Driivz CEO Talks the Future of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Oct. 29, 2020

We recently held a Q&A session with Doron Frenkel, CEO of Driivz, for his perspective on what we can expect from the EV industry over the coming years.

Let’s just get this one out of the way. What is the effect of COVID-19 on the future of EVs?

Let’s start with the obvious. During the lockdowns, our clients — EV service providers, charge point operators, utilities, and oil and gas companies — report that they saw a significant drop in the number of vehicles charging. However, they remain fully committed to a net-zero emissions vision and are executing on their pre-COVID plans of implementing charging infrastructure for full EV adoption.

Furthermore, the EU and its member states are increasing the push to drive EV adoption within their coronavirus recovery packages. The European Union is focusing on the “Green Deal” as part of its €750 billion recovery package, encouraging cleaner transport and logistics, including the installation of one million charging points for electric vehicles. Germany is now requiring gas stations to provide charging for electric vehicles as part of its €130 billion coronavirus stimulus package and is doubling its subsidy from €3,000 to €6,000 for vehicles less than €40,000. In France, President Emmanuel Macron has proposed €1 billion for grants of up to €7,000 toward the purchase of electric vehicles.

A major positive revelation that occurred during the COVID-19 lockdowns is that people had an opportunity to breathe clean air and understand that it can be part of their future with greater adoption of EVs. Also, people are more focused on their health overall, making them more likely to do what it takes to improve air quality by reducing vehicle emissions.

What is the expected growth for the EV market?

While COVID-19 may have caused a short- to mid-term effect on EV sales, we believe that the outbreak will overall create a positive impact on eMobility awareness and EV sales.

According to the International Energy Agency, opportunities in the electric vehicle (EV) market are increasing at exceptional levels. EVs “on the road” will go from 14 million in 2019 to 100 million by 2025, and McKinsey projects 42 million chargers by 2030². 

Who are the key stakeholders in the EV market?

Utilities, oil and gas, automakers, eMobility service providers, EV charging station providers, and charging point operators are emerging as key stakeholders recognizing the business potential, adapting their core missions to the eMobility environment, and investing heavily to find solutions to help them compete in the EV charging ecosystem. These efforts will allow them to deliver solutions to multiple players in the ecosystem such as fleets, hosts, municipalities, commercial and industrial buildings and MDUs.

All along the EV value chain, key industry players are finding multiple ways to contribute to ever-increasing EV adoption — and to their company’s bottom line, reshaping the ecosystem to better align with customer preferences, charging habits, and financial circumstances.

What are the key imperatives of high-performing EV charging networks?

EV charging infrastructures will need to scale to accommodate exponential EV growth and a wide range of charging behaviors, and as a result, EV charging operators and eMobility service providers must constantly pay attention to these six imperatives to sustain outstanding network performance:

  • Monitoring and control
  • Scalability 
  • Network monetization
  • Energy management optimization
  • Integration and interoperability
  • Flexibility and agility

How can you create an equilibrium between EV charging and the grid?

This is a critical challenge for EV charging companies. Local grids may have limited capacities when supporting the additional energy required for EV charging on top of the existing load.

Smart energy management plays a critical role in ensuring the safe delivery of power to electric vehicles without overloading the grid and compromising on delivering electricity to offices and homes.

EV charging operators and service providers need a smart energy management system to enable optimal utilization of the grid, energy and cost savings, and integration of EV charging with renewables, batteries, and building management systems. 

How can eMobility players can future-proof their business?

As EVs become a larger part of the transportation ecosystem, we are witnessing a shift toward the standardization of chargers and the introduction of new industry protocols for interoperability. Now more than ever, it is particularly challenging to keep up with new developments and ensure that technologies comply with the latest standards.

In addition, charge point operators and eMobility service providers are facing challenges expanding internationally, especially in dealing with different regulations, multiple currencies, and integrating roaming capabilities into their networks.  It is, therefore, essential that they use OCPP-certified hardware and software, systems that support OCPI, ISO 15118 and OCPP 2.0.1, while complying with local regulations (e.g. Eichrecht).

Scalability is a key parameter when building a future-proof EV charging business; EV charging operators and service providers need to find EV charging management systems that will enable them to “grow as they go,” ensuring their EV charging infrastructure can support customers today and tomorrow.

In “traditional’ transportation, the various petrol station brands try to differentiate themselves. How can EV service providers and CPOs differentiate themselves?

The user experience is key. EV charging station providers, eMobility service providers, and charge point operators will be able to secure and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty with unique pricing plans and custom-tailored features on driver self-service tools while using analytics-driven insights to create more personalized offers to deliver exceptional EV charging experiences.

Who are Driivz customers?

Global eMobility providers such as EVgo, Centrica, Gilbarco, ElaadNL, ESB, and CEZ Group are among the industry key players relying on Driivz’ technology to maximize the value of their EV charging infrastructure. Driivz’ team of EV experts serve customers across 20 countries, managing tens of thousands of EV chargers (100,000s in roaming) in North America, Europe and APAC used by more than 700,000 EV drivers.

Thanks, Doron, for sharing your insights and experience. We look forward to speaking with you again soon.