Being a future-thinking organization means always planning ahead to meet customer needs and wants, while taking into account how the landscape is changing. And when we take a major step to better serve our clients and end-users, it’s because they need something from us; there’s either a gap in the market, or we’re not serving the EV community as well as we could.
We don’t have the luxury of creating technology for the sake of technology – what we’re building is a better tomorrow for EV drivers, charge point operators, and facility managers by providing the tools that make electric vehicle life simpler.
This is why we’re being open about the features and updates CURRENT is releasing across the rest of 2022. Our clients want to know, and we’re proud to announce what’s coming next in our technical road map.
Two major upcoming advancements to CURRENT’s offering are roaming and spot pricing. Roaming enables users to start charging using their preferred app. For example, if someone in the UK travels to Norway and wants to charge their EV, they can do so without downloading the CURRENT app, making it easier than ever to charge.
We’re very aware that the number of apps that EV drivers often have to download simply to charge their cars can be a little off-putting to potential owners and irritating for existing ones, so this is our solution, which we’ll try in Norway before spreading globally.
The point of roaming is to have software that’s open to everybody, rather than attempting to control everything through our own app. The roaming technology can be used for much more, too: for example, we can give external support companies access to our chargers. And roaming, of course, goes both ways – we can start someone else’s charger, and they can start ours. This opens up the network even further for EV drivers.
Then there’s spot pricing, which is simply a variable pricing strategy following the market price. CURRENT acquires the price for the kilowatt hour (kWh) from the marketplace and we ensure the end-user is paying at least the cost of the energy. It’s important to note that not all location owners want to earn money – some simply want to cover the cost of the power, especially where apartment buildings are concerned. Spot pricing ensures that owners don’t lose money when the kWh price rises.
With this feature, load management will have to be set manually to control the way spot pricing is used and ensure everybody doesn’t simply change their charging time to the cheapest slot and cause a peak in the grid. With our system, we can ensure that local load management is implemented according to the grid tariff, which the location manager sets.
right time, right place
At CURRENT, we’ve been talking about these features almost since the start, and the reason we’re focusing on them now is because they’re more relevant than ever.
The general public has recently become far more aware of power prices as energy costs continue to rise – everyone is looking for times when electricity is cheaper, such as overnight. Last winter, there was an outcry in Norway when the power prices rose by 1,000%, sparking more discussion and awareness than ever. This is why spot pricing is such an important feature for our clients.
Another reason why now is the right time to launch these features is that we’ve spent the last six months solidly building the financial system we have today. This makes it possible for operators and location owners – and everyone else linked to the EV charging ecosystem – to earn money and invoice multiple parties automatically. With this in place and thriving, we’re able to turn our attention to ensuring end-users get the best price for the energy they use and are able to connect with chargers in the most straightforward way.
We know there’s a huge demand for these features because tenders and customers are asking about them every day, and it’s important to us that they not only receive these features, but they understand what they mean.
Some people think they're getting smart charging when they’re not because they don’t necessarily know a lot about the technical side of electricity. But that’s what CURRENT is there for – we are experts, and can supply what you need while being open about the solutions and exactly what you’re getting.
We’ll launch these features in Q3-Q4 of 2022 and things will move quickly from there. All the technology is already prepared and primed, and CURRENT is busy integrating every roaming partner, since there are many of them, starting with the largest.
The main benefit of these features is reduced charging costs. For example, in Norway, spot pricing can help in controlling the offset between different power retail regions in the country. When the price is high in one region, the spot price usually also becomes high, but by reducing the load from EV charging in that period, you will have more stable pricing, allowing any volatility to balance out. It also makes it easier for power retailers to bundle EV charging into their products.
Put simply, these upcoming features create more functionality and a positive user experience for clients who need to tweak our services to fit their business needs. Our job is to make sure that our CPOs have the lowest OPEX and CAPeEX in order to make money, which keeps them happy.
To discover more about what CURRENT can do for you, book a consultation today.