As the EV industry is rapidly growing, so is the offer for EV charging.
Now, if you’re considering starting an EV charging business, you might as well know that not all EV charging solution providers are equal.
In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to make the right decision when it comes to selecting the right backend service provider for your business.
"If it ain't smart, it's smarter to walk away."
Whether you are building a public charging network or deploying a service offered to a selected customer group, prioritise smart EV charging services.
What is smart ev charging, and why should you care?
Smart EV charging makes it possible to create a secure data connection between an electric vehicle, a charging device and the charging operator.
Why is it so important?
In short, smart charging stabilises the grid and significantly improves the charging experience for the end-user.
Unlike less modern charging technologies, smart charging makes it possible to monitor all charging events in real-time.
- For EV drivers, this means managing the time and length of a charging event, thus optimising their costs.
- For EV charging stations owners, having a real-time view of the network is a unique opportunity to manage their entire network on the go.
Did you know?
Thanks to DLM (Dynamic Load Management) and V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) technologies, EV charging points owners can fully control their energy consumption and even help to stabilise the energy grid.
<Read our comprehensive guide on Smart EV charging to learn more>
Does your service provider follow the ocpp industry standard?
If you want to build a future-proof charging network (and you really should), you need to pay attention to the nature of the connection between hardware and software.
Think of it that way; EV charging technology is no different than your computer’s. If your hardware can’t communicate with your operating system (may it be macOS, Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, etc.), you won’t be able to do anything with it.
The connection between charging devices and a cloud-based backend requires a common language. The Open Charge Point Protocol (or OCPP) is the de facto standard in the EV charging industry for this connection.
For this reason, you need to ensure first that your charging devices and the backend service provider you end up choosing follows the same versions of the OCPP protocol.
Virta’s backend service follows the OCPP protocol and can communicate with all charging devices following the OCPP protocol. We currently follow OCPP 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0 versions and keep updating as new versions come out.
Can you (really) personalise your charging services?
Not all EV charging backend service providers offer branding options. The risk here is to create confusion around your brand and services.
We believe that EV charging shouldn’t be a second zone service for businesses. It should be part of their offer and brand.
This has multiple advantages:
- It will help your existing customers to familiarise themselves with your new services as they already know and trust your brand.
- It will place your brand on the map for those who don’t know you yet.
What’s more, we advise you to only settle for an EV charging backend service provider that lets you localise the service in the language(s) of your choice. Otherwise, you might generate confusion and install distance between your brand and your existing/prospective customers.
stronger together: what about roaming?
Roaming isn’t a new concept. In fact, we’ve all already benefited from roaming technology when using our smartphones abroad. In short, may it be for telecommunication or EV charging services, roaming technology makes it possible to use other service providers.
So, before your settle on a provider, make sure they’re part of an open roaming network comprised of services that follow standard rules and are reasonably priced.
to sum it up, here are the features you don't want to live without
Here are some of the features we believe you should take for granted when looking for an EV charging business backend service provider:
- Smart energy management features. The ability to control charging based on different signals.
- Management tools. For device management, business insight and CRM
- OCPP standard protocol implemented.
- Branded services for EV drivers. Charging app, one-time payment tool, registration tool and customer portal.
- Roaming possibilities.
a charging service shaped to suit your and your customers' needs
To sum it up, a future-proofed EV charging backend system should be cloud-based, offer branding options and comply with industry standards.
As it happens, all of the above (and more) is part of Virta’s EV charging platform.
For instance, we also provide advanced energy management features such as DLM and V2G.
We believe that managing a charging service should be easy, and we’ve built Virta as a service that works for you – not the other way around. If you want to offer your customers the best EV charging services, do get in touch!