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We design and manufacture EV smart chargers
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello SpeakEV Members!

I am Charlie Jardine, founder at EO Charging. If you haven’t heard of EO, we’re a relatively new UK-based EV charge point manufacturer who launched earlier this year. We live in London and do all our manufacturing (design, development, operations) from our factory in Suffolk.

I have wanted to write this post for while; letting you know a bit about us - i.e. who are we? Where we are currently? Where we are going? Some of our (installation) partners spend a considerable amount of time on here and they’re always raving about it. I am hoping you might be able to give us some feedback on a few ideas we have had (I want keep this post short, but it might be quite difficult! Please bear with me!).

Who are we?

Before setting up EO, a couple of us (Adair and I) were working at another UK charge point manufacturer. Between us we spent approx. 6 years there. It was a really fun time and one that I certainly will always remember positively. Obviously the market (and technology) is still relatively young and everyone seems to be learning on the job (including us). Our frustration with the UK’s charging infrastructure has always been reliability. Public charging networks in particular have often taken flack for their unreliability and complicated user experience. This was our starting point, “reliability, simplicity, and intelligence” (I’ll talk about intelligence later).

In terms of product, we decided to start with a Universal Socketed Wall Charger for home, work and destination. In our minds, it was/is the most mass-market product.

We went through a fairly heavy product development process in order to get our product market-ready (I thought building a charge point was going to be quick and easy! “There’s nothing too it” I said!). We worked with a couple of our old installation pals, to help design the product. This resulted in us developing a unique installation mechanism, which means the charger always remains sealed (see video). As you’ll see in the vid, the back-plate/connector mechanism means an installer simply drills through the back-plate and drops the unit on; rather than opening-up the charger on site. This increases reliability and decreases installation time. It also makes future upgrades super simple.

Where are we now?

Anyway, after almost 10 months of product development we launched our basic charger earlier this year (June). In the background we built a network of trusted installation partners up and down the UK to sell, install and look after our beloved chargers! The feedback we have had so far has been excellent. Everyone from installers to users seems to love their EO, which is great to hear (if you have an EO and are reading this, we’d love to hear your feedback). We have also launched a couple of Tethered Chargers (Type 1 and Type 2).

In terms of the intelligent product, which we call Genius, this is still due to be released. We had a number of delays, which I guess was to be expected, although it has been hugely frustrating none-the-less. Having listened to customer/partner feedback throughout the dev process, we have subsequently changed our product strategy to support the current and future requirements of EV drivers and installers…

Where are we going?

Our vision for the company is ‘Electricity Online’ (EO). We want to create a platform where EV drivers can trade self-generated, green electricity online - helping you save money and exclusively use green energy.

Now, we understand that this vision supports drivers who have renewable energy generation and storage at home, which we appreciate, excludes lots of people at the moment. However this is our vision – our long-term plan. We’ve got a long way to go too!

Without going into too much into detail on our plans for Genius v2, we are tapping into the ‘Smart Home’ and ‘IoT’ space. We are doing this by launching what we call eoHUB. eoHUB is a smart home hub designed to interface with our chargers, solar PV and battery storage. Simply put, it’s a home energy management system, which allows you to control you charger (from your phone) and charge directly from solar. It will also generate revenue from grid-services.

Come mid-late October this year, we will be launching a range of ‘Genius-ready’ EO and eOLEV chargers. Genius-ready = upgradeable to Genius by simply plugging a eoHUB into an EO charger.

So… when you are ready for a more intelligent system, you’ll be able to purchase the eoHUB and one of our installation partners will come out and plug it into your charger, like you would a wiFi Hub into an Ethernet port.

Note: If you are looking at purchasing an EO charger, please don’t hold off! If you purchase an EO or eOLEV today - when Genius-ready is available we will simply send out an engineer out to swap over the charger for free.

Why are we telling you this?

1) We want your feedback!

Do you think we’re doing the right thing? Do you have suggestions for the product? Are there things you need/want from your EV charger?

PLUS, obviously with any new product, there is a requirement for testing. We would like to find a handful of SpeakEVers who have (/are getting) Solar PV, Battery Storage and of course, an EV at home. We would then like to swap-over your existing charger to a Genius and let you have a play! We want to get real life feedback and work with you to improve the product until you are 100% happy. This will be free to you. All we ask for in return is a few blog-style posts and engagement on this thread (or a new one we will set up).

We are looking for approx. 10 people. If you are interested, please either comment below or drop me a DM.

We are also planning to do a meet-up early next year where we invite SpeakEV members to an EV track day. The idea will be for you to bring along your EV’s, use our new chargers, raz some EV’s (that we will provide) around the track, and generally have some fun. More info to follow.


2) An idea – eoAgent…..Thoughts?

It’s an idea we have had for a while, however we wanted to get your thoughts on it before going live - it’s called the eoAgent programme. An eoAgent is like a brand ambassador, except it will be your mission for spreading the EV message to friends, family and your network. This can be done online (social media, blogs etc) or offline. In return you will get paid per EO charger sold and your ‘customer’ will receive a discount. To support you, you will receive branded sales and marketing materials, as well as an EO long-sleeve polo shirt (once you sell your first charger)!

In terms of earnings, we are proposing the following:
  • Home Charger – eoAgent gets paid £15 and eoCustomer receives a £15 discount.
  • Work Charger – eoAgent gets paid £50 and eoCustomer receives a £25 discount.
Unfortunately not everyone can have a 00 number, but the first 9 eoAgents will! The way we’re proposing it to work:
  • On our new website (coming soon) there will be an ‘Enquiries Page’
  • Customers will visit the page; enter their details, including their eoAgent number and click ‘submit.’
  • We will then contact them and help them choose the right product; carry out a site survey and subsequently an installation.
  • At this point, the eoAgent’s account is credited. eoAgents will be paid at the end of each month.
What do you think? Yes, No, Maybe?

If you would like to become an eoAgent, please drop me an email ([email protected]) or send me a DM. We will add an eoAgent page to the new website if the feedback is good.

As an eoAgent, you will also have the option to donate your income to the charity we support (the selected charity is to be announced).

Now, if any of you have seen our website (www.eocharging.com), you’ll notice there are a few things that need changing. We are re-designing and developing a new site to reflect the changes we’ve made to Genius. Please bear with us on this.

I apologise for the lengthy post. As you can see there’s a lot going on here at EO HQ! We are hugely excited about where EO is going, especially with Genius v2 coming out soon. We want to work closely with you guys to ensure what we’re doing the right thing. Your feedback and support is key.

It’s been one heck of a ride so far, but it’s only just begun!

We look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Charlie & Team EO
 

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EV and renewables specialist
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491 Posts
I'm curious to know which features in particular are of most interest to users.

Also, if you have any questions on the functionality, I'm happy to support.
 

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Leaf lover
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3,758 Posts
@charliej1
I have a Leaf gen 1 and a new i3 rex
Replace my tethered type 1 Polar unit with a tethered type 2 Polar to accommodate the i3, will later reinstall the type 1 but have a change over switch so that only one can be charged at a time (not sure if this is necessary but playing safe).
As you can see we (the ev community) are in a mess just how things ought to develop and so I feel we have reached a time of accepting that the best way to support ev is to keep faith with the idea and buy an ev that suits you and just press on driving electric miles. Spread a positive message about how great the cars are and hope that in time those who control the industry sort themselves out.
My view is we will have one plug suits all i.e. CCS as the tethered lead everywhere even if your car or home does not require at present the use of the dc pins. (I am thinking car to home through dc pins through my pv solar inverter, that sort of thing)
You are right to focus on home charging but as ev grow in popularity the need for local rapid charging will become apparent and that is when we will need the likes of Tesco to enter the market.

So I would like to help in any way I can.
 

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Registered
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46 Posts
My dream charger:
  • Park car in garage.
  • Insert charging lead and walk away.
  • Smart charger wakes up and communicates with car to monitor state of charge (as I understand it, this cannot be done through charging lead but must be through a can-bus adapter).
Based on my setup parameters, Smart charger will:
  • Feed spare solar energy into car until a programmable limit is reached, say 80%.
  • Charge to a minimum level by the next programmed calendar event (things like Monday to Thursday by 7AM) by using grid power if necessary.
  • Override to charge now at max, if something crops up.
  • Control parameters programmable through an App and/or intranet page.
I am currently researching designing my own kit to do this. There is enough open source stuff out there that I think it would be possible for me to do it. In fact, I’ve already starting buying parts.

Although I would find it enjoyable to do as a project, to be honest, I would sooner just buy one and have it installed.

So, will your “Genius V2” be able to do that, and if so, when will you be installing mine. :)
 

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EV and renewables specialist
Joined
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491 Posts
My dream charger:
  • Park car in garage.
  • Insert charging lead and walk away.
  • Smart charger wakes up and communicates with car to monitor state of charge (as I understand it, this cannot be done through charging lead but must be through a can-bus adapter).
Based on my setup parameters, Smart charger will:
  • Feed spare solar energy into car until a programmable limit is reached, say 80%.
  • Charge to a minimum level by the next programmed calendar event (things like Monday to Thursday by 7AM) by using grid power if necessary.
  • Override to charge now at max, if something crops up.
  • Control parameters programmable through an App and/or intranet page.
I am currently researching designing my own kit to do this. There is enough open source stuff out there that I think it would be possible for me to do it. In fact, I’ve already starting buying parts.

Although I would find it enjoyable to do as a project, to be honest, I would sooner just buy one and have it installed.

So, will your “Genius V2” be able to do that, and if so, when will you be installing mine. :)
The design brief for Genius includes all above points with the exception of monitoring the vehicles SOC.

However, we're working towards an API interface whereby users can develop beyond the core functionality of Genius. Perhaps a software interface could be built that would use a 3rd party device (or perhaps the OEM vehicle App) to read SOC and then command the Genius enabled charger via API.

We're hoping the EV community will embrace Genius and open source develop software to control via API. This would be a great starting point!
 

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Electric Leaf Man
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1,898 Posts
A built in camera would be nice (fisheye). Keeps an eye on the car in theory.

A separate 3pin plug socket would also be helpful as an outside socket to use for car/garden related stuff. As power has been routed to the unit already been able to use it as an outside socket for non car charging stuff will be handy.
 

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Registered
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462 Posts
I'd be interested.
Location South Wales.
Drive e-NV200
7.5kw pv solar array on east and west elevations
Upcoming projects
3kw solar pv awaiting smart grid connection and battery storage systems.
8 kWh lifepo4 battery for storage awaiting smart grid connection
 

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We design and manufacture EV smart chargers
Joined
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
@charliej1
I have a Leaf gen 1 and a new i3 rex
Replace my tethered type 1 Polar unit with a tethered type 2 Polar to accommodate the i3, will later reinstall the type 1 but have a change over switch so that only one can be charged at a time (not sure if this is necessary but playing safe).
As you can see we (the ev community) are in a mess just how things ought to develop and so I feel we have reached a time of accepting that the best way to support ev is to keep faith with the idea and buy an ev that suits you and just press on driving electric miles. Spread a positive message about how great the cars are and hope that in time those who control the industry sort themselves out.
My view is we will have one plug suits all i.e. CCS as the tethered lead everywhere even if your car or home does not require at present the use of the dc pins. (I am thinking car to home through dc pins through my pv solar inverter, that sort of thing)
You are right to focus on home charging but as ev grow in popularity the need for local rapid charging will become apparent and that is when we will need the likes of Tesco to enter the market.

So I would like to help in any way I can.
Morning Richard,

Thank you very much for getting in touch. It's a really interesting time in the market. We feel the industry is really starting to gather pace and with people like Shell releasing their plans publicly; people I'm sure will begin to take EV more seriously. For now, you're absolutely right - we've just got to keep doing what we're doing and we'll get there!

Interesting to hear your view on CCS. This has been a topic of conversation here at EO... Does anyone else feel the same? @Thomas_Newby - what are your thoughts?

In terms of help, yes please! Do you have PV and a battery storage unit at home? It would be great to have you as one of our product testers...

Also, what are your thoughts on the eoAgent idea?

Last question - we would like create an OpenAPI so that people like yourself could create apps for the charger. To start with it would be really interesting to see what people come up with. We could do bi-monthly meetings/web conferences where people could show off their latest dev. What do you think? Whilst I don’t quite know how it would work yet; the vision would be to create some form of App Store where we could commercialise the apps and the developer could make some money….
 

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We design and manufacture EV smart chargers
Joined
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The design brief for Genius includes all above points with the exception of monitoring the vehicles SOC.

However, we're working towards an API interface whereby users can develop beyond the core functionality of Genius. Perhaps a software interface could be built that would use a 3rd party device (or perhaps the OEM vehicle App) to read SOC and then command the Genius enabled charger via API.

We're hoping the EV community will embrace Genius and open source develop software to control via API. This would be a great starting point!
@KiloWatt - hopefully Thomas has answered your questions? It would be great to have you as part of our trial, we're looking at end of Oct/start of Nov.... If not, then it would be good to your experience/thoughts anyway. If you would like a charger anyway, I'm sure we can get that sorted for you! Just let me know how you'd like to play it...
 

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Moderator
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Whilst I don’t quite know how it would work yet; the vision would be to create some form of App Store where we could commercialise the apps and the developer could make some money….
Either make the API public or don't you can't have your cake and eat it too, once its public the only way to monetise it, is to sell SDK access, app store is unlikely to work and you can't embed a secondary store in an iOS app for example.

I would be interested to see what the API looks like, I have most if not all of the BMW interface reverse engineered, so it might be interesting to see what you could do.
 

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We design and manufacture EV smart chargers
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I had an #EO charger installed last month my #ThePhoenixWorks and am very happy with it.

I'd like to be able to put it on my wifi and receive info from it though.
Great news James! Which one did you go for? 7kW Socket?

Re. WiFi - with Genius, you'll be able to connect it to the internet via Ethernet. WiFi is obviously the dream solution, although there are some concerns around reliability. To start with we want to use Ethernet to get the thing up and running and then and then introduce WiFi with v2..... I am sure @Thomas_Newby at The Phoenix Works would swap out your current charger for a new one (when it's ready) for a small cost...?!
 

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Moderator
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Re. WiFi - with Genius, you'll be able to connect it to the internet via Ethernet.
Just go WiFi, ethernet is a PITA. I'd let you go with Zigbee or PowerLine Ethernet at a push. Ethernet wouldn't be viable for me now, I would have to dig my drive up...
 

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We design and manufacture EV smart chargers
Joined
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I'd be interested.
Location South Wales.
Drive e-NV200
7.5kw pv solar array on east and west elevations
Upcoming projects
3kw solar pv awaiting smart grid connection and battery storage systems.
8 kWh lifepo4 battery for storage awaiting smart grid connection
Great news Anthony, what's your email and I'll send you some more info...
 

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Moderator
Joined
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9,719 Posts
Actually thinking about it some more Zigbee is probably the best longterm option, given on the Smart Meter HAN's are based on it. If you wanted to know Solar Output you'd eventually end up polling a service one the Zigbee HAN.
 
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