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Hi all

I have to do a presentation on smart charging, for a well known charging company.

What new features would you like to see on home or public chargers?
(I'm looking for blue sky thinking making them as sensible or outlandish as possible)

Look forward to hearing you ideas.

Tim
 

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  1. The ability to rent out my home charger (as a destination charger) to someone via an app, and I get paid and decide my 'opening' hours, or if I want to make it free let me do that as well.
  2. For my home charger to have an upgrade guarantee, e.g. if new features promised/required aren't added, they will allow an upgrade at little to no cost to one that has these features.
  3. A home charger that can support a single or double solar panel connected to it directly, allowing trickle (if you can call 300w-800w a trickle) charging over many hours or days when parked, this would obviously required a charger with isolation from the mains when in this mode, and with an inverter built in. Smaller space requirement and lower costs that a full solar install but very beneficial in the long term.
  4. My home charger should also capture data from the vehicle to make it smarter, e.g. building a pattern of just how much charge is regularly required, and notifying me in the app of when best to plug in to get the cheapest energy.
 

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Public chargers:
  • Contactless payment / no app needed
  • Rain cover / solar roof (for destination this only needs to be over the charger. For rapids I would suggest something more akin to a petrol station forecourt)
  • Nothing that gets in the way or makes the parking space small (bollards, pillars, railings, etc)
  • Method to prevent the space being used without being plugged in
  • Method to prevent the space being used when you reach 100% charge (rapids only)
  • 24/7 support with less than 30 second answer times on calls
  • Fast fix times for broken equipment
  • Generally well maintained (both the equipment and the area around the equipment)
  • Some method of capturing a receipt without using an app (e.g. a display showing cost, energy delivered, time, date, VAT number) that you can photograph, maybe with a QR code on it
  • Integration with Zap-Map for real time "in use" data
  • Integration with in car entertainment/nav systems
  • Not to be abandoned once the government subsidy / grant runs out
 

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Home

twin outlet charger with the ability to

not be huge and garish

schedule the two cars with ‘must be ready by’

Intelligently use plunge pricing alongside the point above

safely maximise current draw balancing the two cars and house use

change the above ‘live’ with no need to unplug or whatever to make it refresh
 

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Public chargers:
  • Contactless payment / no app needed
  • Rain cover / solar roof (for destination this only needs to be over the charger. For rapids I would suggest something more akin to a petrol station forecourt)
  • Nothing that gets in the way or makes the parking space small (bollards, pillars, railings, etc)
  • Method to prevent the space being used without being plugged in
  • Method to prevent the space being used when you reach 100% charge (rapids only)
  • 24/7 support with less than 30 second answer times on calls
  • Fast fix times for broken equipment
  • Generally well maintained (both the equipment and the area around the equipment)
  • Some method of capturing a receipt without using an app (e.g. a display showing cost, energy delivered, time, date, VAT number) that you can photograph, maybe with a QR code on it
  • Integration with Zap-Map for real time "in use" data
  • Integration with in car entertainment/nav systems
  • Not to be abandoned once the government subsidy / grant runs out

All of that!
 

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Public

implement ‘git control’ - penalties for improper use (ICE, overstay after full etc)

don’t make me operate the unit and plug in while being rained on

cut the faff. Flat rate, contactless.

make the dynamic data provided to apps accurate and timely
 

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Public - queue a charge with a multi-headed rapid charger.
It would be handy to plug the Chademo in to one car whilst another car is charging through CCS and then once they stop the Chademo can start charging.

Even better if it could slowly charge with any excess power (the difference between what the other car is pulling and the charger is capable of) and then once the other car stops charging it could ramp up to full.
So many times i've had to wait due to a driver charging up to 100% on less than 6KW when i could have been using the spare 40+KW (charger should also stop when less than 7KW is been pulled)
 

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Domestic charger:
Twin ports (or twin tethered)
Optional Post
Several Colour Options (a white that does not discolour)
Charge Rate setting via a rotary dial for ease-of-use
Incorporate TP-Link or suchlike for Scheduled Charging
Subtle LEDs for status
Built in holder for Plug
Optional 3-pin outlet
Optional auxillary lighting with dusk sensor/timer

Rapid:
Camera with ANPR connection to verbally shame anyone blocking them and to issue fines/educational letters to offenders
Rain canopies
No puddles
Easy access for the disabled users
Maybe additional info based off data collected for identical vehicles to give you an estimate to reach different states of charge
 

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Public - queue a charge with a multi-headed rapid charger.
It would be handy to plug the Chademo in to one car whilst another car is charging through CCS and then once they stop the Chademo can start charging.

Even better if it could slowly charge with any excess power (the difference between what the other car is pulling and the charger is capable of) and then once the other car stops charging it could ramp up to full.
Possibly also a time limit switch-over - once the first car has been charging for a set period (say 30 or 45 minutes, irrespective of whether the other charging cable is plugged in) it then switches over to be second vehicle in the queue.

This means that if the first driver has plugged in and gone for a meal, once their car has been charging for at least the set period, if another car plugs in the other connecting lead the newly arrived car immediately gets full power (and the first car gets whatever spare there is in the supply to the charging point, although this may only be possible if one car is AC charging and the other car is DC charging).

The first driver gets guaranteed full rate charging for the set period - which should be more than sufficient to get them on their way, with anything extra because the other charging lead is not in use as a bonus.
 

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A courteous attendant at the charge point, plugging you in and then asking...something for the weekend sir? :)
 

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Hi all

I have to do a presentation on smart charging, for a well known charging company.

What new features would you like to see on home or public chargers?
(I'm looking for blue sky thinking making them as sensible or outlandish as possible)

Look forward to hearing you ideas.

Tim
Home charging; OK as it is now

Public charging; Payment by contactless credit or debit card. There is no excuse for not having this universally now.

Reliability; No more subsidies for any provider with poor record.

Rapid chargers to be sited where they are needed based on proper planning which takes account of current and future traffic flows and availability of direct slip roads off main trunk routes.
 

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Thinking about this more, really, reliability and having some confidence in availability are the key issues right now - at least for public charging.

My advice to the charging company would be to a) shelve any smart features or fancy innovations with public charging until they can guarantee 99.9% reliability and maybe implement a shared network of rapid deployment maintenance call out teams for the remaining 0.01% of the time so that any failed unit anywhere in the county can be fixed within a couple hours max., and b) invest in providing at least 2 units at each location to provide the bare minimum of redundancy.

Once they’ve sorted that, then let’s think about the smart stuff.
 

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Based on the things I read here, one of the potential issues which deter me from making the jump to pure EV driving at this stage is payment issues on public chargers - they should accept payment (card contactless or chip and pin, coins, notes) without being dependent on needing a specific app, needing mobile phone reception or being a signed up member of a charging network scheme.

We take it for granted we can walk into any shop, or drive into a petrol station, or use a vending machine without having to have an app, or be a subscriber of a certain charging network or have mobile signal to make a purchase. The reports of the EV public charging experience point towards it being pretty poor and amateurish, using lots of overly complex technology which relies on connectivity and isn't sufficiently robust, when the basic process of accepting a payment and dispensing some electricity is incredibly simple.

I think it comes from a mind-set problem, EV charging networks operators think they're technology companies. They're not. They're vending machine operators.
 
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