What Is a Charge Point Operator (CPO)?
Charge point operators (CPOs) build EV charging stations, install hardware from a variety of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) vendors, and ensure optimal ongoing EV charging operations. They provide the charging network infrastructure, managing the backend technologies as well the connection between the chargers, to deliver reliable and consistent EV charging. CPO customers are eMobility service providers (EMSPs), who manage the relationships with electric vehicles drivers.
What should Charge Point Operators (CPOs) care about?
CPOs operate the charging infrastructure for the eMobility industry. They need to make sure everything is up and running today and be futureproof for tomorrow, with the capacity and scalability to manage the exponential growth of EV charging.
CPOs need to ensure that EV chargers are always available and stable, operating 24/7 without fail. Systems need to be in place to notify them any time a problem arises with the chargers – or automatically fix it where possible, reducing operating costs.
All CPO software platforms need to deliver real-time information necessary to optimize operations, analyzing business and technical data for efficient decision-making. Automation is key to reducing TCO. Process automation tools need to seamlessly handle transactional and technical issues without requiring employee intervention.
Furthermore, smart energy management helps reduce capital and operating costs by better managing energy demand during peak hours, integrating renewables, and storing battery power.
How can CPOs optimize their businesses?
CPOs can optimize their businesses with a focus on operational excellence, smart energy management, monitoring and control, scalability, and interoperability. The CPO must have a reliable EV charging management system in place to minimize the CAPEX and OPEX required to establish and operate the CPO infrastructure.
A CPO platform that facilitates network monetization is a key for rapid ROI. A CPO platform that enables CPOs to integrate with multiple EMSPs and with established EV roaming platforms like Hubject, GIREVE, and e-clearing.net , will allow them to serve EMSPs across different regions and increase charge point usage.
EMSPs depend on CPOs to maintain availability of the entire operational infrastructure, so all hardware needs to be monitored in real-time to discover and fix issues before the customer – or even the CPO – is aware of them. Self-healing reduces costs by circumventing the need to send technicians to the field. Furthermore, automated provisioning ensures that the chargers are instantly “online” without any intervention.
Intelligent management and optimization of energy is critical to reducing both CAPEX and OPEX. Smart energy management handles energy flow across the ecosystem; chargers, storage systems, EV fleet depots, buildings, and the power grid. It needs to be able to balance power from a variety of sources, including batteries, vehicle to grid, and renewables. Ultimately, smart energy management ensures energy is delivered at the right time to the right resource, at the lowest cost.
Scalability is critical to keep up with the rapidly expanding growth of the EV market. The United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and France are only four nations among many that have increased their focus on eliminating emissions within the next few decades. Scalability is not just about adding hardware; it’s ensuring that the entire operational infrastructure can scale as well.
Interoperability is critical for futureproofing the network’s long-term operations, when every few months, another technology innovation is launched. A CPO Platform, delivering the widest charger support, allows for easy integration of any charger to speed and smooth adoption. Compatibility with industry standards and protocols like OCPP, OCPI, OCSP, and ISO 15118 ensures backend operations’ communications, and financial clearing operate smoothly.
As the backbone of the eMobility industry, CPOs are critical. Streamlining and optimizing EV charging operations ensures they can maximize their business opportunities while reducing TCO and providing an excellent EV charging experience.