The battle for the best locations to install EV charging stations in Europe and US

LONDON/DETROIT (Reuters), Dec 13 – Electric Vehicle Charging Companies in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for the best locations for public fast chargers. Industry watchers expect new rounds of consolidation, as more large investors join the fray.

Many EV chargers are currently backed by investors with long-term commitments, and many more are expected. The imminent bans on fossil-fuelled cars in many countries have made this sector more appealing to infrastructure investors such as M&G’s Infracapital, and Sweden’s EQT.

Tomi Ristimaki is the CEO of Kempower, a Finnish manufacturer of EV chargers. “Whoever gets the best location now can guarantee electric sales in the future.”

According to a Reuters report, there are over 900 EV charger companies in the world. According to PitchBook, the sector has received over $12 billion of venture capital funding in the past two years.

Michael Hughes, Chief Revenue and Commercial Officer for ChargePoint, one of the biggest suppliers of EV chargers and software, said that as big investors fund more consolidation “the fast-charging environment will look very different from the current landscape.”

Since 2017, 85 companies have been acquired in this industry.

See the graphic:

More than 30 fast charger operators operate in the UK. Last month, two new fast-charging stations were launched: BlackRock’s Infrastructure Fund and Zapgo. The latter received funding of 25 million pounds (31.4 million dollars) from Canadian pension fund OPTrust.

According to Loren McDonald, the CEO of San Francisco based research firm EVAdoption, the U.S. will have 54 fast-charging stations in 2030, up from 25 in 2020.

Once a charging station is properly placed, it can take up to four years before the station becomes profitable. The expansion of charger companies is slowed, according to the charger companies. Long-term investors in infrastructure, such as Infracapital (which owns Norway’s Recharge, and invested in Britain’s Gridserve), still see the sector as a safe bet.

Christophe Bordes (Managing Director of Infracapital) said that long-term investment in charging companies is a good idea if you choose the right location.

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