It’s becoming increasingly clear that providing EV charging is a great way to draw in new customers as more make the switch to electric. Whether you’re a retailer, a charge point operator, or a fleet manager, it’s worth considering how smart charging could elevate this customer experience — further setting you apart from the competition at this crucial time.
What is smart charging?
Smart charging allows businesses to take more control over each charger to help manage energy demand and also allows users to see more information through an app or online platform. If business owners want to open up these charging points to the public, it’s vital to have smart charging capabilities to optimize pricing, energy use, and availability.
The benefits of smart charging can be split into two distinct categories: those for the end-user and those for the business.
Benefits of smart charging to a business:
- Avoid costs for excessive electricity use with dynamic load management
- Gather important data on how each charger is used
- Streamline maintenance tasks
- Use charging insights to plan expansions
- Cut costs with peak shaving
- Gain more visibility into energy use, costs, income, and other data points
Benefits to those using the charge points:
- Improved user experience
- The ability to see availability through an app or website
- Access to detailed information about the charging session
- Problems can be solved more quickly as support staff have all the data in front of them
Making charging easier
While smart charging can offer numerous benefits to a business, the ability to elevate the customer experience shouldn’t be overlooked. Because smart charging software collects data in order to allow the owner to monitor and control power use and pricing, users can also benefit from the information gathered.
For example, a charge point operator might have its own app that shows the location of all chargers. Smart charging technology can tell a user which chargers are currently occupied. This prevents queues and allows a driver to find an available charger on the network.
Increased number of charge points
For businesses that provide charging to employees or fleet vehicles, those charge points could be opened to the public out of hours. For example, an office building might allow the public to charge there at the weekend when the car park is empty. Smart charging allows the facility manager to switch availability to the public on and off as needed.
This benefits EV drivers because they’ll have more charging options at certain times of the week, but it’ll also be clear when they can and can’t charge. Having this information available on an app or platform, with quick insight into charge point availability, improves the customer experience once again. On top of this, it allows the business to add a new revenue stream without interrupting its normal operations.
Better support experience
If something does go wrong with a charger and support staff can’t speak to the unit, there’s little they can do unless someone is sent out to take a look. This doesn’t help the driver who simply wants to charge their car and be on their way. With a smart charger using the open charge point protocol (OCPP), however, support staff can get a better insight into the issue, restart the device, or initiate the charging session remotely.
This means customer issues can be resolved more quickly, making it more likely those people will return.
How to implement smart charging technology
CURRENT’s cloud-based platform is a highly customizable solution that allows you to provide more to your customers while gaining better visibility into your chargers and how they are used. On top of the benefits to the end-user, the platform gives you all the tools needed to manage operations, energy use, app functions, billing, and more.
Whether you’re already up and running or you’re looking to start a charging business, transitioning to a smart EV charging platform could take as little as two weeks.
If you’d like to find out more about CURRENT’s smart charging solution and what our onboarding process looks like, get in touch here.