How Energy Providers are Shifting Gears in the EV Subscription Space

Global energy giants are tapping into the EV subscription trend, intertwining mobility and energy like never before. Discover how they're driving sustainable solutions, transforming EVs from mere vehicles to key players in the energy ecosystem.

Michael Higgins

Co-Founder, Managing Director

Published on 

June 19, 2023


Last updated on 

June 21, 2023

Key Takeaways

The EV subscription model - an automotive trend on the rise - is the perfect conduit for a surprising new entrant: energy providers. Amidst a whirlwind of technology advancements, sustainability goals, and consumer preferences, energy companies are driving into an unfamiliar landscape—the retail arena of car subscriptions. It's a development as exciting as it is unexpected.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are no longer just vehicles. They're potent symbols of a future where clean energy reigns supreme. They're also becoming unexpected linchpins in the plans of global energy companies like Origin Energy, AGL, Octopus Energy, and AES Corporation.

As we transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, these companies are discovering that EVs form a crucial part of their value chain. Their innovative strategy? Tapping into the growing trend of car subscriptions, offering EVs as a bundled service with home electricity and charging.

The Electric Vehicle Paradox: A Problem or an Opportunity?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are increasing in popularity, with more households choosing to swap their fossil fuel-burning machines for clean, quiet electric motors. While this brings joy to environmentalists and tech enthusiasts alike, it poses an interesting question for energy companies. These new EVs are no petite electricity consumers. In fact, home EV charging can escalate home energy usage by up to 40%. That's a significant surge!

But is this increased energy demand a problem or an opportunity for energy providers? Interestingly, it's the latter. The increased energy demand doesn't just translate to higher revenue—it also sparks the desire for complementary energy products. That means more solar panels sparkling on rooftops and more home battery storage units humming in garages.

Pioneering this innovative intersection of energy and automotive are companies like Australia's Origin Energy and AGL, UK's Octopus Energy, and US's AES Corporation, through its subsidiary Motor. These energy providers are not only supplying the extra juice that EVs need but are also putting EVs right into consumers' hands through subscription models.

The Trojan Horse Strategy

With EVs becoming a crucial component of their value chain, energy providers are finding ingenious ways to leverage this potential. Enter the EV subscription model—a "Trojan Horse" strategy for these businesses to turbocharge their revenues and bolster customer retention.

By offering an electric vehicle on subscription, energy providers can bundle home electricity, charging services, and potentially other products like solar panels and battery storage. It’s a potent combination, one that could prove irresistible to a generation of consumers seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and enjoy the convenience of a one-stop shop for their energy needs.

The beauty of this approach is that it satisfies both the customer’s needs and the provider’s ambitions. Customers get a sleek new EV humming in their driveway, plus a streamlined way to manage and potentially reduce their energy bills. Energy providers, on the other hand, secure a continuous, multi-faceted revenue stream and forge deeper customer relationships.

Driving Towards Integration: Vehicle-to-Grid

As we delve deeper into this fascinating melding of sectors, we must address a pivotal concept: vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. V2G flips the conventional understanding of vehicles on its head. Instead of being mere energy consumers, EVs equipped with V2G can feed excess power back into the grid, functioning as mobile energy storage units.

This technology presents a stunning opportunity for energy providers. By integrating V2G into their EV subscription model, companies like Octopus Energy and AGL could further enhance their value proposition. Not only can subscribers drive clean, but they can also contribute to grid stability during peak demand and potentially earn credits for their energy contributions.

The Road Ahead

With each passing year, the lines between the automotive and energy industries blur further. The foray of energy providers like Origin Energy, AGL, Octopus Energy, and AES Corporation into the EV subscription space signals a shift towards a future where mobility isn't just about getting from point A to point B. Instead, it's an interconnected ecosystem where our vehicles don't just use energy—they're an integral part of the energy cycle.

As we shift gears into this brave new world, we're not just talking about selling energy or vehicles. It's about providing a sustainable, all-encompassing solution for the 21st-century consumer.

About the author
Michael is the co-founder and managing director at Loopit, a SaaS platform specialising in new mobility initiatives such as car subscription, rideshare and digital rental solutions. When he’s not launching new businesses, Michael enjoys motorsports, racing cars himself as well as boating.
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