Adoption of electric vehicles in Canada is growing, partly due to the ever-growing importance of eco-friendly solutions across all aspects of life, but also because access to EV charging stations is rapidly increasing. Another aspect making EV chargers an appealing business opportunity across Canada is the integration of simple and convenient unattended EV charging payment methods.
Every day, more and more Canadians are making the switch to environmentally-friendly solutions of all types, from the cleaning products we use at home to the energy sources that power our daily lives. Perhaps the most visible example of this is the rapidly increasing interest in electric vehicles among consumers and businesses alike. The advantages of switching from gasoline and diesel engines to electric power are well-documented, and as technology continues to advance, these benefits are becoming even more profound.
However, as with any new technology, the adoption rates among some demographic groups and geographic regions vary. These variances can be due to a wide range of factors, such as lack of accurate information about electric vehicles, perceived disadvantages based on dated assumptions about EV technology, or the shortage of necessary infrastructure to support these types of vehicles.
While those first two examples are being addressed with educational outreach efforts and widespread marketing campaigns, the issue of infrastructure support for electric vehicles is focused on access to charging stations in convenient locations across Canada. Without easy access to charging stations for electric vehicles, charge duration and driving range are often the biggest concerns of both consumers and businesses when evaluating the viability of electric vehicles.
Growing Demand & Access to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Canada
According to the most recent set of statistics from Natural Resources Canada, there are over 6,200 electric vehicle charging stations across Canada, with many more being added each year. In addition, it surprises many people to learn that the Canadian Automobile Association reports that the average driving distance for a typical modern electric vehicle on a single charge is approximately 450 km. It’s an impressive figure and certainly goes to show how far electric vehicle and battery technology has advanced in such a short time. Plus, engineers continue to develop better batteries, more efficient electric motors, and faster charging-solutions. In fact, some recent estimates state that by 2025 charging times could potentially be reduced to as little as just 10 minutes.
This combination of technological advances and infrastructure creates a circular process that continues to build on itself; technology advancements make EVs better and more affordable, increasing demand for charging stations. As more charging stations are built, electric vehicles become a more viable option for an increasingly large portion of the Canadian population, thereby driving demand. It’s a perfect example of the snowball effect, where the more it rolls on, the bigger it gets, and momentum grows. All of these factors together have dramatically increased the demand for electric vehicles among Canadian consumers, and made EV fleets a far more cost-effective alternative for many businesses.
For the majority of the time, electric vehicles will undoubtedly be charged by consumers at their homes and by businesses at their fleet parking lots or garages when not in use. The rest of the time, remote charging stations are required to keep batteries topped up and ready. These charging stations can be found in a variety of places, such as standalone charging stations similar to traditional gasoline stations, as well as in the parking lots and garages of office buildings, hotels, malls & shopping centers, airports, arenas, and many other such locations.
Naturally, using one of these stations to top up the batteries of an electric vehicle isn’t free, but how exactly are the charges calculated and processed in a way that makes it easy for customers and profitable for the business offering the power?
How Do Customers Pay at an EV Charger?
The first thing to note is that not all electric vehicles use the same type of power connector, so the driver will need to ensure they’ve pulled up to a compatible charging station for their make and model of vehicle. Furthermore, there are different ‘levels’ of charging categories that are determined by the speed at which they can charge an EV battery. Level 1 charging is the slowest, and often refers to at-home 110-volt charging where the battery is plugged into a wall outlet overnight. Level 2 charging offers a faster charge than a basic 110-volt charging system and is the most common type of charging station available. Level 3 charging stations are the fastest solution, which can charge a battery to nearly full capacity in as little as just one hour, however they are currently not nearly as widespread as Level 2 stations and carry a higher cost to use.
The billing model for charging an electric vehicle can follow several different formats. Some public charging stations are available for use free of any cost, however most will require paying for power. Most commonly, paid EV stations will apply a small initial connection fee to activate the charging unit, and then bill either per-minute of use or per-KWH of consumption. In addition, some charging station providers will offer either a pay-as-you-go model, where you simply pay with a credit card each time you charge up, or a subscription model where you’d be billed back to your account.
Regardless of the billing method used by the charging station, the payments themselves are generally all processed in a similar way using an unattended credit and debit card terminal. Payment processing solutions like these must be configured the right way to best suit the environments where EV charging stations are placed. For example, as these charge stations are often outdoors, weather-resistance is of critical importance, and users will often want to take care of the payment quickly, so speed will be of the essence.
Unattended EV Charging Payment Solutions
For business owners in need of a flexible and reliable unattended payment solution for their EV charging stations, the Tap & Charge payment processing system offers many significant advantages. Tap & Charge terminals can be used indoors but they also come weatherized to be rugged and durable for operation in even the most extreme weather conditions that Canada can experience. They’re also intuitive and easy to use, with a simple interface that can be designed to meet your unique specifications.
Tap & Charge terminals offer complete customization of the billing model, allowing your business to set the rates and charge criteria, and alter them as the need arises due to changing fee structures or overhead costs.
Customers will be able to pay at a Tap & Charge station with a wide range of payment methods, such as debit and credit cards, as well as digital wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay. The process is fast and easy, using near-field communication (NFC) technology to deliver a contactless experience for customers who simply need to tap their card or mobile device to the terminal to authorize their transaction and get on their way in less time.
For added value, you can even offer Tap & Charge customers a unique mobile app experience to interact with your charging stations and handle payments without ever needing to physically touch the payment interface. They can choose from pre-set charging amounts or even update their desired charging amount remotely, right from their device using a customer mobile app.
Tap & Charge systems from MONEXgroup are ideal for EV charging payment processing in public parking lots, private garages, transit terminals, refueling stations, rest stops, and all other types of locations where the convenience and utility of an on-site charging terminal adds value to customers and drives revenue for businesses.
Equip Your EV Charging Business with Tap & Charge Payment Processing from MONEXgroup
There’s no stopping the trend of electric vehicles hitting the road in larger numbers each and every year, so the direction your business needs to take is clear. Equipping your operation with the right type of EV charging systems and pairing them with a versatile and flexible payment processing solution from MONEXgroup will help attract more customers, increase revenue, and boost customer satisfaction.
EV charging station payments are the wave of the future, and your business needs to be ready to win with the right payment processing provider.
Contact MONEXgroup today to learn more about our Tap & Charge payment solutions.
Author: Layal Scheirich, Head of Sales at MONEXgroup
Bio: With 18 years of experience in payment processing and merchant services, Layal has seen in-store POS technology evolve from its humble beginnings to contactless, unattended, mobile and online alternatives. Today, Layal is an inspiration to the MONEXgroup’s team and a go-to source of information related to payment processing. She is enthusiastic to share her knowledge with audiences interested in cutting-edge technologies available today, such as unattended payment for self-serve kiosks, e-commerce online payment gateways, virtual terminals, and contactless and mobile payment solutions.
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