Software-defined charging

Software-defined charging
October 16, 2018 chris

Electrically charged employees

In my agile world of continuous improvement, sprints and microservices, I demand a responsive and communicative management structure, receptive to the needs of the business, their customers and employees.

I need a creative interactive work environment that enables the development of ideas, team spirit and individual interactions. Space to work, space to play, space to rest, indeed a space where we feel at ease and in which we can deliver the best result for the business.

…and we also drive electric vehicles, so I need on-premise charging across all company locations plus single app based control and account management.

The pain

The average time spent filling up at a petrol station is 7 minutes. At a charging point a Tesla Model 3 will takes approximately 6 hours. Therefore, to remove the employees fear of ‘Have a got enough charge/power to get home’, individual businesses and landlords need to accommodate on premise Electric Vehicle Charging.

The same is true for Park and Ride, Retail, Hospitality etc, but is EV Charging an extra complication or a new opportunity?

From an installation standpoint it would be about parking space, available power/cabling, planning permissions and forecast growth. You could treat each deployment as an isolated service, indeed many of the initial offerings are just that, leading to the EV Drivers number one complaint, ‘Multiple App’ syndrome, one for each deployment/vendor.

But standards are emerging and with them comes opportunity to develop Cloud based generic service solutions in the same way we consume Wifi.

The standards

The first of these standards is the Open Charging Point Protocol delivering open and interoperable communications protocols for the EV charging infrastructure supporting all the functionality needed for advanced charge management.

The second is OpenADR. Some suggest by 2040 EVs will use 5% of the entire Western European power generation. Against that prediction Open Adaptive Demand Response standard bridges the gap between the power providers and the operators to collaboratively manage load/demands, special offers and reporting.

Combine OCPP and OpenADR into a single cloud based solution and things get interesting, but who could benefit?

The Driver: Could utilise a single application for all his/her EV charging needs, including payment and when linked into ‘API Clearing house’ services could map location to local hotel, restaurant and public transport offerings.

The Owner/Businesses: Suddenly the premises become far more attractive whilst front facing multi-tenant software allows for special charging rates for employees, guest etc.

Added to this is improved operational management of individual charge points across the entire estate.

At the back-end sit the Utility company and an ever greater need to manage energy consumption, eventually in real time. Open ADR provides this interface with owner and Utility collaborating to deliver suitable efficiencies.

The Utilities: Seen as ultra conservative, early interactions with Cloud based services appear to be limited to usage reporting, but with increased demand, Open ADR offers a conduit to more complex load management and service delivery.

At AnotherTrail we work with EVConnect http://evconnect.comto develop their European partner and end-user footprint and also integrate with other service related technology to augment and enhance service levels.

In an agile world, software defined electric vehicle charging will enable the electrically charged employee.

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