If you’re starting an EV charging business, whether as a charge point operator running your network or a charge point installer installing and maintaining charge points for your clients, you need a future-proof EV charging management platform.
In this article, we will discuss five of the most important criteria you should consider when selecting the right software solution for your EV charging business.
1. IT’S HARDWARE AGNOSTIC
In most cases, charging stations come with some software that provides only the basics of monitoring and controlling. While these features might be enough to get you started, as your business grows you'll need a complete backend platform.
Your EV charging management platform must support the following features to win location partners and scale with their needs:
- Tariffs management
- Flexible pricing module (per KWh, minutes, start fee, etc.)
- Various discount options
- Mobile apps for the EV driver
- Dynamic Load Management
- Roaming capabilities to connect with other CPOs
In order to achieve the above requirements, seamless integration between hardware and software is one of the most important prerequisites.
The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is the industry standard for connecting EV charging devices with backend management services. Make sure the EV charging platform you choose uses OCPP and can integrate with every charging station that supports it.
Also, an EV charging platform that is hardware agnostic and compliant with OCPP allows you to choose the most durable and maintenance-efficient charging stations.
2. IT OFFERS DYNAMIC LOAD MANAGEMENT
For most locations, if all stations work at their maximum capacity, the available local current is insufficient to power the charge points. Through Dynamic Load Management in EV charging, the available power is automatically distributed among the connected charging stations, so that no local breakers are triggered.
With Dynamic Load Management, you as a Charge Point Operator or Charge Point Installer can earn more business with location hosts by helping them utilise and monetise available power at the location of parking slots with EV charging stations.
By using Dynamic Load Management, multiple electric vehicles can be charged at the same time without overloading the local power grid.
Dynamic Load Management is essential for residential charging and fleet electrification, which is expected to dominate over 60% of the market in Europe and the UK by 2025.
3. IT CAN ACCEPT PAYMENTS FROM EV DRIVERS
You must be able to accept payments directly from your customers, as receiving payments through a third-party provider will drastically decrease your profit margins. A payment processor that best fits your business model and your needs is therefore essential in growing a sustainable EV charging business.
Each location partner has different requirements and uses their parking slots differently. Because of this, you and your partners in the charging network will need to be able to set up flexible pricing options – per KW/h, per minute, start charging (connection) fee, parking fee, etc. Providing the right pricing models is vital for winning major location providers.
The platform must be able to integrate seamlessly with different payment providers and offer a variety of payment methods – pre-stored credit cards, pay-as-you-go, top-up and balance, vouchers, etc.
It is essential to provide different payment options to EV drivers since their preferences vary. In addition, laws in different countries may restrict specific payment methods or require you to offer different payment options. In the UK, for instance, it is mandatory to offer a pay-as-you-go option that does not require registration.
4. IT ALLOWS CHARGING STATIONS TO BE REMOTELY CONTROLLED
Having the right EV charging management platform in place to manage and control your charging network will allow you to scale without the hassle and maintain operational efficiency.
Remote management should be possible via the cloud, including:
- New charging devices can be easily added to the network
- You can remotely monitor and manage charging operations and resolve end-user issues in real time
Remotely restart, start and stop charging sessions, update firmware on a single charger or in bulk, and other functions can be performed without any physical intervention
5. IT SUPPORTS WHITE-LABELLING
With white labelling, all modules of the EV charging management platform, such as EV driver mobile apps, web interfaces and even the backend operator panel, can be branded with your company’s logo, colours, languages and design elements to match your brand identity.
The success of your business depends on the visibility of your brand. A strong brand will help you establish lasting relationships with customers.
Choosing an open, future-proof EV charging management platform will help you build customer trust and maximise profits. It should be stable and reliable, flexible and scalable, support current and future infrastructure, and minimise downtime.
The right EV charging management platform will be easy to use for you as a network operator and will provide excellent service for the EV drivers charging at your network.