Alfen Dual Charger

With over 235,000 electric vehicles on the UK’s roads [1] the accessibility and convenience of public charging stations need to be reviewed and improved. This week our very own Sara Sloman chaired a webinar with various industry professionals to discuss how the EV industry can ensure the electric drivers of today and tomorrow can charge with ease, Plugging in: easier payments for EV charging. In this blog post, we recap the points from the webinar. 

The problem

Ben Boutcher-West from Appyway explains – 

As our streets become more complex, with cleantech including last-mile delivery solutions and EV fleets, we need, more than ever, to run the kerbside as a digital asset. Working together with both private and public sector organisations sharing learning across the continent to ensure there are clear understanding and enablement within local authorities will be key to unlocking this kerbside asset. Local Authorities need support, to be digital-ready. Local authorities need to provide an agnostic opportunity to all mobility operators. 

Venceslas Cartier, Head of Transportation & Smart Mobility Payment Solutions at Worldline Global and Anthony Wicks, Key Account Manager, Parking & EVC at Worldline Global joined together to say – 

Drivers want freedom, and contactless payment technology is essential for this. It is clear that consumers are demanding seamless and invisible payments. By 2030 we will need a predicted 3 million chargers and drivers won’t want to enrol on a new network each time they arrive at a new charger. There is a discussion that this number may decrease as the number of forecourt/ultra-rapid charging stations increase across the country, but regardless of that trend, fleets need clarity and openness about their charging. 

How can we resolve this problem?

“Fleets need to understand when the charging happened, how long for and at what cost. This should not be the driver’s concern to manage. For fleet, I believe the RFID and APP is the way forward with interoperability. For the general public, contactless will be essential as journey length increase and the number of stations with it.” – Sara Sloman, Head of Future Mobility Partnerships at Elmtronics

There is room for everyone in this marketplace but we must work together to ensure price parity, and ease of use. RFID cards are still essential to many even if contactless payment is available, and that is why it is so important to ensure high quality, load-balanced smart meters are installed at the home as well as at the Fleet Yard or Depot. There is a thought leadership that suggests there may be tariffs in the future, seeing a regulated tariff for your home and one for transport. This will be a set tariff, to level the playing field. 

Beyond the pricing, we know that Fleet managers are battling with the issue of 3kW and 7kW chargers not providing the turnaround they need for operational efficiency at their depots, but they are restricted by capacity on site. Procuring equipment that can load balance, by measuring the building’s consumption in real-time and allow full charging when the building is not using as much power, will maximise the full capacity allocated to the building on-site, in location. 

Olly Craughan, CSR at DPD urged us to maintain this momentum. He stated, “We can’t be in a position in 2029 where we aren’t ready”. 

Concluding, Ben asked us to carefully consider the need to place importance on the land value opportunity, and Olly focussed on opportunities presented to collaborate and simplify. Vencelas and Anthony know that creating meaningful and scalable partnerships, will bring the consumer demand to a place of reality. We know this will get us to the 2030 deadline and ensure no one is left behind.