through a single supply relationship. Regulatory and industry system change to facilitate these developments will, however, be crucial.

“As a result, the EV and energy space is starting to mature, with a wider variety of players developing increasingly innovative offerings but also developing a shared sense of what constitutes the building blocks of a successful business model. The result will be new, cross-vector service offerings that shake up the way we think about the role of electricity, moving from being the provision of power metered at a price, to providing services integrated with a consumer’s broader mobility objectives.”