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Bits & Watts Initiative is a cross-campus effort of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

Business Models for Charging Service Providers

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PI: Ram Rajagopal; CoPIs: Arun Majumdar, Charles Kolstad,
and Liang Min; Student: Marie-Louise Alt

Charging electric vehicles at home or the workplace is usually not time critical. This allows considerable potential to shift or manipulate charging in order to take advantage of lower electricity prices, manage consumption peaks, or provide ancillary services. Charging Service Providers (CSPs) can potentially provide those services while serving their clients. Yet, to our knowledge, existing business models take only limited advantage of these opportunities.

In this project, we develop a business model for a CSP. Similar to a cell phone plan, we design contract menus where drivers can buy a mileage plan and allow the CSP to control drivers’ charging according to the conditions of the contract type. Contracts address different types of drivers, including for instance drivers with varying degrees of risk aversion or expected driving ranges. We evaluate the economic value of such a business model. Apart from a theoretical analysis and simulation, we hope to validate our results and assess customer choices regarding contract menus in a field experiment.

This work analyzes potential value streams and business models in the EV charging market. We hope to inspire new services which are able to unlock synergies of the power and transportation systems, enabling customer-centric charging while decreasing system operation costs and improving the integration of renewable energies.