When EVs are as cheap to purchase as ICE cars, the market will explode. Those catching the first customers will have a competitive advantage. These three key features will help you to get started with building an EV charging business.
Smart stations, smart service
Let’s start with the most concrete thing: the hardware. A large amount of charging device manufactures have stepped into the game, so there is a lot to choose from.
A regular device should have a Type 2 socket and a fast charging device preferably both CCS Combo and CHAdeMO sockets.
Another important feature is smart charging, i.e. the ability to connect to a cloud-based service. This enables the charging station to be updated and controlled remotely. OCPP, Open Charge Point Protocol, is de facto standard in the EV charging industry, empowering a connection between hardware and software.
Thus, one of the most important aspects to take into consideration when choosing a service and device, is to make sure that they follow the same version of OCPP standard.
Let them charge
Stations and a cloud-based service aren't enough: EV drivers have to be able to find you as well. A future-proof charging service has to include registration and a customer portal, as well as offer EV drivers solutions for finding and using the charging stations.
With a proper mobile app, EV drivers can easily find stations, and start and stop charging, while all payments are automated. No wallet needed, just the app. Most charging devices also work with an RFID card.
Roaming: extend your charging network
EV drivers want to be able to charge without a hassle — without having to always guess which RFID key or mobile app out of the dozens works at each charging station. This is where roaming comes in handy.
Roaming enables subscribers of one service provider's network to use resources of another service provider. Simply put, EV drivers have the most extensive access to charging infrastructure as possible, and can use the charging stations in the roaming network with just one customer account, your company's. Roaming in EV charging is thus similar to roaming in mobile phone networks.
By choosing a service with roaming possibilities, networks grow to be more comprehensive as you offer an extended network for your customers. Charging point owners get more users for their network, and EV drivers gain access to charging points in different regions with a single subscription. One comprehensive service is enough, when one customer account can use all roaming stations.
Virta is currently connected to all major roaming networks, including Hubject and Gireve.
These 3 tips aren’t all we have to offer: read more about building a successful charging business from our EV Charging Business Guide.