When you are starting an EV Charging business, your options are to start a public charging network, a private one or a combination of both. If you aim to become a charge point operator and run your charging network or you are providing software when installing and maintaining charge points for your clients, either way, you need a future-proof EV charging backend platform. Based on AMPECO team’s experience with our clients worldwide, the most important criteria are:
- Hardware agnostic and OCPP standardised;
- White-labelled option;
- Accept payments from EV Drivers;
- Remote management and efficient maintenance;
- Dynamic Load Management;
- Partner management.
In this article, we will talk in detail about these six most important criteria you need to consider during the evaluation of the software you are going to use for your EV charging business.
Connect your EV charging platform with any charger from all manufacturers and scale your business
You need to ensure that your platform is future-proof and hardware agnostic.
Most of the charging stations arrive with some software which usually provides only the basic features for monitoring and control. These features might be enough in the very beginning, but soon you’ll need a complete backend platform for your business. If you want to win location partners and scale with their business needs, your new charging platform will need to support:
- Tariffs management;
- Flexible pricing module (per KWh, minutes, start fee, etc.);
- Various discount options;
- Mobile apps for the EV driver;
- Dynamic Load Management;
- Roaming capabilities to connect with other CPOs;
- Other integrations and more additional features;
The seamless integration between hardware and software in every EV charging business is one of the most important prerequisites to achieve the requirements mentioned above. It defines the quality of the service that you are going to offer to your customers being other businesses or EV drivers directly.
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is the standard in the EV charging industry for connecting charging devices and management backend service. AMPECO EV Charging platform uses OCPP and can integrate with every charging station that supports it. Moreover, being hardware agnostic and OCPP compliant allows you to test and choose the most efficient charging stations and backend platform for you in terms of maintenance and durability.
If you are not using OCPP compliant charging stations, you will have to invest in the development of custom software. Charge point network operators who have switched to us after going down this route have encountered one of those three issues:
- maintenance costs became too high;
- the custom software vendor discontinued their production or support;
- the software could not keep up with the market needs.
And they have entrusted AMPECO EV charging backend platform with keeping them safe and competitive without any hassle from their side.
That is why at AMPECO, we always recommend you to test the compatibility between the charge point models that you have shortlisted and the backend management platform that you plan to purchase. AMPECO offers a free of charge Proof of Concept setup with your selected chargers to give you confidence that you are making the right choice.
Full White-label support – your EV charging software should match your brand!
White-labeling, an EV charging software, means that all modules can be branded with your company logo, colours, languages and design elements to match your company brand identity. The modules include everything that your customers can see like EV Driver mobile apps, web interfaces and even the backend operators panel.
Full white-label means that you have complete access and control over your end-users – the EV Drivers. With AMPECO, you are safe that you can use that information to build additional services around your EV charging business as we do not have ownership over your data.
The EV charging market is still in the very beginning, and now is the time to win the hearts and minds of the first movers that will recommend you to others. Having your brand out there is crucial for the success of your business. It will help you build lasting relationships with your customers for years to come.
EV charging software can accept payments from EV drivers
It’s a must for our clients to accept payments directly, as they realise that receiving payments through a third-party provider means that their profit margins will decrease drastically. That is why having a payment processor that best fits your needs and business model is a must in growing a sustainable EV charging business.
EV drivers expect automated receipts for their payments, and this is an additional feature you need to ensure your EV charging management platform provides.
Different location partners need different ways of utilising their parking slots and have precise requirements. That is why you and your partners in the charging network will need to be able to set up flexible pricing options – per KW/h, per minute, start charging (connection) fee, parking fee, etc. Providing the right pricing models is vital for winning major location providers.
The platform needs to be able to integrate easily with different payment providers and offer flexible payment options – pre-stored credit cards, pay-as-you-go, top-up and balance, vouchers, etc. Providing different payment options is essential because EV Drivers have different preferences and also legislations in various countries might limit specific payment methods or demand that you offer different options for payments. For example, in the UK, it is mandatory to provide a pay-as-you-go option that doesn’t require user registration.
AMPECO EV charging backend platform comes with Stripe and Braintree integrations off-the-shelf, but we are open to working for the best local solution for you.
Remote management of charging stations is essential for future growth
Choosing the right software to manage and control your EV charging network enables and empowers you to scale without the hassle and maintain operational efficiency.
The platform for your charging network should provide the possibility for remote management via the cloud, including:
- Effortlessly add new charging devices to the network;
- Remote monitoring of charging operations – View, change and manage settings and remotely resolve end-user issues in real-time;
- Remote restart, start and stop charging sessions, firmware updates to a single charger or at bulk and other commands that can run without the need to go physically to the charger;
- Extensive error logs on network status, hardware and OCPP communication;
AMPECO EV Charging backend platform developed an advanced auto-fault recovery algorithm which optimises losses from downtime through remote actions and full fault visibility through OCPP. The system will monitor your network for errors and solve the most common ones automatically, so you cut maintenance costs and increase customer satisfaction.
Protect the electricity grid and save additional costs with Dynamic Load Management
At most locations, the local current available for the installed charge points is not enough if all stations work at maximum capacity. Dynamic Load Management (DLM) in EV charging distributes the available power between the connected charging stations automatically so that the local breaker is not triggered.
Using Dynamic Load Management in your EV charging backend platform brings several benefits:
- If you are a Charge Point Operator or Charge Point Installer, Dynamic Load Management will help you win more partnerships with location hosts because they can utilise and monetise parking slots with EV charging stations;
- Saves the location hosts significant infrastructure or installation costs and time for electrifying or restructuring the energy system of the parking slots;
- Eliminates the risk of overloading the local power grid when multiple electric vehicles are charging at the same time;
Dynamic Load Management is an essential feature for residential charging and work fleet electrification, which expects to dominate more than 60% of the market in Europe and the UK by 2025. For sure, DLM is crucial functionality for you and your EV charging backend platform to win big clients.
Access to charging analytics and reporting for your partners
Scaling your charging network cannot be achieved without introducing and onboarding partners to your network.
The partners are going to provide the space to install charging stations which are going to serve EV Drivers. They can be restaurants, retail centres, sports facilities, municipalities, parking operators, office buildings and many more.
The essential features for partner management for your EV charging backend platform include:
- Full transparency between you and your partners – comprehensive settlement reports each month and historical overview of charging sessions;
- Enable your partners to offer different perks with custom tariffs like discounted or free charging for their users or subscribers;
- Access to the analytics tool;
- Delegate your customer support to your partners and optimise your personnel costs while you grow – Provide your partners with different permission roles and remote control access of the charge points.
You will win more partners when you can offer them the best pricing model for their needs and capabilities. Together with them, you will be able to share revenue per charger, connector, platform fees, corporate billing or other option. At AMPECO, we continue improving our partner pricing models, so our clients keep winning location providers and the best deals.
AMPECO backend platform will help you launch and grow your EV Charging business
AMPECO EV charging backend platform is feature-ready and continuously adding new features to support all use cases for different industries which can start or add an EV charging revenue stream to their business.
- Hardware agnostic platform which connects via OCPP to any charging station from different manufacturers;
- Fully white-labelled platform – EV drivers apps, web apps and back-end portal branded for your company;
- Set up flexible price plans and tariff models when accepting payments from customers;
- Connect thousands of chargers to your network via roaming directly or via roaming providers like Hubject or Gireve;
- Dynamic Load Management;
- Automatic Fault Recovery algorithm helps you decrease maintenance and support costs and increase uptime of chargers.
A software platform that suits all your charging business needs
AMPECO EV charging backend platform technically covers all EV charging business use cases and strategies – public, private and home charging. The platform is easy to use for the operator and at the same time provide an outstanding experience for the EV Drivers charging at your network.
If you are looking for software to start your own EV Charging business or for your clients, feel free to schedule an EV charging consultation with our expert team.
We will be happy to learn more about your business case and share our knowledge for EV charging.