Electric vehicles (EVs) are revolutionizing America in many ways, but one particularly significant impact will be the changing relationship between gas stations and power companies. This mutually beneficial collaboration is reaching a critical tipping point.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are set to revolutionize the electric power system, leaving station hosts with an unexpected and overwhelming burden: demand charges.
The Utilities’ Advantage
Utility companies are uniquely situated to play an integral role in the electric vehicle ecosystem. They boast strong balance sheets, easy access to low-cost capital and extensive experience working on large projects.
They have the potential to create new grid services tailored specifically for electric vehicles (EVs), by collaborating with ecosystem players such as supply equipment providers, charging aggregators, automakers and regional electricity system operators. These new services could improve power quality, balance supply-demand conditions, reduce transmission expenses and boost agribusiness profitability.
Utilities can help promote the adoption of electric vehicles by offering customer education, providing flexible pricing options for drivers, and encouraging greater consumer choice. These initiatives will aid in encouraging EV adoption and contribute to a cleaner, greener future.
The Convenience Store’s Dilemma
One way for convenience stores to stay relevant in the face of new technologies is by offering customers more than just fuel. Japanese convenience stores, for instance, are now selling concert tickets, transportation passes, high-speed Internet connections and points of sale for mail delivery services.
However, the rise of electric vehicles could make gas stations’ business model less appealing to customers. According to CSP Daily News, an electric car requires charging for longer periods than its gas-powered counterpart, thus necessitating customers with smaller refueling needs.
Convenience store owners would do well to consider how they can adapt their business models to cater to electric-car drivers’ needs. This could include installing charging stations that are better suited for extended trips.
The Driverless Car’s Threat
Autonomous vehicles, also referred to as driverless cars or autonomous trucks, will have a major impact on transportation. Not only will they reduce accidents and save people money on gas, but they are also safer for the environment.
These self-driving cars will use radar, laser light, GPS, odometry and computer vision to monitor their environment. They’ll also learn to avoid potholes, lane lines and other hazards by employing advanced techniques.
But there are still numerous obstacles to be overcome before these technologies can be released to the public. One of them involves accurately detecting road objects like pedestrians, bicycles and buses.
Many factors will need to be taken into account, including adapting to extreme winter road conditions like heavy snow or rain. Furthermore, regulations, public perception and the insurance industry all need to be taken into consideration as this technology becomes widely adopted. This presents a huge challenge and some companies may fail in this new era of transportation.
The Bottom Line
In business, the bottom line is the total profit a company has earned or lost. Companies typically aim to improve their profitability by investing in new talent, expanding operations, or repurchasing stock.
Many businesses have adopted the triple bottom line approach–a framework that emphasizes social, environmental, and financial factors simultaneously. Though this approach may seem idealistic at first glance, successful companies have demonstrated that balancing profitability with good will can yield long-term success.
One recent example is Depeswar Doley, owner of RS Automotives in Takoma Park, Maryland. He chose to break away from big oil’s legacy and go all-electric.
Doley’s electric station has seen an uptick in customers, but he believes the growth is not yet enough to sustain him. Hopefully the growing demand for clean transportation will help him reach his objectives.