Aug 16, 2021 2 min read

EV chargers meet programmatic advertising

EV chargers meet programmatic advertising

The increased popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) has surfaced a unique opportunity for companies to innovate around the infrastructure that will power them. Volta Charging is one such company that wants to capitalize on the increased amount and visibility of EV chargers.

Volta aims to serve ads bought programmatically to EV owners looking for a quick battery top-up. Massive screens on each side of Volta chargers display DOOH (digital out of home) ads to drivers and pedestrians alike. Advertisers can buy the ad space on a Volta charger through their partner SSP Place Exchange.

The success of Volta is inextricably tied to EV adoption, but this may not present any significant risk. Data provider IHF predicts that EVs will make up 15% of vehicle sales globally by 2025 and 23% by 2030, with a 70% gain in 2021 alone.

Commercial Partnerships

More electric cars mean more need for chargers that will inevitably end up in high visibility areas. Volta wants to place their chargers in high-traffic areas like shopping centers, where they are guaranteed to command the attention of potential consumers.

Volta takes on half the cost to install a charger with commercial partners (store, mall, stadium, etc.) taking on the other half. Volta will also collect a recurring fee from the partners in addition to retaining ad revenue. Volta projects that 37% of its revenue will come from advertising and sponsorships by 2025.

All Volta chargers at this site were placed in prominent and high-visibility locations. The chargers occupied the closest parking spots to restaurants and businesses.

Even though Volta collects an installation fee and recurring fee, Volta claims that their "elegant charging solutions attract more highly engaged visitors to your property, for longer periods of time".

The promise of conveniently located charging could attract affluent individuals who can afford high price EVs. The first 30 minutes of charging is free for drivers, with additional charge time priced at the local market’s typical rate.

Advertising with Volta

Volta announced that they will make ad inventory available through PlaceExchange, an SSP that specializes in DOOH supplementing their already available inventory via Vistar Media. Buyers can access Volta inventory through DSPs integrated with PlaceExchange, like The Trade Desk, MediaMath, or Amobee. Buyers can purchase via programmatic guaranteed or private marketplace auctions.

The screens on the chargers are capable of delivering unique ad experiences via integrated motion tracking. Ad creatives can respond to movements of users passing by or waving motions by a user standing in front of the screen.

Volta can also make dynamic signals available that marketers can utilize to adapt their ad creatives to specific situations. Creatives can adapt to the current weather or the model of the vehicle plugged in.

Volta currently operates 1,700 chargers, and they predict that they will install 26,000 by the end of 2025. Volta plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange through a business combination agreement with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Tortoise Acquisition Corp. II.

Trey Titone
Trey Titone
VP, Product Management at NBCUniversal & Author/Founder of Ad Tech Explained.
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