In recent years, we have seen a surge in the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) as more people are turning to sustainable transportation options. Clean energy, improved driving performance, and government incentives are driving people to switch to EVs. The European Union (EU) and the United States (US) have set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a net-zero emissions economy. With this shift, the need for EV charging stations has increased significantly, leading to a boom in the EV charging industry. Governments across the globe have recognized the importance of supporting the growth of EV charging infrastructure and implemented policies and procedures to accelerate its development.
The role of IoT in EV charging stations
Efficiency and reliability are critical factors to the success of EV charging stations. Drivers expect to be able to charge their vehicles quickly, reliably and conveniently. Cellular IoT connectivity can provide a number of benefits for EV charging providers looking to improve their charging station deployment, operations, maintenance, and service provisioning.
IoT connectivity allows for real-time communication between devices and enables data exchange without human intervention. This technology is essential for the EV charging industry as it provides several benefits that make charging more accessible, efficient, and cost-effective. Features enabled by IoT include:
- Remote monitoring and management of EV charging stations: Operators can monitor the usage, status, and performance of charging stations from a central location, without physical intervention. This not only saves time and money but also ensures that any issues can be quickly identified and resolved, minimizing downtime for EV drivers.
- Smart charging: the intelligent distribution of power to EVs based on factors such as battery level, charging speed, and grid demand. This ensures that the available power is used efficiently and reduces the strain on the grid during peak hours. Smart charging also allows for dynamic pricing, where the cost of charging varies based on the time of day and demand, encouraging EV owners to charge their vehicles during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper and more abundant.
- Reservation apps: enable EV drivers to locate and reserve charging stations using mobile apps or navigation systems, making charging more accessible and convenient. This feature is ideal for long-distance travel, where drivers need to plan their route and ensure charging station accessibility along the way.
- Integration with Payment Systems: cellular connectivity can be used to integrate charging stations with payment systems, making it easier for users to pay for charging services.
Overcoming connectivity challenges
Robust connectivity is critical for EV charging infrastructure. Connectivity issues could lead to downtime creating a negative experience for the consumer and decreased revenue for the provider.
While both Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and Wi-Fi are commonly used to provide connectivity for EV charging stations, cellular connectivity has several advantages over these technologies. Cellular networks offer higher levels of security and are more scalable than Wi-Fi or OCPP. Traditional cellular connectivity also faces certain challenges, including:
- Varying signal strength based on location
- The need to physically change a SIM card to change carriers
- Added complexity of managing multiple provider contracts
Velocity IoT’s SIM cards, VIoT-Flex, provide direct access to hundreds of wireless carriers, unlike traditional SIMs that rely on roaming or are locked into a single carrier. Velocity IoT has a unique solution that combines the benefits of eUICC and the simplicity, ease of use and cost effectiveness of a multi-IMSI solution. Highly secure local core networks deployed in different countries enable devices to download and use localized IMSIs. Benefits of the solution include:
- Autonomous switching to the strongest available carrier
- Increased up-time and better connectivity
- Global coverage with a single SIM
- Compliance with roaming restrictions
Designed for IoT scale, VIoT-Flex gives you a secure platform that supports remote SIM management and control, ensuring the longevity of your solutions without ever needing to replace a SIM card.
As the demand for EVs and charging stations continues to grow, IoT connectivity will play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability and scalability of the EV charging industry. The need for reliable IoT connectivity solutions , such as Velocity IoT’s VIoT-Flex, will be essential for providing the consistent and reliable services that customers expect.