Selecting the right smart EV charging station solutions is not simple for charge point operators of EV charging networks and Electro mobility service providers. Finally, they are the ones who will significantly influence how EV drivers feel about their whole experience with electric vehicles.
It’s not the cars! If people have a bad experience or regret buying an EV, it’s usually because of problems with charging and not because they didn’t like the car.
Charge point operators (CPO) and Electro mobility service providers (EMSP) are the ones who carry the most burdens in e-mobility. If you are still confusing the two, read our blog to discover the differences between EV CPO and EMSP.
On the other hand, a satisfied EV driver can be very loyal and a real brand ambassador when talking about his preferred EV charging station network.
In this article, we will take a look at a typical customer’s journey into the world of owning an electric vehicle.
We will focus on what challenges both users, charge point operators, and service providers face when choosing the right Smart EV charging station solutions.
Table of contents
- E-mobility on the rise
- Home or work charging are the main EV charging station solutions
- How drivers start their EV journey
- The “joy” of charging at public EV charging stations
- Electric vehicle charging power and plugs
- Different types of EV chargers
- Finding the right EV charging point nearby
- What is the best smart EV charging station solution?
- EV charging station solutions for customer experience and loyalty
E-mobility on the rise
Electric vehicles are still a relatively new thing for most people. Although if you follow the media, you will get the impression that everybody is going EV. But the reality is that the number of electric vehicles in total is still relatively low.
New EV sales numbers are growing fast, especially in 2021 and 2022. However, apart from a few countries like Norway, selecting an electric vehicle over a “normal” ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle is something most still don’t consider.
For now, owning an EV is something for “early adopters.” It’s a term that refers to an individual who uses a new product, innovation, or technology before others. And this is a good thing since there has to be a lot done on smart EV charging solutions to make EVs more appealing to the general public.
Home or work charging are the main EV charging station solutions
There is no point in owning an EV for most people if they can’t charge it at home or work. But if they can, they only need to ensure they have enough range to do their daily routine.
Now the fun part can begin – selecting a new car. That is the part that most of us love!
The search, the hunt, the selection, and the first time you drive your new car home.
How drivers start their EV journey
Typically, someone considering buying an electric vehicle will do much research before buying. They will consider many aspects before the initial purchase.
- What kind of cars are there on the market, and what models do his preferred brands have?
- What are the models in his price range, and what technical characteristics do they have?
- What is the range they will need, and how much will owning an EV cost them?
- Should they go with a hybrid or a full plug-in EV?
The only thing new EV owners will usually not explore in depth is how they will charge them. I mean, there are many charging station networks with many stations around, so charging should not be a problem, right?
When they are happy with their choice, they proudly become the owners of electric vehicles.
Getting a new electric car, especially if it’s the first one, is probably the highest point in user experience for EV drivers.
From there on, it’s all about user experience, and from the different polls, it’s not so great right now.
The “joy” of charging at public EV charging stations
After the new owner takes his new EV into possession, he is faced with different scenarios. One of them is where to charge in a situation when he can’t charge at home or work. You might think that you just Google “charge points near me,” but it’s not that simple.
Unless you have a Tesla and are in an area with good Tesla charge point coverage, you will discover a confusing world of public chargers. Slow, fast, and rapid chargers, different connectors, different EV charging station solutions with different apps, and free or paid charging points.
To complicate things even more, you will need various phone applications or RDIF cards to charge and pay. Also, the cost of charging can differ depending on the time of day or night. Not to mention that for most charging points, you will not know whether they are available and operative.
Here are some key points about smart EV charging solutions and EV charging networks to clarify this confusion.
Electric vehicle charging power and plugs
A new EV driver must first establish his vehicle’s maximum charging power (EV acceptance rate) and what type of plug his EV has. Also, EVs can already have extra cables and plug converters to make them compatible with different EV charging stations.
That will be the first to filter what public EV charging points he can use.
Let’s look at some popular EVs on the market according to the latest electric car sales statistics.
Tesla charging plugs
Tesla Model 3 uses Type 2 for home and public charging and Tesla-specific CCS for Tesla Supercharger charging points.
On the Model S, you have a Type 2 port and a Tesla Supercharger port. However, on the Tesla X, you have a Type 2 port for all charging, from slow to ultrafast.
But if you are in the market for Tesla, you probably already know that and will get briefed on other options of charging outside of the Tesla charging network.
The Audi Q4 e-tron comes with a 55 kWh or 82 kWh battery, a Type 2 connector for slow and fast charging, and a CCS connector for rapid or superfast charging. It can accept power up to 125 kW DC and 11 kW AC.
The BMW i3 is one of the most popular EVs in Europe. Like Audi, it comes with Type 2 and CCS connectors and can accept power up to 50 kW DC and 11 kW AC.
Smart, for example, has only a Type 2 plug.
The same goes for most other EVs on the market. The plugs are the same. Only the maximum charging level varies from 6,6 kW to 11 kW, so even if the charger can charge faster, this is the most your car will take.
But there are some exceptions, like the Nissan Leaf and Lexus UX 300e, which use a Type 2 plug for slow and fast charging and CHAdeMO connectors for rapid charging.
Smart EV Charging: Unlocking Its Full Potential
Different types of EV chargers
As we already mentioned, there are different types of EV charging solutions on public chargers regarding how fast they can charge a car. Most EV charging networks offer a mix of slow, fast, rapid, and ultrafast charging stations.
- When talking about slow charging stations, it’s usually in the context of home or work charging. Still, there are also some in public networks. Slow charging is mainly carried around 3 kW, with some up to 6 kW. Charging times will vary, but a full charge for a regular EV battery would take 6-12 hours or even longer. Therefore, this is more of an emergency or overnight charging station.
- Fast Type 2 chargers are today’s norm, and they are typically rated at either 7 kW or 22 kW. A fast charger will recharge a regular 40 kWh battery in 4-6 hours or 1-2 hours at 22 kW.
Still, it’s not always about charging full, but about charging enough to get home to your home charger. That is why fast chargers are often placed at supermarkets or restaurants where you will stay for an hour or two.
- Rapid, Ultra Rapid, or Tesla’s Supercharger stations are super fast-charging stations. They can charge at 50 kW, 100kW, 150 kW, or even 350 kW over CCS or CHAdeMO plug. You will usually find them on motorways and close to main routes.
Rapid devices supply high power direct or alternating current – DC or AC – to recharge a car as fast as possible. They can charge an EV in 20 minutes to an hour.
Finding the right EV charging point nearby
These public chargers are usually owned by different charge point operators (EV CPO) or EMSPs. In many cases, an EV driver will have a hard time finding the appropriate one that is on his route, working, and free.
One way is to use the application provided by the manufacturer of the EV. Here Tesla is the leader with its charging network and application.
Another option is to use Google search or third-party apps and websites. Most of these apps and websites are free, but few can require a purchase to use or be add-free.
Most popular are PlugShare, ChargeHub, Chargemap, Chargepoint, and Zapmap, just to name a few. But some of these applications cover only certain countries or areas. Therefore a user must check which works best for him and test them out in his neighborhood.
Some of these apps also enable payments, but in most cases, a user will need to install a certain service provider’s EV charging station solutions every time he visits a new charging point and wants to charge.
So wouldn’t it be nice if there was one app for everything?
What is the best smart EV charging station solution?
There is a way that an EV owner can have just one app, be happy with it, and have a great user experience. All you need is the best EV Charging app!
Here is how it can be done.
A service provider of an EV charging network selects existing and proven Whitelabel EV charging software from Tridens Technology. He then applies his branding to it.
This cloud-based Smart EV Charging station solution enables the service provider to manage an unlimited number of smart car charging stations. It uses remote commands via a web browser or mobile app.
The software supports all smart EV charging functions like:
- Plug and Charge EV charging
- EV Charging roaming
- V2G or Vehicle to Grid technology
- EV charging load balancing
- dynamic EV charging load management
One very important feature that deserves special mention is intelligent EV Charging Billing. It enables customer management, billing, upsells and cross-sells, charging sessions, and various payment options in the local language and local currency.
EV Billing is essential for the success of EV Charging business models with complex price plans and flexible tariffs with prepaid, postpaid & pay-per-charge business models, reports, dashboards, Real-time Analytics, and more.
It’s all the service providers and users of smart EV charging station solutions need for a successful partnership.
EV charging station solutions for customer experience and loyalty
Of course, the user will not see all the complex things happening in this software’s backend. Instead, he will get a clean, fast, and usable application that will show him all the service providers charging stations in the area. There he can charge and pay with the inbuilt payment solution.
What if he is in an area with no charging stations from his selected charging provider? In that case, he can still use the same application for EV Charging Roaming (E Roaming) and charge with no complications on other charging stations.
On top of that, he can receive personalized offers, promotions, and advanced discounts and build a great partnership with the service provider, resulting in long-term loyalty.
Remember, it’s not the electric vehicles that stand in the way of e-mobility rise; it’s the range anxiety that comes from sometimes confusing and poor charging experiences. Let’s change that!
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