“Approximately 120,000 e-cars were sold annually in 2012. The same number were sold in 2021 – but per week”, says Rafael Tomososchi from the OMV E-Mobility & Retail Innovation Team, who also knows which four big drivers are behind this increase.
In addition to China, which is continuing to promote the production of electric vehicles, followed by Europe, electromobility is now also gaining popularity in the USA. On top of this are the favorable legal regulations such as subsidies, tax rebates or lower insurance costs for e-vehicles. What’s more, the technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the past 20 years: Batteries have steadily improved, capacities and ranges increased, and manufacturers are learning from the first cycles. Now the main focus is on increasing efficiency by reducing the weight of the vehicles and further reducing charging times. All this in turn leads to increased demand from customers.
“Electromobility is a highly digitalized business. The solutions to run it reliably are now mature – both in terms of vehicles and charging infrastructure”
Rafael Tomososchi, eMobility & Retail Innovation
The forecasts: Sharp growth
So, it seems that the future will be electric, as also reflected in the following figures: In 2021, there were around 16.5 million e-vehicles on the road worldwide. According to a study by the IEA, electric vehicles are expected to increase from the current 10% of total sales to 60% by 2030. And while around 80% of drivers currently charge their vehicles at home or at work and just 20% at public charging stations, studies show that this ratio will shift to 60/40 in the next few years. All of this means that we need more e-charging stations to meet this demand – and we need them quickly, or more precisely, at and with high speed.
“As OMV, our job is to be there for our customers and to supply them with the energy they need. Green mobility is one of the big issues of our time. That is why we are transforming our service station business and investing more than EUR 400 million in the coming years to build up our own e-mobility business”, says Peter Vysny, Vice President of the eMobility & Retail Innovation Team. The main difference to the existing e-mobility offering, where OMV and its partner Smatrics have been providing electricity at filling stations since 2017, is that under the eMotion brand everything from the proprietary software to the app to the charging plugs comes from OMV. In January, the first eMotion charging station opened in Austria, and many more are set to follow: “By 2030, there should be 2,000 charging points in our core retail markets of Austria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia”, says Peter Vysny. To put this in context: You can currently charge your electric vehicle at over 400,000 points in Europe; in Austria there are almost 15,000 public charging points according to the Austrian Federal Association for Electric Mobility.
In this way, OMV is eliminating some of the concerns of e-car owners and those for whom charging infrastructure is still a barrier: “In 2030, we will be there for our customers with eMotion charging points every 100 to 150 kilometers in our core markets”, says Peter Vysny.
“With eMotion, you will be able to charge all over Austria with electricity that is 100% from renewable energy sources”
Peter Vysny, Vice President eMobility & Retail Innovation
Far more eMotion charging points from 2024
An ambitious goal, but one that is entirely achievable despite the challenges, says Rafael Tomososchi. He expects a significant increase in OMV eMobility charging points, especially in 2024 to 2026: “A waiting period of about 12-18 months is to be expected for the delivery of the hardware given the high demand in this booming business. We have already secured our demand for the next one and a half years”, he says. The demand for skilled employees is just as high: “E-mobility is a young business that has only been stable for about five years. This means that it is not easy to find experts with many years of experience in the field. Of course, suitably qualified people are currently in especially high demand on the market”, adds Peter Vysny.
Fast charging is the future
The approval processes for the construction of grid connections and transformer stations are also time-consuming and costly: “We have already looked at countless locations, but most of them do not have the necessary grid capacities. So we have to build connection points and transformer stations to get the energy to where we need it”, explains Rafael Tomososchi.
After all, one of the most important customer wishes in terms of electromobility is charging speed. With eMotion, most of the charging stations are ultra fast ones. Depending on the type of vehicle and battery capacity, a full charge can be reached within 20 minutes under ideal conditions.
Service hub at the right location
The stations must also be well positioned in terms of location and customer frequency. Here, the team takes a close look at how many electric cars are registered in the area and how many charging points are needed at the location.
And as always, OMV not only reliably supplies its customers with energy, but also provides all the services that go with it. In the case of electric mobility, this also includes the development of seamless technology and a user-friendly app. At the charging point terminal, there is a simple payment system with the option to pay by card. And while you replenish your own reserves at an OMV filling station with a cup of coffee and a fresh snack as you charge the car, you are also in a safe and clean environment with friendly staff – not always a given when we think of remote charging stations in dark back alleys.