Electric cars were first introduced to the U.S. market in 1890. Since then, they have come a long way.
Last year, electric vehicle (EV) sales achieved a major milestone by capturing more than 10% of the global automobile market share for the first time. Research indicates that this number can even quadruple by 2030. In fact, electric cars are all set to outpace gasoline-powered cars by 2030 and beyond.
However, several barriers to EV adoption have remained.
EV owners, for example, are apprehensive about lengthy charging sessions which can range anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire day. Furthermore, the number of charging stations is limited at present, causing drivers and vehicle owners to have ‘range anxiety’. Most EVs can travel anywhere between 100-250 miles after being fully charged once, with the range varying from model to model.
Fleet electrification also remains challenging for the same reasons. Additionally, Fleet owners also have concerns about battery performance, integrating fleet data and high volume of transactional data with their business data, and effective end-user management.
On the other hand, charging point operators (CPOs) face challenges like identifying the right locations for setting up charging stations, ensuring the health and maintenance of charging infrastructure and managing grid overload issues.
Finally, Electric Vehicle Energy Management Systems (EVEMS), which allocate energy for charging electric vehicles, need to ensure efficient energy utilization. This is to avoid straining energy resources while simultaneously enabling EV owners and drivers to access charging facilities as and when they need them.
How Can Data Analytics Help?
Using data analytics, AI, and IoT, charging patterns can be monitored for optimizing energy and infrastructure utilization.
The experience of end-users can also be augmented through location intelligence, charging point data, usage data, and vehicle data. This way, the user-friendliness of EVs can be improved by leaps and bounds.
IntelliDevice by FORMCEPT is a fully managed IoT solution built on top of our award-winning data excellence product, MECBot. It puts the superpowers of AI and IoT in the hands of key stakeholders of the EV ecosystem, i.e. the EV owners, fleet operators, CPOs, and EVEMS providers.
In the subsequent sections of this blog, we explore how IntelliDevice eliminates the barriers to EV adoption through unified charging analytics, improved customer experience, seamless infrastructure management, and integrated operations management.
Unified Charging Analytics for EV
In a 2019 study, McKinsey & Company identified charging problems as one of the primary obstacles to widespread electric vehicle adoption in the United States.
EV consumers seek a longer driving range and shorter charging times. However multiple charging-related issues come in the way. These issues primarily stem from:
1. Slow Charging Speeds
There are three levels of chargers for EVs. The level 1 charger, i.e. the standard 120-volt plug, can fill a battery to near full capacity in about 20 to 40 hours. Level 2 chargers, operating at 240 volts, provide 20 to 25 miles of charge in an hour, reducing charging time to 8 hours or less. Level 3 chargers, known as DC fast chargers, can charge a battery up to 80% in just 30 minutes. Presently, level two chargers are the most commonly found chargers for EVs.
2. Limited Accessibility to Chargers
A 2022 study by Deloitte shows that most potential EV buyers prefer home charging, with only 11% relying on public chargers. However, parking garages in apartment complexes often lack charging facilities, and the installation costs may deter building managers. Additionally, there is the issue of managing electricity costs at common outlets, as EV charging consumes more energy than typical residential usage.
This has led to concerns about 'range anxiety,' where EV owners worry about running out of power before finding a suitable charging station during longer trips. Hence, a significant increase in EV charging infrastructure is the need of the hour.
According to a study by the International Council on Clean Transportation, an additional 10,000 charging stations will be needed in the U.S. by 2025 to support inter-city EV travel. However, in which locations these new charging stations should be built, what should their capacity be, and what kind of chargers they should deploy–all these decisions require actionable intelligence backed by AI and IoT.
The extended charging time of electric vehicles necessitates a reevaluation of charging infrastructure placement. To accommodate this, charging stations should be strategically located in areas where people often park their vehicles for long durations. It is crucial to reconsider the charging geography and prioritize setting up charging stations in proximity to office spaces and commercial complexes. This approach will play a pivotal role in providing convenient access to charging facilities for EV owners.
3. Lack of Integrated Charging Station Management
The EV charging infrastructure currently faces reliability challenges, necessitating continuous monitoring, and maintenance to minimize downtime.
A crucial step in addressing this issue is collecting data from EVSEs in real-time using IoT and analyzing it to derive insights on EVSE health, performance, charging trends, and demand predictions. By having an automated system to promptly inform charger companies about any issues, they can be efficiently addressed on-site, ensuring that the users' time is not wasted and their charging experience is free from unnecessary stress.
Furthermore, the existing limitation of electric charging infrastructure lies in the restricted communication protocols, typically tied to a single network provider. This poses challenges when upgrades are needed or when one needs to switch networks.
The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) addresses this with an open networking standard. It has been adopted in Europe and is also gaining popularity in the US. But, integrated charging station management tools would have to be OCPP-enabled in order to be of the maximum value to the CPOs.
How IntelliDevice Helps to Overcome EV Charging Barriers Using Unified Charging Analytics
In IntelliDevice, all Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) data is stored as a smart knowledge graph, enabling intelligent recommendations for charging station owners. EVSE is a collection of power electronics designed to deliver regulated power from the electrical grid (or renewable energy sources) to the batteries of electric vehicles in a safe and efficient manner.
Here’s a glimpse of how IntelliDevice helps EVSE owners and Charge Point Operators (CPOs) with its unified charging analytics capabilities.
- It offers just-in-time visibility into the performance and health of each charging station.
- Owners can use IntelliDevice to predict and prevent breakdowns of charging stations.
- It enables the prediction of demand cycles for charging stations using information like the number of charging sessions and the average/total duration of charging sessions per station in a specific timeframe.
- It utilizes downtime data to generate insights and optimize support services.
- It analyzes trends and patterns in the revenue, cost, and power/utility usage of each charging station along with cost and revenue drivers, spot billing, and payment gateway integration.
- It optimizes pricing schemes for peak and off-peak hours based on users’ charging needs and configures differential pricing based on load.
- It provides insights into driver distribution and management and optimizes ticketing systems for support services.
- IntelliDevice adheres to globally approved protocols–like OCPP, MQTT, CoAP, and HTTPS.
- Charging station analytics help identify the location and type (slow, fast, and ultra-fast) of new charging stations based on demand-supply intelligence.
Improved Customer Experience for EV Owners
When EV owners embark on long trips, they encounter two primary challenges.
Firstly, they face the concern of running out of power before finding a suitable charging station along the way. To address this, they need to be aware of the charging stations located along their route.
Additionally, since an EV charging station may be out of order or have a long queue of customers, they may need to contact charging stations in advance to ensure they are operational and can accommodate their charging needs.
Secondly, there is the inconvenience of charging the electric vehicle's batteries. The time required to recharge an EV is significantly longer compared to refueling a gas tank. It typically takes around 3 to 5 minutes to refuel a gas tank, whereas recharging an EV battery would take at least 30 minutes with Level 3 charging, which is also more expensive.
On average, Level 2 charging, which is the most popular charging option, takes approximately 8 hours. This becomes a significant issue for EV owners during long drives or road trips, as they may find themselves stuck on the road for hours while waiting for their vehicles to recharge.
How IntelliDevice Drives EV Adoption By Alleviating Key Customer Concerns
- IntelliDevice assists users in finding nearby charging stations, enabling them to pre-book charging sessions and join waiting lists when necessary.
- In cases where a specific charging station is unavailable, it suggests alternative travel routes beforehand based on the user's destination.
- With the aid of location analytics, IntelliDevice offers personalized recommendations for activities such as shopping, recreation, dining, and other options to make the most of the charging time at a station.
Seamless Grid Management for EVEMS
Fleets are fast emerging as one of the most substantial electricity users, competing with individual car owners for affordable and dependable power access. This means that there is a need for increased grid capacity and smarter grid management to prevent overloading. The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts a 38% surge in electricity consumption by 2050, primarily driven by the widespread adoption of EVs.
An Electric Vehicle Energy Management System (EVEMS) allocates energy for charging electric vehicles, and in the process, it gathers energy data from all connected devices in the EV ecosystem.
The goal of an EVEMS is to enable effective energy management. For this, it needs to access just-in-time insights into energy consumption as well as detect energy leaks, equipment failures, and other anomalies. Additionally, they can enhance grid performance and efficiency by measuring usage versus wastage ratios and demand cycle patterns. This way, they can help minimize wastage and maximize energy availability when needed.
How IntelliDevice Helps the EVEMS to Optimize and Balance the EV Energy Load
- IntelliDevice assists EVEMS and utility companies in predicting the necessary charging capacity, timing, and location just-in-time to avoid grid overload.
- It anticipates power limitations, price fluctuations, and demand spikes, and sends relevant alerts to users. Users receive SMS and email notifications based on their reporting preferences.
- Additionally, it alleviates strain on charging infrastructure and power grids while enabling autonomous and self-service charging whenever feasible.
- IntelliDevice aids utility companies in preventing blackouts or brownouts through ad-hoc energy audits.
- It helps to minimize emissions, and hence, supports and enables Net Zero goals.
Integrated Operations Management for EV Fleet Operators
As vehicle fleet operators electrify their operations, they need a data-driven solution to make crucial decisions just in time. Examples of fleet operators include municipal mass transit fleets, corporate fleets, airport ground support fleets, and taxi fleets.
Fleet operators face the critical task of maintaining the reliability of their services while functioning within tremendous time and efficiency constraints. Like EV owners, they too face the challenges related to charging and range, but, at a much larger scale. They have to ensure that all their vehicles are up and running at all times at the minimum possible cost. They also have to minimize their carbon footprint, and hence, pay special attention to their energy consumption and emission rates.
Balancing demand and supply cycles would require just-in-time decision-making related to charging, energy consumption, travel routes, as well as overall operations management. This is exactly where IntelliDevice comes in.
Effortless Fleet Electrification–Transforming Mobility with IntelliDevice
- IntelliDevice optimizes EV fleet charging to minimize net energy costs by considering various charging scenarios such as overnight, opportunity, and on-route charging.
- It reduces peak demand at warehouses, thereby mitigating the requirement for costly upgrades to electric power distribution infrastructure.
- By decreasing peak load and demand surges, it effectively lowers the overall net energy cost for fleet operations across the network.
- As power infrastructure faces growing constraints, IntelliDevice offers a solution by intelligently shifting demand to less constrained periods. This way, it reduces the strain on local networks and eliminates the need for costly network upgrades.
- By utilizing battery data for each vehicle, each fleet, and across multiple fleets, IntelliDevice generates precise performance trends and predictive models for battery health.
- It effectively identifies potential battery faults and failures in advance, enabling fleet operators to optimize fleet efficiency and overall performance.
With IntelliDevice’s ability to build, deploy, and run IoT operations at scale, unlocking just-in-time operational intelligence for EVs is now a reality.
It synergizes industrial IoT and enterprise AI bringing unprecedented scalability, speed, and interoperability to the EV industry. Seamlessly integrating device data with business intelligence enables an end-to-end optimization of operations. Furthermore, capturing device diagnostics and meta-data facilitates insightful analysis like never before.
Build a connected future with IntelliDevice–the global benchmark for industrial IoT. Learn more about IntelliDevice for EV here: https://formcept.com/products/intellidevice/solutions/intellidevice-for-ev/