The electric vehicle revolution creates opportunities for many parts of the economy. One sector, the $13 billion parking industry, has a new way to generate revenue: by partnering with electrification leaders to install electric vehicle fast charging stations to attract a new type of customer.
EVgo’s Jonah Edius (VP of Strategic Partnerships) recently spoke to Isaiah Mouw, host of The Parking Podcast, to discuss why parking garages should partner with EVgo. In short, the landscape is changing: electric vehicles are entering the mainstream, customers increasingly rely on rideshare (like Lyft and Uber), and the demand for new infrastructure presents a multitude of revenue-generating opportunities.
Many people focus on which comes first: EV cars or charging infrastructure. We like to think of it more like peanut butter and jelly. Stimulating the purchases of EVs is the peanut butter. The jelly is getting the infrastructure out quickly so people feel comfortable purchasing an EV knowing that there are ubiquitous charging stations. We could see as many as 2.6 million new EVs on the road by 2025, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that in the next twenty years, half of all cars on the road will be electric. California recently banned the sale of gas vehicles by 2035. And due to climate change, governments around the world are incentivized to support the growing electric vehicle industry. That’s where EVgo fits in – and especially a type of electric vehicle charging called “fast charging.”
When electric vehicles plug-in to recharge, they have three charging options: L1 charging is the slowest and usually done at home (taking about 20 hours to fully charge). L2 charging is a little faster (taking about 5 hours). L2 chargers are also typically found at home or at work parking garages. “Fast charging,” however, only takes about 30 minutes to charge about 90 miles—and both the cars and chargers are improving to make that even better. It’s revolutionary. And as the demand for electric vehicles grows, the demand for fast charging grows – now by the thousands.
Because the world is changing, parking garage owners are finding creative ways to use their parking space “real estate.” By installing fast chargers, they can attract a new type of customer who pays for access — and who’s also incentivized to leave quickly, freeing up space for new customers. Electric vehicle drivers seek out chargers – and they’re willing to pay for convenient access. There are also opportunities for parking garage owners to work with EVgo to have slower L2 chargers for longer dwell time customers. However, the rise of rideshare and carshare has made the high turnover approach with fast charging more attractive than ever.
Electric vehicles aren’t just for wealthy tech junkies. The cost of buying an electric vehicle will soon be at (or below) the cost of buying a gas vehicle. And rideshare drivers are increasingly buying electric vehicles to save money on gas and maintenance. The rideshare platforms, Uber and Lyft, have set zero emission targets for their platforms to increase EV adoption—and EVgo is working with both, supporting Lyft in Atlanta, Seattle, and Denver, and offering discounting charging on EVgo’s network to Uber drivers. This creates a demand for fast charging while they’re “on the go.” And what better place to install fast chargers than near where they already drive?
Take for example parking garages near airports. People are increasingly preferring taking rideshare like Lyft and Uber to the airports. As a result, parking garages are increasingly seeing empty spaces in their lots. In order to fill the revenue gap, garage owners are installing “fast chargers” for electric vehicle drivers looking to charge, use WiFi, and take a coffee break. And because ride share drivers are incentivized to keep driving (and keep making money), they’re incentivized to leave quickly.
Parking garage owners are enjoying the increased ancillary income — and are now asking to install more “fast chargers.” Issues with “ICEing” (where spaces for charging are taken for too long) are increasingly being solved with both signage and idle-time fees. Drivers pay for entry, charge, and leave – freeing up space for the next driver. It’s a great way to make money.
EVgo is the nation’s largest public fast charging network. We’re industry leaders, and we’ve been doing this for about 10 years. And with fast chargers for our public network, we take care of all the costs – installation, design, engineering, permitting equipment, maintenance, etc. – EVgo takes care of all of it. If approved, partnering with EVgo is a “set it and forget it” process.
The way everyone drives is changing. In California last year, electric vehicle charging represented the third largest new load on the electricity grid, behind home building and the marijuana industry. And most importantly, the benefits of the electric vehicle future are apparent by just looking outside. Early in the COVID-19 shutdowns, people marveled at the clear skies devoid of smog. In Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Mountains were in vivid display.
Electric vehicles are the future. EVgo has already built thousands of fast chargers working with leaders like Nissan, BMW, and others, and we recently announced that we are partnering with GM to install thousands more across the country. And when autonomous vehicles join the roads — they’ll be electric too. It’s all an opportunity for forward-thinkers — in particular, parking garage owners.