The Challenges and Potential of EV Chargers and Cartop Advertising in the OOH Industry

The Challenges and Potential of EV Chargers and Cartop Advertising in the OOH Industry

SignValue recently completed a valuation of EV charger and cartop display advertising assets for a NYC investment firm. While the majority of Out-of-Home revenue is still generated by static and digital billboards, there are countless new companies going into uncharted OOH waters with new display formats.

Neither EV chargers nor cartop advertising are tried and tested business models. A great example of the struggles in these emerging advertising mediums is Volta. Volta is an EV Charger network with digital advertising screens. Volta essentially installed their chargers for free, hoping that the advertising revenue would generate the necessary profits. It didn’t. Volta went from over a $2 billion dollar valuation to being bought out by Shell for $169 million. The valuation was most certainly based on speculation, strategic positioning by an oil company, and the future of EV rather than advertising dollars.

As for cartops, no one is really doing well in this market either. During our market research, we discovered that cartop CPMs go as low as $1 and have dismally low occupancy rates, around 25-40%, with the major players. While there are incredible geo-fencing capabilities with cartops, the demand and capability have yet to gain notable traction.

There are several new place-based digital mediums that need to iterate and evolve to become stable members of the OOH industry. New mediums are refreshing to see, but during a recession, new digital advertising channels may be the first to be cut from a marketing budget.
To learn more about the EV Charger and Cartop advertising markets, BroadSign and OOHToday have excellent articles concerning their risks and pitfalls.

A Guide to EV Place-Based Advertising (

Understanding Volta’s $2.2 Billion Valuation and the Complexities of OOH’s Tech Worth (OOH Today)