Charging as a Service (CaaS): Can This Business Model Scale the Adoption of Electric Vehicles?

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by globalintelhub
Thursday, Jul 22, 2021 - 18:08


Image Source: LCharge

For many years, human civilization has lived oblivious of the consequences of carbon emissions. The effects are now catching up with the world facing severe climate changes over the past few decades. This drastic change in climate conditions has inevitably forced global organizations, governments and private institutions to emphasize the use of carbon-efficient machinery.

One area that has caught up fast is the mobility industry; Electric Vehicles (EVs) are no longer a futuristic idea but a reality. Companies such as Tesla have taken an early lead in the development of EV vehicles, producing electric-powered cars that are more carbon-efficient compared to cars powered by fossil fuels like oil and coal. Tesla’s founder Elon Musk is currently one of the biggest advocates of renewable energy.

Governmental institutions such as the European Union have also called for a cut in gas emissions, with the region targeting to achieve a climate-neutral environment by 2050. President Biden’s recent American Jobs Plan also features $100 billion in EV rebates for companies that follow the renewable energy path in the U.S. However, the adoption of EVs continues to face scalability challenges due to a supply gap in charging points.

The Scalability Challenge in EV Adoption

Unlike vehicles powered by fossil fuels, EVs rely on electricity to be charged, which is essentially their cutting edge in carbon efficiency. These electric-powered vehicles eliminate the need for the extraction of fossil fuels that emit high levels of carbon. Instead, they are charged with electricity hence reducing the level of carbon emissions by over 60%.

While EVs propose a significant value in reducing carbon emissions, their uptake has been relatively slow. One of the reasons that people are yet to embrace electric-powered vehicles is inaccessibility to charging stations. Most EV charging stations in a country like the U.S are located in affluent neighbourhoods, barely meeting the growing demand from local EV owners and those in transit.

It is also noteworthy that charging stations outside urban areas can be hundreds of miles apart. This shortcoming has hindered most rural folk from acquiring EVs while making it cumbersome for city dwellers to travel with an EV out of town.

Luckily, the situation is now changing as innovators come up with alternative means to charge electric vehicles. Some, like Russia based startup L-Charge, are taking the game a notch higher by introducing stationary and mobile charging points that offer businesses an opportunity to provide EV Charging as a Service (CaaS).

What is Charging as a Service (Caas)?

Charging as a Service (CaaS) involves the provision of charging services to EV owners. This new business model is an efficient way to speed up carbon-neutrality as it allows business owners to set up flexible charging points. Ideally, CaaS increases energy supply by enabling charging point owners to monetize their resources.

L-charge is one the EV charging providers that currently features products which can be leveraged to offer CaaS. This startup has launched stationary off-grid chargers that can be placed along major highways, hotels or local shopping outlets. In doing so, the firm creates an opportunity for business owners to offer Charging as a Service (CaaS) to EV owners. L-Charge’s stationary charger can hold up to 600 kW charge power.

As for its mobile charging point, L-Charge introduces a movable charging minivan that can patrol specific zones to recharge EVs on request. This moving charging point leverages Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) or a combination of LNG and Hydrogen (H2) to create carbon-efficient energy, ultimately powering EV vehicles. Notably, LNG emits 45% less carbon than coal and 30% less than oil.

With the startup set to launch its first mobile charging point to patrol the streets of Moscow, L-Charge will embark on building 4-5 more charging points to serve other major global cities, including Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Berlin and London. The firm’s CEO, Dmitry Lashin, is optimistic that a shift from grid-connected charging stations is the way to go,