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Ensto explains electric vehicle recharging infrastructure for ‘confused’ fleet managers

Ensto explains electric vehicle recharging infrastructure for ‘confused’ fleet managers

Inconsistent quality of the electric vehicle charging experience is impacting on UK fleet’s engagement with plug-in cars, according to Ensto Chago.  

Combined with the ambiguity that surrounds the industry, including an array of acronyms and terminology, fleets are being left confused as to what infrastructure they need to support their business needs, according to the recharging solutions provider.  

James O’Neill, UK director, Ensto Chago, said: “While we’re already a veteran in the field of electric vehicle charging, it’s good to remember the industry is still relatively young.  

“Many fleet managers have an ever-growing list of responsibilities, in addition to company vehicles, including HR, procurement or purchasing. With the on-going backlash against diesel cars, fleets are having to consider adding electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids to their choice lists, and are having to address the added pressure of charging infrastructures, data and security issues.” 

To help demystify electric vehicle charging, Ensto Chago has detailed the key factors to consider when opting to use a Fast (AC) electric vehicle charging infrastructure: 

  • Power ratings - new plug-in vehicles are able to charge at much quicker speeds from AC charging, (now up to 43kWh), so install three-phase 22kW charging points when possible - though the majority of installs in the UK are currently single-phase.           
  • Securing the fleet - careless security design can leave chargers vulnerable to information attacks, including identity theft and unwanted data consumption directly from the posts. However, electric vehicle charging becomes vulnerable only if the conditions allow, but there are three ways to significantly increase charging security: (1)Ensure everything stays private - businesses need a personal SIM-card to receive a secure IP address where two-way communication between the charger and back-end systems stays secure via a Virtual Private Network (VPN), enabling a secure connection between the station and the server. (2)Should the SIM-card be misplaced, ensure the charger operators have access to freeze the SIM-card immediately, and remotely, at the user’s request. (3)Charge points should be designed with Open Charge Point Protocol (OCCP), the global open standard for charging equipment, so it responds only to specific back-end systems to eliminate the chance of misuse.            
  • Operational (OPEX) costs - look to position chargers where there is already an established electricity connection as that will result in lower operating costs for the host. Studies have proven that will save as much as 80% of a charging points whole-life cycle costs. 
  • Usage case - are the charging points for a private or public network? Public networks will need to feed into a front-end online interface allowing drivers to locate, view real-time availability and potentially pay for charging over their smart phones.           
  • Smart charging - smart charging solutions help electric vehicles communicate with the power grid and manage the flow and cost of electricity. Vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies enable the infrastructure to respond to grid signals, enhancing the efficiency of charge system during peak load times.    
  • Future Proofing - charging points should have built-in functionalities to remotely update software and firmware through back-end programmes. That leads to higher performance across the network and charging uptimes of nearly 99% to give electric vehicle drivers peace of mind.
  • Dynamic load management - for businesses with limited power capacity, dynamic load management constantly monitors and allocates the electrical feed across charging points, automatically altering the charging parameters for each station as it is in use, based on the power output available. By using the optimal charging power, charging costs are minimised to help cut down on operational expenditure.  
  • Network reporting and data analytics - it is important to access usage reporting and data analytics from charging infrastructures so businesses can assess the behaviour of electric vehicle drivers and understand the demand for charging to enable an upgrade and adding of more rechargers.