The Benefits of Wireless Connectivity for EV Charging Points
Electric vehicle (EV) sales are setting records worldwide due to increased demand; we are truly witnessing a revolution. Since the introduction of the modern EV, one of the biggest consumer obstacles to buying one has been range anxiety, or how far (or more properly, not far) a battery-powered car can go on a single charge. Rapid improvements in technology—some vehicles can now go over 500 miles on a single charge—have begun to ease consumer worry. But to truly erase that concern, EV charging companies need to address the underlying concern of range anxiety: a lack of public charging infrastructure.
Opportunities now abound for EV charging companies to do just that, with the Inflation Reduction Act and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program providing billions of dollars in federal funds for the development of a national network of charging stations. Clearly, the time is right for charge point operators (CPOs) to respond to the explosion in demand for ubiquitous EV charging.
Why Wireless is Right for EV Charging Stations
Unlike traditional gas stations, EV charging stations must have reliable internet connectivity for both the consumer and the CPO, and wireless connectivity is the obvious choice. Wireless is cheaper and easier to install than cables. Furthermore, cable infrastructure doesn’t exist at all potential charging locations and would be too expensive to install in many places (like existing parking garages and parking lots). The speed and ease of installing wireless capabilities will enable charging point operators to build charge points more quickly, responding to market forces in time to take advantage of the immense opportunities that now exist. And even if wired internet is available at certain locations, it would still be prudent for CPOs to have wireless technology as a failover network connectivity solution in case of service outages. The relatively small amounts of data involved can easily be supported by ubiquitous 4G/LTE and, increasingly, 5G networks.
Wireless Connectivity Benefits EV Charging Customers
Wireless capabilities at charging stations can also offer users free Wi-Fi while charging. For example, Shell opened an all-electric charging station in a suburb of London earlier this year and equipped it with free Wi-Fi, a cafe and a small supermarket. Such value-added services will draw loyalty from consumers. Wireless connectivity would benefit customers in other ways: checking for locations and availability of stations, reservation for charge times, and payment via apps.
Wireless Connectivity Benefits EV Charging Companies and CPOs
Aside from providing competitive perks to customers, EV charging stations need wireless connectivity for many other reasons: to identify and bill users, to help manage energy loads by communicating with municipal utilities and other stations, as well as with other vehicles (called Vehicle to Grid, or V2G, communication). This communication would enable bi-directional energy transfer, which would help balance load and reduce strain on local grids, especially now with the use of renewable energy sources that are dependent on weather conditions and are not as reliable as carbon-based ones. Vehicles will become part of the grid, as their millions of batteries serve as energy storehouses.
With wireless connectivity, charge point operators could also monitor station activity and make sure stations are operational. Unreliable service would hit CPOs revenues hard during this immense time of growth and should be avoided. Wireless connectivity protects CPOs from this unfortunate situation.
More Resources for EV Companies and Charge Point Operators
CPOs must have reliable, wireless capabilities at their fingertips as they respond to the incredible rise in consumer demand for charging stations. If you’re an EV charging company, Kajeet has what you’re looking for, from private, multi-carrier wireless connectivity capabilities to the solutions you need to speed your time to market, save on operational costs, and assist with logistics, procurement, and tiered support.
Here are a couple of EV charging blog posts you might want to check out: