Achieving operational excellence for Charge Point Operators and EV Service Providers (EVSPs).
Electric vehicle charging-station operations management is complex, with uptime as the most critical challenge for charge point operators (CPOs). CPOs and EV service providers (EVSPs) can’t afford to have electric vehicle (EV) owners get to an EV charging station only to discover that the charge point is not operational. Anytime a malfunction occurs, the operator loses revenue and customer loyalty.
By employing best practices in EV charging management, operators can maximize charger uptime, meet EV driver expectations for a seamless charging experience, and reduce total cost of operations (TCO). When evaluating EV charging management software platforms, look for solutions that support these best practices:
1. 24×7 monitoring and real-time alerts
Staying on top of everything happening within your EV charging network, whether you have tens or thousands of EV chargers, is the cornerstone of management excellence. That takes around-the-clock monitoring of chargers, sites, driver actions, and transactions and the ability to identify issues in real-time. Look for an easy-to-use dashboard that simplifies operations by displaying network status in real-time, providing alerts as they occur, and offering guided problem resolution with suggestions for next steps.
2. Proactive remote issue resolution
Up to 80% of the software-related malfunctions or errors that take chargers offline can be resolved remotely, without manual intervention by your network operators. The best practice is to pair real-time issue discovery with automated self-repair to increase uptime while reducing the need for onsite visits from field service technicians. This best practice requires self-healing algorithms that automatically determine the cause of the problem and send commands to the charger to fix it.
3. Data and analytics for decision-making
EV charging data and analytics are critical for both business and technology decision-makers who are planning new infrastructure and managing performance of existing charging assets. Analytics-driven insights you want your management platform to provide include utilization rates for individual charging ports, time-of-day patterns for utilization, types of chargers deployed, geographic coverage, and peak energy requirement for each charging port. You can then combine this actual data with third-party data to predict trends and plan future investments.
4. Proven methodologies for seamless migration
EV charging management best practices include having predefined migration methodologies honed through experience onboarding existing networks for CPOs and EMSPs. The methodologies should address all stakeholders in the migration, including drivers, network operators, IT staff, and business users of the platform. Processes should cover communications with stakeholders, migration of the driver app and customer accounts, end-user training, and data migration as well as the actual cutover plan and risk mitigation.
5. EV smart charging and energy management
Smart EV charging and energy management combine a set of technology and industry best practices that determine when and how an EV plugged into a smart charger will receive power. It uses data and algorithms to weigh factors like the cost of electricity, its availability, and driver needs and provides tools for monitoring, managing, and optimizing energy consumption. At the site, campus, or micro-grid level, smart energy management integrates energy from the grid, renewable sources, and locally stored energy while balancing charging loads to avoid peak demand charges.
6. Compliance with industry standards and protocols
Seamless and secure communication between the driver, the car, the charger, and the management platform is essential for EV charging operations. Similarly, CPOs and EMSPs rely on interoperability across charging networks with EV roaming. These are possible when the car, the charge point hardware, the management software, and the grid operator all comply with EV charging industry standards and protocols. The best practice to look for in an EV charging management platform provider is a commitment to standards, protocols, and interoperability. They are key to enabling growth today and leveraging future technology developments.
CPOs and EVSPs who follow all six of these best practices, will be able to accelerate their market leadership by growing their charging infrastructure and delivering an exceptional charging experience, while optimizing operations, reducing TCO, speeding time-to-market and maximizing revenues.