In the United States, there are over 105,000 gas stations. Ten companies own over half of America’s gas stations. The top ten companies are dominated by major oil companies like Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP. The world has begun to move from combustion engine vehicles (CEVs) to electric vehicles (EVs). Who will dominate America’s EV charging stations of the future? Utilities, oil companies, state governments, entrepreneurs and technology companies are all evaluating the value of EV charging stations in America.
In 2017, there were over 265 million registered vehicles in the United States. In 2017, there were only 750,000 EVs in the United States. American automobile manufacturers estimate there will be over 20 million EVs by 2020 and over 90 million EVs by 2030. The value of owning charging stations across America could be significant.
Oil companies like Shell and BP have already made significant investments into EV charging stations. A few utilities have begun to invest in charging stations for business or city governments with large pools of EVs. In America, technology companies or entrepreneurs should never be counted out in the race to dominate EV charging stations.
Personally, I would put my money on the oil companies to win the EV charging station race. The oil companies already own the land, which is a major expense. Oil companies are well run companies with strong financial balance sheets. Purchasing EV charging stations for their existing gas stations is a relatively minor expense.
Gas stations today, make the greatest profit from the sale of snacks and soft drinks, not the sale of gasoline. This model would also apply to oil companies that install EV charging stations. In my opinion, new entrants in the EV charging station race will face significantly higher startup costs and higher operating costs than oil companies.