Poised to grow to 10 million in 2025 and surpass conventional vehicles by 2040, electric vehicles (EVs) will create a US$2 trillion eMobility opportunity for utility companies, according to new research by Accenture.
Utilities stand to make significant competitive gains by bundling services for EV owners, says the Accenture Strategy report, Utilities: Lead the Charge in eMobility. Besides a US$1.7 trillion opportunity from providing low-margin electricity for EVs, utilities can add US$250 billion of higher-margin new eMobility services such as remote charging apps, integrated home-EV energy management, payment processing and even financing for EV purchases. By combining these services on a single platform, utilities can optimize system performance and help improve the overall EV customer experience.
“Companies that can help make EV ownership easy and affordable for consumers will accelerate adoption and improve competitiveness across their industries. This is particularly important as consumers increasingly make purchasing decisions based on a company’s purpose and their commitment to important principles such as improving the environment,” said Bruno Berthon, senior managing director and global utilities lead for Accenture Strategy. “Utilities are uniquely positioned to play a significant role in the eMobility market by providing differentiated and meaningful customer experiences, while making critical ecosystem partnerships.”
According to companion research conducted by Accenture Strategy with 6,000 consumers around the world, environmental reasons are the main driver of EV purchase today, followed by the cost-saving opportunities they offer. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of future EV owners would switch to an EV to save money in the long term. However, while battery technology continues to advance and new leasing options arise, purchasing costs of EVs and access to charging – such as domestic energy systems or public charging stations – remain a barrier to ownership. For example, more than 80% of consumers who intend to own EVs plan to charge their vehicles primarily from their homes, but only 55% have their own garage.
Utilities can capitalize on this opportunity if they take key actions that will accelerate EV adoption and claim their industry role as the market driver, including:
- Helping customers make right choices: With the trust of their customers and the trove of customer insights they have access to – from consumption patterns to payment preferences and home-charging abilities – utilities are well placed to help customers make the right choices as they switch to EV ownership.
- Creating hyper-relevance through ecosystems: Creating ecosystem partnerships will be critical to establishing a platform approach for bundling highly relevant offerings that will enhance the customer experience. Utilities can select complementary partners that will boost the customer value proposition – from car manufacturers and dealers to fleet operators, charge point operators, ride-sharing companies and parking space owners. With the right incentives, joint offerings will benefit EV owners and multiply value to all ecosystem partners.
- Outpacing the competition: Leveraging real-time customer insights to rapidly improve or iterate customer services and experiences will be key to outmaneuvering the competition. Utilities should strategically invest in a portfolio of services aimed at simplifying ownership experiences and removing barriers to adoption.
“There is tremendous value potential in the eMobility market, but utilities need to act now. Armed with a deep understanding of the energy market and its rules and regulations, and trusted customer and supplier relationships, utilities that invest smartly and deliver targeted offerings will thrive in this market,” said Greg Bolino, a managing director for Accenture Strategy.