New business models will dominate the EV ecosystem
The EV business throws up a lot of business possibilities for every stakeholder in the business. The current period is an exciting period where most firms are busy working on the Capex / OPEX and the business realisations of various business models.
In the next 2-3 years, there will be a host of new business models being opened up and many businesses will fail and a few will stand out to be known as the next unicorns.
Apart from the whole business of vehicle making and after sales services, EVs will also drive a host of new business models in the EV ecosystem business going forward. Our discussions with various industry observers and clients have thrown some light on this. Some of them are:
- Auto OEM’s working towards setting up a back end EV charging business as well to secure the overall reliability to the end customer – e.g – The CV business with Ashok Leyland and Sun Mobility partnership for a Robotic battery swapping initiative for its e-buses.
- Likewise, similar noises are being heard in the 2W and 3W business segment as well, where the global business models of the likes of GOGORO of Taiwan are being replicated with a sleek lithium battery swapping stations being provided for and the overall cost of vehicle ownership comes down to the vehicle owner.
- If the battery swapping business model succeed, we could see several battery service providers also coming up for various vehicle categories – the level of players and investments and technology will depend on the type of vehicle these are used for.
- There are also discussions on how to refurbish used buses and convert them to e-buses by bringing in a drive train, thereby reducing the overall cost of e-buses. It would be a test of these firms capability to “lightweight” the existing buses and the right power from their drive trains.
- Since fleet cars are the most prime candidates for faster EV adaption, they are also keenly watching the EV charging space and taking up positions either to set up their own network to secure their vehicle for charging or partner with other players.
- The government, as part of their push for EV is pushing a host of government bodies and agencies to set up public charging infrastructure in government / public places – railways stations / metro stations etc. It would be worthwhile to see the financial success of these stations and their larger contribution to the EV business.
- Public charging infrastructure services – Actually a no brainer in this, we could see new private sector charging Infra players trying to occupy this unexplored market in India. Many of them are already in advanced stages of their planning and implementation.
- Similarly, utilities will see this space a new market for them and will make all efforts to be a key player in this business and most financially sound utilities are already planning and implementing this business in India.
- Since the whole EV charging business is all about the right piece of the real estate in urban centers, the existing oil marketing firms with a large network of fuel pumps are also interested in setting up EV charging stations and the viability is being worked on now.
- Like the erstwhile cable business, which had a cable operator for every clusters, we could see the emergence of a “Cluster charging operator” specifically for 3W e-auto and e-rickshaws. Some unorganized level operations are already on and we could see this business becoming more organised and achieving scales.
- Most large builders & developers and facilities management firms will also be getting into this business of providing for and maintaining EV chargers in the premises of office complexes, large condominiums, gated residential societies and in townships.
- The whole business of getting the EV ecosystems closely linked to every member of the value chain through smart apps and digital payments will also fuel many tech-startups in this business.
Apart from government incentives, we could also see many international financing agencies opening their green funds to fund some of these business models and last mile impact and feasibility are the key for most of these business models. May the best win.