How is IoT Performing in the EV Charging and Smart Grid Market?

Budget boosts and device issues: The 2023 State of IoT Adoption in EV charging

Eseye author


IoT Hardware and Connectivity Specialists


The electric vehicle (EV) charging and smart grid market is growing at speed, driven by consumer demand for clean energy, combined with the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that all UN Member States have committed to.

A reliable and efficient public EV charging infrastructure is pivotal to the market’s ability to increase penetration and revenue by meeting consumers’ expectations. IoT technology is enabling manufacturers and operators to connect vehicles, charging points, and their systems, to allow intelligent data sharing that optimises the charging process. Crucially, this connectivity also enables them to offer advanced, value-add services which improve the driver experience.

The commercial advantages of implementing IoT connectivity have been recognised by the respondents to Eseye’s third annual State of IoT Adoption survey. The ability to enter new markets was the number one benefit cited by those from the EV charging and smart grid sector, with 57% saying they’d achieved this.

The sector’s appetite for investment in IoT is healthy, with almost three quarters (72%) of respondents planning to increase their budgets in the next two years. This was the third highest percentage among the five industries we surveyed.

Expanding EV charging estates

The majority (80%) of businesses in the EV charging and smart grid industry are planning to expand their IoT estates in the next two years. This aligns with the bigger picture: in 2022, 80% of the total respondents to Eseye’s IoT research expected the number of devices in their estate to increase over the next 18 months. In 2023 this trend has strengthened as businesses push forward with scaling their EV charging estates.

While all of the five industry sectors expect the number of devices they currently have in the field to rise, those operating within EV charging plan the biggest jump of all. Their anticipated expansion is 10% higher than their peers’, with 14% expecting their estates to more than treble in size, and 6% to more than quadruple!

This vertical already has the highest number of IoT devices in the field, with 72% of fleets in the range of 1,000 to 100,000 devices – an indication of how IoT technology in this market is really beginning to take off. More than half of sector respondents (52%) said their estates consisted of 1,001 to 5,000 devices. Some early adopters have more established estates, with 17% reporting to have 5,001 to 10,000 devices, while 2% have deployed between 10,001 and 100,000.

The IoT device dilemma

When it comes to unlocking IoT success, 82% of respondents in the EV charging and smart grid sector have found that getting the IoT device right is the key. However, this market is running into more issues with this area than any other, with 71% admitting that their IoT devices are failing to connect due to an issue with the hardware.

This highlights the importance of working with an IoT connectivity partner that has deep device expertise, and which is able to rigorously test the device in various scenarios and environments to ensure it is robust enough to be successfully deployed.

The sector’s top challenges, cited by 79% of respondents, is the ongoing management of the IoT estate. This can prove to be a complex feat that involves juggling multiple mobile operators, contracts, bills, and connectivity management platforms. Finding and securing the right professional services support is another challenge for EV charging providers, with 77% admitting they struggle with this – signaling a strong need for a partner that can offer end-to-end IoT expertise.

Subpar connectivity levels

All the sectors covered in Eseye’s research reported struggling with reliable connectivity. Overall, 78% of respondents said that achieving near 100% global connectivity is crucial to their business case. However, only 1.5% of EV businesses are achieving more than 98% average connectivity levels across their IoT estates, with only 16% achieving greater than 95%.

Downtime poses a real threat to an EV charging provider’s business model, damaging consumer confidence and the company’s reputation. Every minute the charger fails to connect could result in lost revenue and customer churn, not to mention the impact on any unfortunate drivers who end up stranded due to loss of power.

It’s crucial to the success of their IoT projects that EV charging providers don’t settle for mediocre connectivity; aiming for 100% should be the goal. They must also pay more attention to device design: putting the device first will give the greatest chance of future success.

Eseye surveyed 1,009 senior decision-makers across the UK and US who had IoT projects in the EV charging and smart grid, healthcare and medical devices, smart vending, manufacturing, and supply chain and logistics sectors.

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Discover the results of our largest State of IoT Adoption survey to date with insights into the challenges and opportunities that are hindering and helping IoT adoption IoT projects in EV charging and smart grid.

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Eseye author


IoT Hardware and Connectivity Specialists


Eseye brings decades of end-to-end expertise to integrate and optimise IoT connectivity delivering near 100% uptime. From idea to implementation and beyond, we deliver lasting value from IoT. Nobody does IoT better.

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