5 benefits of smart charging stations for business

June 8, 2022 | Yana Gorfan

The number of electric vehicles is growing exponentially - according to the most conservative forecasts, in 10 years they will outstrip gasoline-powered cars in sales volume, and in 20 years they will completely replace them.
Therefore, already now, many entrepreneurs are thinking about purchasing charging stations in order to get additional opportunities for their business.

Companies which decide to install a charging station for electric vehicles on their territory, face a choice - an offline or a cloud-connected station? The simplest solution is an offline station, which works like a regular outlet, but without the possibility of monetising the charging service.

A charging station, which is connected to an intelligent back-end system is called online, or a smart station. Such a system allows you to remotely monitor the operation of the station, manage access and tariffs, distribute the load and monitor energy consumption.

With this solution, owners of any commercial property with parking can provide a paid electric car charging service for their customers. The charging station is added on the world maps of public charging stations, displayed in mobile applications of operators and attracts new customers for business.
TOUCH charging management platform
Offline stations can be significantly cheaper at the time of purchase, but during operation they require additional personnel costs and do not have the ability to monetise the charging service. Below you can find 5 tasks which offline charging loses to smart stations.
1. User flow and station access control

Offline stations have less coverage, since EV drivers, when searching for a charging station, primarily use the applications of regional operators, which display mainly online stations connected to the operator's digital platform. Moreover, in the application you can book stations in advance, track their availability, pay for the service and monitor the charging process.
2. Monitoring station operation in real time

Thanks to the intelligent software for station management, you get a convenient monitoring panel, where all relevant information is displayed. You can see how many people are charging at your stations at any time, find out about problems and reach out to technical specialists to solve them.
Tab “Home”, TOUCH charging management platform
3. Station access control and fare assignment

If you have placed the smart station in an open-access parking lot, you can limit the number of users in the control panel and make charging available only to your employees, per instance. More flexible configuration is also possible - during working hours the station will be available only for your employees or clients, and outside of working hours - for everyone else. At the same time, for the former charging can be free and for the latter it can be paid, which will partially offset the costs of maintaining your station.

At offline stations, you can restrict access to charging using a special RFID lock that will block access to the charger - but in this situation, there is a high risk that one of your colleagues or clients will lose the RFID key and you will have to waste time on reissue keys and updating the user base. New customers and employees will also need to issue RFID keys, which leads to additional costs.
Tab “Edit location”, TOUCH charging management platform
4. Station usage statistics

Since smart stations have a user application, you gain access to the data collected by the app: Who uses your station and at what time? Which car is being charged? How much time does it spend and how much energy does it consume? The information received will help you make a decision about installing additional stations, launching marketing activities or creating new products and services aimed at this audience segment.
Tab “Reports”, TOUCH charging management platform
5. Electricity consumption management

In the charging station management system, you can see how much electricity each user consumes, as well as set limits for a specific user or the entire station. This is especially useful if your electrical capacity is not designed to handle 100% load from all installed stations. In this case, you can adjust the power distribution settings to ensure even power consumption.

In addition, the charging platform can generate custom energy reports. In many Western countries, there are already regulatory requirements for companies to provide such reporting. Therefore, smart stations make life much easier for their owners by automating this process.
We hope this article will help you decide between an offline charging station or a more expensive model that is remotely controlled using an app and a platform.
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