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eo Charging
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

My name is Oliver and I am the co-founder of a new EV chargepoint manufacturer in the UK. First and foremost however, I am an EV driver, and our current team left their old jobs at existing chargepoint manufacturers with a vision to solve the problems we kept hearing on a daily basis (reliability & customer service)! For the last 12 months we have been working with, listening to and developing our product with EV drivers, installers, local councils, businesses and home owners - developing a reliable, affordable and highly intelligent charger which solves a lot of the problems we have all been dealing with since 2009.

We are ready to bring this to the EV community in January but before then, we want to hear your thoughts on the main issues you have surrounding home charging (and work if applicable) in order to achieve the highest quality of software. Our aim is to develop a charger powered by the people using it, both now and in the future and so we are inviting members to join us on the journey by having their opinions put into action. We're talking annual meetings, free product testing and invitations to meet with the councils working with us. Our short-term goal is to help build bridges with the EV drivers who thought about going electric, but are put off by unreliable products with poor customer service. Given we still have a few weeks - we can make the changes needed to bring back some security to EV drivers like us so please do let us know your thoughts. If your interested in any of the work we're doing then feel free to get in touch directly and id be happy to share our product detail. Our charger has some really smart features on software and hardware not currently on the market which we'd also love to run by you.

You can reach me directly at [email protected]

Cheers all,
 

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Super Moderator
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7,234 Posts
I have one EV today and will some day have 2. My house probably won't support 2x dedicated 32A circuits. could you design a charger which has two (or more?) outlets but automatically reduces or cycles the power output on them so everyone in the house can get a charge without going and swapping cars around?
 

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Conflicted Ecoworrier/Petrolhead
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3,210 Posts
Sadly my issues aren't with chargers themselves, but that of their location and availability. If you could stop other petrol cars parking in them and allow prebooking via a website/phone app so when I'm visiting somewhere beyond battery range I know I'll have guaranteed parking spot - that would be of use. All you need on top of that is to not use an RFID card and take contactless/debit card payments at the charger.
 

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eo Charging
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You seem to be talking about home charging. Why would I want any software involved in that (other than the car)?
Hi Gary. Well EO offers OLEV home chargers with the same software features as a work-place one would - at the same price as other manufacturers. Its really smart and allows you to automatically charge at low cost, off-peak periods by determining the most cost effective time. Added to this if home owners wanted to generate revenue now or in the future, you can set the price and monitor the usage all through your portal. The software also ensures EO can fix 90% of problems without having to send an engineer out - should there be any, meaning less disruption to your day.

This is all if you wanted to access it of course!
 

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eo Charging
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sadly my issues aren't with chargers themselves, but that of their location and availability. If you could stop other petrol cars parking in them and allow prebooking via a website/phone app so when I'm visiting somewhere beyond battery range I know I'll have guaranteed parking spot - that would be of use. All you need on top of that is to not use an RFID card and take contactless/debit card payments at the charger.
Yep, all this is available through eoApp. You can reserve parking bays in advance for a set time and we are staying well clear of RFID! Currently all payment is taken through the app by linking your paypal or debit / credit card but contactless is something we are working on.
 

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eo Charging
Joined
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I have one EV today and will some day have 2. My house probably won't support 2x dedicated 32A circuits. could you design a charger which has two (or more?) outlets but automatically reduces or cycles the power output on them so everyone in the house can get a charge without going and swapping cars around?

Hi Edd,
At the moment to combat the issue of overload (if you have multiple chargers), a user can use the portal to set a load limit for a property. I.e. If you have 2 x 7kW chargers, but only capacity for 11kW. You can set the limit to 11kW - so when two cars are plugged in, each charger's power output reduces to 5.5kW.

The idea of a dual socket wall charger is great. Our software would work for that too. Obviously we need to get product 1 out the door first, but perhaps we have product 2?
 

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eo Charging
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Oh... yet another new network :(
yep we know Matt! we appreciate its not helpful having more and more but we couldn't sit by with the problems that have been holding the industry back on reliability and customer service. We are trying to open doors with other manufacturers for a universal approach none-the-less. Whats your preferred payment for public charging ? and what would you like to see implemented over the next 12 months?
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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23,599 Posts
I like that more companies and start-ups are joining in the melee.

The more choice the better, I say.

The issue of inter-compatibility, multiple networks, confusion of offerings, etc., are things that must be solved at a central source - i.e. that should be OLEV! You can't expect competing companies to work together to reach a point where they share market. They should get as much market as they deserve, and the only way that works out is where there are plenty of offerings on a level playing field so the consumer chooses what companies deserve.

The issue is regulation and ensuring transparency in the market, and real choice, to the consumer's benefit.
 

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Registered
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1,054 Posts
I think a major issue at the moment is PHEV company car drivers not charging at home as their employers haven't got the systems in place to reimburse them for the electricity used correctly. Hopefully your software and apps will address this and you will be speaking to fleet managers about what a great solution it may be for them.
 

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Registered
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534 Posts
For home charging, we just need something simple and reliable.

I have a Rolec installed at home - basic, but it does the job. I plug in when I get home, and the car starts to charge.

I don't use off-peak charging, as we need to charge 2 cars, but both of my vehicles have in car software that can activate off-peak charging if required.

I'm not sure what "software" I would want in a home charger - just sounds like it will make it more complicated, and prone to failure (and expensive to repair).

For a work based charger, then I could see some basic record of use per user could be useful. Just a tally of KW by user would be fine, maybe activated by a RFID card (company ID pass?)

I'd be happy to share my thoughts with you - and are trying to persuade my employer to install a workplace charger - so if you would like a trial location.......

:)

Regards
Julian
 

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eo Charging
Joined
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I think a major issue at the moment is PHEV company car drivers not charging at home as their employers haven't got the systems in place to reimburse them for the electricity used correctly. Hopefully your software and apps will address this and you will be speaking to fleet managers about what a great solution it may be for them.
Great point Brads, yes - the software for home chargers can allow employers to see how much electricity is being used and therefore reimburse employees on company cars.
 

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Driving yet another EV!
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2,886 Posts
Whats your preferred payment for public charging? and what would you like to see implemented over the next 12 months?
Personally, I think the level of adoption is such that the UK should have free level-2 charging for a few years to come, and rapids should be cheap or free. Unfortunately that would require joined-up-thinking of the type that the government aren't really capable of.

So... I think that level 2 should be free (a.k.a subsidised by the site) when it is somewhere that wants your custom like a supermarket. This should be possible with the most basic of "dumb" chargers which will require virtually no maintenance. A sign can be placed close-by pointing out that the charging spots are covered by the same "maximum parking time n hours on pain of £xx 'fee'" sign - to prevent people charging all day (for example while at work nearby).

When level 2 is somewhere that is not actively trying to attract customers (such as a normal car park) it should be relatively cheap and ideally liked to the parking payment system. If that is not possible then contact-less or if necessary chip-and-pin.

Workplace charging is a minefield and needs sorting! HMRC really need to say "we want people driving EVs - if you give them charging for free then don't bother about taxing it as it is for the good of the community!".

Rapid charging needs to cost money if the government are not funding it, but I can't see how it will work with the number of users it will have. But, they need to be intelligently located, reliable and in sufficient numbers that when they are faulty or in use there is not an issue. We also really want to pay by contact-less or chip-and-pin for those too.

What about RFIDs, subscriptions etc.? Yes as an option for saving money, but only if you are going to be using the chargers regularly. If I decide to take a 150-mile trip to visit a specific shop, or go to a theatre performance, it is no use having to apply for three or four RFID cards in advance, each of which will probably end up trying to lock me into some sort of subscription scheme!

Try having a look at a petrol station some time - they are the competition. Do I have a wallet full of BP, Texaco, Esso and Shell membership cards? No! Do I have to painstakingly research my trip in advance? No! Do I worry that when I get to a petrol station the one pump will be faulty? No!
 

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3,755 Posts
I don't want to get involved in any of the back office systems or have to rely on dodgy RFID or mobile phone signals in order to fuel up my vehicle.

I want to:

1. Pull into a charging station which has more than 4 (rapid) or 8 (fast) chargers minimum to ensure availability

2. Plug in and charge.

3. Continue my journey

I don't even see why I have to faff about with paying by credit or debit card, let alone with anything else:

4. Register online to a central EV charging database using the car VIN (hint: let the operators compete for my business like utilities do)

5. Chargers interrogate the car VIN when I plug in, squirt in the juice and take care of all the backend notification for billing at their own leisure, maybe even after I've gone like every other a POS sytem does.

So I never have to deal with all that unreliable comms stuff in real time on my journey and the charging network operators are highly incentivised to make sure the whole system works as it should.

So tell me what's wrong with this?
 

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eo Charging
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Personally, I think the level of adoption is such that the UK should have free level-2 charging for a few years to come, and rapids should be cheap or free. Unfortunately that would require joined-up-thinking of the type that the government aren't really capable of.
Thank you for the comments Matt, for us, achieving the contactless payment method is fundamental. Obviously implementing contactless is quite an expensive process which is not a problem when installing rapid infrastructure because the cost of the equipment is approx. £20,000 so a £500-£1000 payment method is not a problem. However, when installing level 2 type infrastructure increasing the price almost two-fold makes the solution uncompetitive. I guess it comes down to who is buying the equipment and what value they see in paying more for an interoperable solution. From your experience, have you seen any alternative solutions for level 2?

In our road-map we are introducing card payment for chargers bought in multiples; i.e 10 chargers in a row at a car park because the additional cost is spread out. Irrespective of cost there are of course hurdles we have to jump over.
 

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eo Charging
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I don't want to get involved in any of the back office systems or have to rely on dodgy RFID or mobile phone signals in order to fuel up my vehicle.
So tell me what's wrong with this?
This is an excellent idea, do you envisage this working with a camera / number plate recognition system? If so, it would probably be necessary to work alongside the other chargepoint manufacturers to adopt an industry standard. Perhaps we could work together with members of speak EV to design a fully interoperable system which we could rollout. Does this sound like something you would be interested in ? Obviously there will be huge challenges but im sure with the right people we can make positive steps in the right direction.
 

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Registered
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1,916 Posts
Please please please dont rely on having a good mobile phone signal in order to start a charge - it never works in practice
 
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