What is a Network?
An electric vehicle (EV) charging network is a backoffice that allows you to charge and pay for charging your electric vehicle. The backoffice works in a similar way to a mobile phone network. The EV charging Network’s like ‘Hubsta’ allows users to monitor their usage, see what CO2 saving are being made and what electricity is being used per kWh.
How do you join the Network?
Most networks in the UK are accessible by downloading an App via your smart phone or android or by registering online. The best way in my opinion to use a charging station, is to register online and purchase a fob or card, approximate costs for these are around £8 or if you join the Hubsta network the fobs are free of charge once a direct debit has been set up. Purchasing a fob or card just saves that extra time and helps if you don’t have a signal or data on your phone to access the apps.
How does the Network work with the Charging Station?
The stations can talk to one another and the management company of the network can remotely dial into the stations too, via the Internet when a signal is present. This becomes helpful if a lead is stuck in the station someone remotely can assist you and release or even restart the station.
Most networks can be found on Zap-Map this allows you to locate stations along your intended route and reserve them for your use.
What problems, if any can Networks have?
So the network to a charging station is ran from an SD card similar to a phones sim card. The only difference is the SD cards inside of the chargers will roam the networks (like EE, O2 etc) to find the best signal to keep communicating with the chargers.
In poor signal areas this can become a problem if the signal is low this can cause an interference with the charger which, makes the communication to the backoffice go down, potential problems like leads becoming stuck can cause an issue.
Luckily remote access is always on hand to assist and help restart or reset the stations when the stations become back online.