Taking the Leap from Traditional Charging Infrastructure to e-mobility 4.0
A Q&A with Driivz CEO, Doron Frenkel
Driivz CEO, Doron Frenkel was recently invited to sit down with David Hunt, as part of his popular ‘This Week in Cleantech’ podcast, described in his own words as a forum for “Speaking with entrepreneurs, CEOs, thought leaders and industry insiders, [to] explore the challenges, opportunities, highs and lows of business in the cleantech sector.”
Electric mobility is one of the fastest growing industries in transportation today. The global outlook is bright, (no pun intended) with some estimates forecasting the market reaching 125 million vehicles by 2030.
Doron discussed the electrification of transportation revolution, and the various factors that the continued success of e-mobility depends upon. Make sure to check out the full podcast here, but read on for some of our highlights!
Q. Tell us a bit about your mindset when founding Driivz? How did you know that electrification was going to be such a huge industry?
My background is in the technology area. I started as an engineer, then moved to marketing, sales, became a CEO, and then started building my own companies. And I’ve seen several revolutions, the telco revolution, the internet revolution, and several years ago, around 2012, when I looked at the e-mobility revolution, I thought this might well be the Next Big Thing. I realized that major corporates who would get involved in this space were going to need some great technology to operate in the e-Mobility era.
I could see that the software and the digital services solutions were not there yet, and I identified a business opportunity, as well as an opportunity to have a positive impact in the world. I knew that if done right, we could reduce pollution by as much as half, and use e-vehicles as a tool to improve the energy ecosystem in order to create something really new and unique.
Q. Clearly, Driivz has been a great success, and you’ve expanded quite rapidly. But essentially, what part do you play in the e-mobility transition?
We provide disruptive tools to enable global EV charging and network providers to manage their businesses in a world which keeps on changing. Essentially, we make sure that the network is stable and optimized so drivers are happy.
We have developed self-healing algorithms to make sure that the chargers can be up and running automatically, without any operator intervention. And in over 70% of the cases, we solve the issues remotely, and automatically. Even when we need to send someone to the field, they know what the problem is ahead of time.
We have also developed extensive billing capabilities to enable providers to monetize the network. We provide dashboards that represent operational status as well as the business aspect of things. We combine that into white label solutions for drivers, fleets and operators. We provide asset management tools and flexible billing, combined with an energy management module, allowing us to offer an end-to-end platform for global EV charging providers.
Q. How much does machine learning and AI play a part in your solution?
It’s becoming an increasingly major part. We have started analysing the data that was generated by numerous chargers and the questions it can address. How can you make sure that the system is optimized? From an operational point of view, how can you make sure that the chargers are operating properly? Which chargers perform better than others? Where is a good location for a charging infrastructure? how to monetize a charger? And what do you do if you don’t have enough utilisation? There is a lot of work that we’re doing around AI to help to answer these questions and provide our customers with an intelligence-driven solution.
Traditional EV charging could be described as version 1.0, and we need to leapfrog it and get to a solution that meets the challenges of e-mobility 4.0. This will be more connected to the ecosystem, more connected to the energy demand, and more connected to new business models. AI and Big Data are the tools to get us there.
This has been a short teaser into a fascinating conversation between two industry leaders in e-mobility. You don’t want to miss the rest! Also on the podcast:
- Will Driivz look to expand into IOT more broadly in the future?
- How important is Vehicle-to-Grid in today’s e-mobility ecosystem?
- Is the industry ready for autonomous vehicles?
- Which protocols and regulations keep an e-mobility business competitive and market-leading?
- What does it mean for charging infrastructure to be truly future focused?