The most important player in the electric vehicle charging ecosystem is the driver. No matter how complex the behind-the-scenes EV charging infrastructure is, simplicity is the key when it comes to the EV driver-facing experience.
A critical tool to streamline the driver’s EV charging experience is a comprehensive, but intuitive, simple-to-use self-service app. Customizing the app with your brand identity reinforces your high level of service and strengthens your customer loyalty.
The ideal EV charging app provides these attributes:
Controlling the EV Charging Experience
Range anxiety is one of the key issues facing drivers – while many drivers have home-based charge points (or depot charging for fleet vehicles), they want to make sure they can easily charge on the road.
Trip planning combined with clearly communicated charge point locations along the route is critical – give drivers the ability to match charge points on their paths, including the type of charge point they need – level 1, level 2, CHAdeMO, etc. While a completely “hidden” feature to the driver, seamless access to roaming will allow them to truly charge anywhere.
When on the road, if EV drivers have a general idea of when they’ll arrive at the charging station, the app will allow them to make reservations for charging.
Real-time charging status can further enhance the drivers’ ability to relax and “be on top of” the charging process. As EV charging is not by the liter or gallon, it’s hard to get a visual regarding the charge capacity. The app can show this in real-time, letting the driver know when to come back to the vehicle – since she’s enjoying a cup of coffee at the convenience store located at the charging station.
Ideally, an EV charging management solution focused on operational excellence with charger stability and availability 24/7 precludes contact with the customer care team. However, if something goes wrong during the charging process, making it easy for drivers to create a ticket or reach customer service directly simplifies the reporting process for both the consumer and the customer care team, while maintaining a positive customer relationship.
Financial Management of the EV Charging Experience
Ensuring a frictionless customer experience means keeping it simple on the financial side as well. The app or self-service driver portal makes it easy to enter appropriate details for a full range of payment options – not just credit cards, but also debit card, prepaid, and bank account withdrawal.
Some EV charging service providers determine pricing based on time of day, subscription types, renewable energy resources, and more. With a complete list of the various fee options, drivers can make an educated decision about where and when to charge their electric vehicle.
Furthermore, real-time insights into charging history and access to billing transactions give drivers the ability to understand their EV charging fees and resolve any issues before the billing cycle.
Many EV adopters go “all in,” with multiple EVs in the same family (or in a fleet situation). The ability to manage multiple vehicles and drivers across a single account makes it easier for them.
Combined to Create Delight
No matter how many features your customer-facing app offers, simplicity is the key. An intuitive, easy-to-learn, easy-to-use app smooths the EV charging journey and reinforces your brand as it delights your drivers.