Can You Really Switch EV Charging Station Networks?
Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations communicate through the Internet to management software for the purposes of operating and controlling the charge stations. OCPP is an internationally established open protocol for the communication between EV charge stations and charge station networks (akin to a cell phone service provider).
OCPP tells the charging station to communicate and send data to a particular EV charging company’s charge station management software . That charge station management software is the major component of an EV charging “network”.
An EV charge station network is necessary to monitor charge station up-time, control access to charging, enable payment processing, capture driver and usage data for reporting, and to integrate with enterprise software systems beyond the charge station network – including utilities, building management systems, HR systems, customer loyalty programs, and other charge station networks.
Some leading EV charging companies that make both charge stations and network operating software say that their network uses open communications protocols, like OCPP, to make their networks open. But often that statement is misleading. If a network is truly open, you should be able to switch network providers without replacing your charging stations when your contract is up. EV Connect was the first EV charging station network provider to offer a “Switchable Network Guarantee”.
It makes sense when you think about a consumer product analogy: Would you buy a television set that only worked with one particular satellite or cable service provider?
At EV Connect, our EV charging solutions use OCPP in order to give customers long-term flexibility and choice – without having to replace hardware when you switch networks. That flexibility leads to higher returns on your charge station investment and the lowest-possible cost of ownership.
Being open means more to us than simply using OCPP as our network communications protocol. It means we can help you design a cost-effective EV charging program that is exactly what you need. From offering you a choice between leading hardware vendors, like Eaton, GE, and others, to managing and maintaining your entire charging program for you.