Electric vehicles are seen by many as the transportation of the future. While they might not be the only vehicles around as time goes on, they are certainly becoming more prevalent by the day, with startups and vehicle manufacturing giants alike turning their attention toward alternatively fueled vehicles.
However, charging stations are a must to match the ambitions of the electric vehicle companies and their buyers. After all, those who drive electric vehicles are at a disadvantage without the proper charging station infrastructure. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of EV charging companies making waves in the market.
Electric vehicles are still in a very good place in the market, and EV charging companies are in an even better position. That is especially true after the government’s investment in EV charging. So, if you want to know more about the big names in EV charging, then keep reading.
Founded in 2007, ChargePoint has been a frontrunner in the EV charging game longer than most. In fact, the company got involved before electric vehicles blew up, which makes their passion for electric vehicles obvious. And because of that effort, they now have a massive network of EV charging stations in the US and many other countries.
However, ChargePoint is not only building an EV charging station infrastructure. The company looks to extend its charging stations and software to anyone, providing solutions for businesses, fleets, and individual drivers:
- Drivers: ChargePoint offers individual drivers the chance to use their charging stations with residential offerings. It includes the ability to set a charging station up at your home or get a charging station at apartments or condos as an individual.
- Fleets: There are commercial solutions available for fleets as well. It can be used for various types of fleets, including for company vehicles, motor pools, delivery and logistics fleets, and passenger transportation. There are even fast-charging stations and cloud plans to give advanced control and more.
- Businesses: ChargePoint also offers a Driver Experience Network (DEN) cloud service to integrate EV charging with apps and in-vehicle experiences. Moreover, with ChargePoint Enterprise Charging Optimization (ECO) and ChargePoint as a Service, the company provides everything a business needs.
ChargePoint offers a lot of options for people, fleets, and businesses. They also try to make things as easy as possible since they want more people to switch to electric and use their charging stations. And the proof of how well it all works is in their success. ChargePoint is a successful EV charging company, and it is expected to go further.
Another big name in EV charging is Shell. While the company might not be known for electric energy — quite the opposite, in fact — they quickly rose to the occasion. Shell is looking to expand into one of the most dominant providers of electric charging in the world, with the company even setting a goal of 500,000 charging stations by 2025.
It might sound ambitious, but the company already has an outstanding infrastructure in place. Moreover, their electric charging stations number more than 80,000 already. And if that is not enough, their network connects to an additional 300,000 charge points. It even spans homes and businesses as well.
Shell also talks about having a convenient charging experience, which is definitely a plus. Not only are they expanding quickly, but they are pulling in other companies, such as NewMotion and Greenlots, and rebranding them to keep things smooth and cohesive across the network. They are even funding new ventures in the EV charging field.
As if one major oil and gas company was not enough, BP is another major player in the EV charging world. Like Shell, the company already has an established infrastructure in place. Because of their infrastructure of gas stations and business pipelines, they can expand rapidly, and they have every plan to do so.
The company started its expansion in 2018. It was then that it acquired Chargemaster and the Polar network and started building BP pulse. The company works with some of the UK’s biggest fleets, and the charging stations are known to be exceptionally reliable. Moreover, the company is also expanding into the Chinese and American markets.
BP is cooperating with Didi Chuxing to build electric vehicle charging stations in China. Meanwhile, the company only recently took a major step in the US by acquiring the EV fleet charging provider AMPLY Power. While BP is not yet as far-reaching as Shell or ChargePoint, it should not be taken lightly in the EV charging game.
Often, when someone thinks of electric vehicles, they think of Tesla. The company is almost synonymous with electric power. So it is no surprise that Tesla is involved in EV charging stations. However, one caveat is that Tesla Superchargers, as they are known, only work with Tesla vehicles. Though, that seems to be changing.
Recently, Tesla launched a test program in the Netherlands, opening up the Supercharger network to non-Tesla vehicles. While a lot still needs to happen for the change to become widespread, it is a step toward opening up what is considered one of the best, if not the best, charging stations and networks to all.
The Supercharger network is already considered a massive success for those who already drive a Tesla. Not only is it available across the US, but there are more than 30,000 Superchargers worldwide. That includes home chargers, destination chargers, and more. Tesla has options for everyone, and their stations are full of benefits.
Electrify America actually came from the 2015 scandal where Volkswagen cheated emissions testing. But despite its origins, the company has built up an impressive EV charging network in the US. In fact, it is such a successful network that it is the network of choice for companies like Hyundai.
Electrify America utilizes both AC and DC. However, most of their charging efforts are directed toward fast charging stations. DC fast chargers are the fastest currently in use, and it is how the charging is done with most charging stations, which want to help people get charged and on the road as quickly as possible.
One thing to note is that not every electric vehicle can charge at the max charge speed offered by Electrify America chargers. Fortunately, their fast charging stations are equipped with varying plugs that charge at different rates to fit more vehicles. Additionally, some of their stations provide electricity from solar power.
Siemens is the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, and they are big believers in electric vehicles. In fact, they even allow their employees to fill up their electric vehicles for free at their charging stations. But it is not just their employees that can enjoy the charging infrastructure they are building.
The company moved into the market with its SICHARGE D fast charging stations. It is cost-efficient, minimal in size, and dynamic. The company even worked hard to ensure it all looks good. Moreover, they do not limit their charging capabilities to the stations, providing solutions for homes, businesses, and fleets. The company’s products include:
- AC Charging Stations
- AC Wall Boxes
- DC Charging for Fleets
- DC Fast Charging
The company also offers plenty of digital options to plan, operate, and manage things every step of the way. Everything needed is provided by the company, with full-scale offerings available for businesses. The company even steps into the world of depots for fleets and smart building integration.
ABB is a Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation with a focus on robotics, power, and automation. While they might be one of the most established robotics manufacturers globally, they have a major stake in power generation. Among their projects is electric vehicle charging technology, which stands out for its innovation.
The company brings everything together to offer a complete EV charging solution. Their products span from AC to DC, with impressive technology for charging buses and other vehicles. Some of their outstanding products include:
- AC and DC Destination Charging
- DC Fast Charging
- DC High Power Charging
- Overnight Chargers
- Pantograph Charging Stations for Buses
The company also plans to launch vehicle-to-grid chargers and other technologies in the future. ABB has the expertise and technology to make some unique chargers, including one of the most powerful EV chargers in the world. The company also focuses on high-quality products that are easy to maintain.
EVgo partnered with ABB to create high power charging stations in California. Therefore, you can trust that the EVgo charging stations utilize the best technology. But what really makes this company worth paying attention to is not the technology used. Instead, it is how dedicated they are to their mission of speeding up EV adoption.
The company already has over 800 charging stations in 35 states, and they welcome all electric vehicles. Moreover, their app and fees ensure you always get the lowest price in the easiest way. The company does this by basing the pricing off of the utility cost in the area. There are even multiple payment options that include:
- EVgo Membership
- The EVgo Plus
EVgo also focuses on sustainability, taking its dedication to cleaner energy to a new high. The company purchases a kilowatt-hour (kWh) Renewable Energy Credit (REC) for every kWh consumed on its network. That equates to 100% renewable energy across its charging stations.
There was a time when people believed Blink would become the largest EV charging company in the market. While times have changed and other companies have overtaken Blink, it is still a powerhouse. Blink EV charging stations are scattered across the US, and it is constantly expanding its network.
In fact, just recently, Blink made a deal with Bridgestone Retail Operations. The deal involved the deployment of 50 charging stations at 25 Firestone Complete Auto Care and Wheel Works service centers. While this is only a small step, it could become much bigger if the charging stations are effective.
Blink is also dedicated to expanding its network where people want it most. There is a way to request an EV charging station on their website. While their expansion to the requested area is not guaranteed, it does offer the potential for the company to cover areas that might not get as much attention by other companies.
Beam is another 100% sustainable EV charging company that provides a unique twist on the usual charging station. The main draw of Beam is the fact that the company’s charging stations can go up in minutes. Unlike other charging station providers, Beam builds their charging stations in advance to make setup simple.
The charging stations can be erected in as little as four minutes, and since they only take up the space of a parking spot, they do not impact parking capacity. The charging stations also rely on solar energy, with each one having its own solar panel, eliminating the need for electrical work and power lines.
While the energy source of the Beam charging stations means they have a finite amount of juice per day, it is an easy thing to work around. With the right number of stations, running out of power is unlikely.
Founded in 2009, Rivian Automotive, Inc. is a company dedicated to making some interesting electric vehicles. The core concept of their vehicles is adventure, from the design to the functionality. Their charging stations have the same concept, with the company calling their network the Rivian Adventure Network.
Currently, the network is nationwide, utilizing DC fast chargers to add 140 miles in 20 minutes to their R1 vehicles. The goal is to continue connecting cities along popular routes while also adding more charging stations to off-road destinations. Rivian embraces adventure, and so do the charging stations.
To that end, Rivian has a plan in place to put up more than 3,500 DC fast chargers through 2023. The plan includes 600 sites, which will allow people to travel across the country and to some great places in the US. While the network is not complete, it is a promising endeavor from a company that embraces its identity.
NIO claims to be the world’s first smart power solution. While the claims are bold, they do have a very interesting approach to EV power chargers and stations. The company operates a mobile internet-based solution. It involves extensive networks that not only involve charging batteries but battery swap facilities.
NIO Power, as it is called, is all about catering to any need. That is done through charging, swapping, and even upgrading. It also utilizes the Power Cloud to enhance the experience. The various solutions they offer in their Power series include the:
- Home 2.0
- Home Plus
- Swap Station
The company already has its basic infrastructure up and running, including the battery swap stations, and they are continuing to expand. NIO even offers Power Mobile, which brings a mobile power bank to you. NIO is seeing major success with features like that, free battery swap and out-of-town power services, and fantastic power plans.
Electric vehicles are becoming a bigger part of the transportation market, meaning there is a need for infrastructure to support the growth. Fortunately, many companies are looking to fulfill those needs. Moreover, with the government supporting EV charging stations across the US, expect to see major growth in the next few years.