What is EV Charging Software?
EV charging software enables EV charging operators and e-mobility service providers to manage all aspects of EV charging so they can maximize charger uptime and provide drivers with an exceptional EV charging experience. The software also enables monetization of services for EV charging providers.
EV charging software should provide an end-to-end solution for:
- EV charging operations
- EV charging billing
- Energy management
- EV driver management
- EV Fleet management
- Integration and interoperability
What are EV Charging Operations?
The operations component of EV charging software provides the tools needed to monitor the charging network, receive alerts from the charging infrastructure or drivers, log issues and track them through resolution. Advanced features include dashboards for an all-in-one view of network status, tools to automatically diagnose issues and proactively fix problems remotely, and a way to capture, visualize and analyze operational data for continuous optimization. Operators should also look for solutions that can scale quickly to support business growth and are flexible enough to adapt to changes in business models and partnerships.
What is EV Charging Billing?
EV charging software should have a comprehensive billing and invoicing system able to handle multiple payment schemes such as prepaid and pay-per-use and payment gateways to support credit card payments. The software should enable various pricing plans, including flexible pricing based on factors such as time of day, KWh, per-minute and charging speed. It should also support settlement between multiple parties, including business partners and EV roaming providers. For the latter, many EV charging providers will need to integrate with roaming platforms like Hubject, Gireve, and e-clearing.net to handle settlements. Multinational operators will need support for multiple currencies along with flexible tax management.
What is EV Charging Energy management?
Local infrastructure may have limited capacity when supporting the additional energy required for EV charging. In an unmanaged EV charging environment, only a limited number of vehicles can charge at full power. Energy management for EV charging distributes the load put on the local grid, helping utilities avoid costly infrastructure upgrades while ensuring that all vehicles at a charging location receive the power they need in a timely fashion. Smart energy management software for EV charging lets operators monitor, manage, and adjust energy consumption. In addition, energy from local storage or local renewable energy sources can be incorporated into the charging facility’s power supply, saving money and reducing load on the grid.
What are the major requirements for EV drivers?
Drivers are the most important members of the EV ecosystem, and providing a delightful charging experience is central to driving EV adoption and the growth of our industry. EV drivers have replaced “range anxiety” with “charge anxiety,” and the driver-facing tools that EV charging management software provides can go a long way toward keeping drivers happy and their EV’s charged.
In addition to stable and available chargers, EV drivers need easy-to-use self-service tools that help them locate those chargers, make reservations, roam outside their networks, and make payments. Typically, these tools are mobile apps and web portals supported behind-the-scenes by the EV charging management software, which should also deliver insights into customer behavior to better understand and support them. The end result should be increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, which help establish a strong brand.
What is EV Fleet management?
EV fleet managers face the same challenges that EV charging operators face, but in the microcosm of a single location, the fleet depot. That location, however, may need to support several dozen or more electric automobiles, buses, light trucks, delivery vans or even heavy duty trucks — most of which need to charge overnight for the next day’s work.
Fleet managers need EV charging software that provides all of the capabilities discussed here, with a particular emphasis on operational excellence to ensure that chargers are reliable, stable and available around the clock. Energy management is crucial to balancing power going to chargers and vehicles so that all are fully charged for the next shift without overloading the local grid. Data for managing charging behavior, facility health, energy consumption and charger utilization will help fleet managers make better business decisions.
Drivers will also need self-service tools if they have to charge away from the depot, including the ability to locate charging facilities, pay for the charge, use roaming, and get reimbursed if they charge at home.
Integration and interoperability
EV charging takes place within an ecosystem of charger manufacturers, service providers, software developers and vendors, EV charging operators and e-mobility service providers, roaming platform operators, industry standards, and more. The ideal EV charging software solution is open and future proof, enabling users to adapt easily to marketplace changes and adopt open protocols such as OCPP and OCPI as they evolve. It should enable your enterprise to exchange data and transactions with the software used by ecosystem partners, such as roaming platforms. For even more flexibility, the software needs to support API-based external development to take advantage of additional software-based features and functions from outside solution providers. For example, API support allows you to integrate data feeds like weather and maps into your customer-facing apps and portals.
Delivering business value
By addressing EV charging operators’ requirements for operational excellence and EV driver satisfaction, EV charging software is essential to business success. The right software platform also enables operators to optimize energy management, bridging the mobility and energy worlds for the benefit of the planet. Over the coming months and years, we will see the EV marketplace grow and evolve rapidly to achieve critical mass. Savvy operators will begin now with a software solution that can scale with the market so they can monetize and grow their business investments.