In 2010, two entrepreneurs launched an electric vehicle infrastructure company, providing charging stations for EVs (electric vehicles). They placed these EV chargers in crucial traffic areas in large cities. There were competitors in this business, but they all followed the same basic model based on an app that
- allowed EV owners to locate the nearest EV charger through their mobile devices
- allowed EV owners to activate the EV charger through the app
- allowed EV owners to pay for EV charger usage through the app using a credit or debit card
Before their partnership with Gridwise Analytics, the client used third-party sources to guide their decisions in the EV charger locations. However, they still needed additional data to more accurately validate and further enhance their findings.
Clean Technica reports that in 2022, approximately 5.7% of US car sales were fully electric models. These numbers are still in the single digits, but the increases are dramatic: up from 3.2% in 2021, 1.7% in 2020, and 1.4% in 2019 (these numbers reflect only electric car sales, as opposed to other studies that combine the sales of electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and sometimes conventional hybrids). Adoption rates of 5% to 10% have been historically significant, indicating that a product or service is likely to be adopted by mainstream users.
More significant is the number of consumers planning to purchase an EV the next time they buy a car. The Ernst & Young Mobility Consumer Index reports that 52% of respondents intending to buy a car in 2022 wanted to purchase an EV. This is the first time the number has exceeded 50%, representing an increase of 22 percentage points in just two years.
Several factors affect the actual cost of an EV vs. the cost of a conventional gas-powered car. When comparing the cost of electricity vs. fuel, EV owners spend only a third to a half of what the owner of a comparable fuel-powered car spends in a year.
Most EV owners charge their car at home using a conventional 110-volt outlet and a cord supplied with the vehicle, but this is the slowest type of charge, known as Level 1 charging, aka trickle charge. This type of charging provides about three miles for every hour charged.
Level 2 charging, on the other hand, provides about 35 miles of range per hour but requires a 220-volt outlet, which is unavailable in every home.
Level 3 allows an EV owner to charge as much as 80% battery capacity in 20 minutes to an hour using direct current, not typically found in homes.
The alternative for owners is to find an EV charger on the road where they can charge their car. However, one of the most significant blockades to EV growth is the availability of EV chargers. There are stories of EV owners not being able to find an available charger, one that other drivers are not using, or finding one only to discover that it is inoperable or damaged by accident or vandalism.
The client maintains more than 2,000 EV chargers in the US, in 23 states. These chargers are compatible with all major plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles marketed in the US. Optimizing EV network expansion must be deliberate as EV chargers require significant up-front costs, and the payback could be faster. Reaching profitability requires placing the EV charger locations where they receive the highest level of use and pay for themselves quickly. Providers must find suitable locations, negotiate with property owners (typically retail centers, malls, and office buildings), and install the chargers.
The client used transportation analytics and data from Gridwise to learn where rideshare and food delivery trips start and end. The information gave insight into how many people in the broader driving population are moving in an area and where they are moving to, thereby revealing additional key EV charger locations.
Determining the best locations for EV chargers is even more critical now because the federal government has pledged $7.5 billion to develop an EV charging infrastructure. When validating EV charger locations for grant applications they must include mobility data analytics to justify their locations and expected usage. This requires quality information and granular data:
“When applying for grants and incentives, it is necessary to show that money is deployed to its best use,” said a former industry CFO and Gridwise Analytics user, “and also that the EV chargers will have the greatest number of visitations to reduce the payback period.”
The client had already procured data to pinpoint optimal EV charger locations. Still, they were critically aware that the numbers they submitted for grants would be subject to verification and audits. They were seeking more granular data to confirm their decisions.
The client chose Gridwise Analytics for several reasons:
- Uber and Lyft data analysis and data from the food delivery drivers mirror consumer traffic patterns, providing an excellent way to pinpoint ideal EV charging station site selection.
- Mobility data analytics from Gridwise represent near-real-time information and can be refreshed quickly in light of new information, making it easier to predict future demand.
A former industry CFO and Gridwise Analytics user added, “Gridwise Analytics gave us the micro-level data needed to make specific location-based decisions, and that is important as EV chargers are ‘rooted’ in the ground. Once installed, moving EV chargers is a difficult and costly operation.”
The client was awed by the Gridwise vehicle trip data regarding pickup and drop-off locations and the uniqueness of data from various parts of the country. The client also found the data was very clean and required no editing, allowing them to incorporate it into their current models without having to manipulate it. In one instance, the client detected a significant number of inaccuracies in their own data regarding one city. But when they imported Gridwise vehicle trip data applications they quickly sorted out the clutter, so much so that the result allowed them to close a seven-figure deal.
Partner with Gridwise
By serving drivers, Gridwise gathers vehicle trip data across all major gig service platforms so that, in the aggregate, both Gridwise and drivers can see transportation analytics that help them work more efficiently and profitably.
Gridwise vehicle trip data also offers unique insights for companies serving the broader transportation infrastructure, showing how people and goods move from one location to another. The granular data shows where trips originate, where they end, and the major travel corridors. Data researchers can sort this information to reflect daily, monthly, and annual patterns. Gridwise data is presented in a clean format, with little or no need to manipulate it to fit into the model you might be using.
For a demonstration of how Gridwise Analytics vehicle trip data can sharpen your transportation analytics, contact us below.