What is Destination Charging?

Destination charging is the use of public charging stations at places where people spend extended periods of time, such as hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls.

Application of Destination Charging

Destination charge points are located at areas that are considered an endpoint, i.e., the final destination of a driver’s trip—stores, malls, hotels, restaurants, airports, etc. This contrasts with en-route charging, which also relates to trips but instead happens between the start and endpoint of a trip, such as DC chargers at highway rest areas.

Making this distinction is especially important for site hosts and businesses in the EV charging industry—charge point operators (CPOs) and electric mobility service providers (eMSPs). Location plays a role in all aspects of having EV charging stations—from planning and installation to operation and setting up charging rates.

As an example of some points of consideration regarding destination charging, these types of networks require more CPs but less power than, say, en-route charging, where rapid chargers are needed. The reason is EV owners tend to spend more time at endpoint destinations, so charging can take up more time than if it needs to be done while on the road. Moreover, installing AC fast chargers is cheaper as an investment and in terms of electricity consumption, as well as less taxing on the grid than rapid DC charge points.

Importance of Destination Charging

There are several reasons why, according to market analysts, destination charging will become one of the most important, if not the most important, factors of the EV charging infrastructure.

  • First, most personal vehicle trips, in general, happen within, not between cities, which makes the case why destination charging is more prevalent than en-route charging. As the market grows and more EVs start crossing the cities, the demand for a convenient urban charging network will increase.
  • Second, home charging will likely not be enough to meet the growing need for EV chargers. This is especially so in areas where people live in apartment buildings as opposed to single-family homes. Thus, drivers who don’t have access to charging at home will need a practical alternative to maintaining a sufficient state of charge (SOC) for their EVs. What makes destination charging convenient in that regard is that places like restaurants, shops, and similar facilities are usually within a convenient distance, making for easy access to charging.
  • Third, this projected growth makes destination charging a lucrative business niche for charge point operators (CPOs) and electric mobility service providers (eMSPs), considering that as the market grows, destination charging will be expected from customers.

Practical Examples of Destination Charging

  • A supermarket places charge points so shoppers who drive EVs can charge while doing their shopping.
  • A restaurant offers EV charging to patrons. It increases customer satisfaction and provides extra revenue to the facility (provided the restaurant charges patrons for their sessions). Also, the business can increase its patronage by attracting EV drivers who came solely to charge their vehicles.
  • A hotel adds EV charging as a free extra for its guests. Finding hotels with EV charging is still a rarity, but at the same time, it could be an excellent selling point and a decision factor for EV-driving guests. This way, they can plan their trip in advance, ease charging anxiety, and have a place where they can charge to explore the surroundings and get back home.

Additional Information about Destination Charging

  • Destination charging is one area where owning an EV overshadows internal combustion engine vehicles. Installing a destination charger is way easier and cheaper than installing a “destination fuelling station.” This low barrier to entry is a win-win for everyone involved. It helps build a convenient charging infrastructure for drivers, brings additional revenue to businesses, and helps with lowering transportation emissions.
  • Destination charging is not a substitute for other types of charging, such as en-route, home and workplace charging, or fleet charging. It is merely another piece added to the mix of charging locations necessary to build a network that will encourage EV ownership.
  • As a matter of fact, having EV chargers on-site may become a governmental requirement for businesses. Therefore, getting an EV charging network installed early on can be more efficient from a practical and financial point of view than waiting until the last minute.

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