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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.