Entrepreneurs invest in electric vehicle chargers and profit by charging electric vehicle charging fees, parking fees, and increased retail traffic in the form of charging incentives, derivatives or a combination of these models. Electric vehicle charging stations can be owned by anyone and can be installed anywhere there is electricity. Unlike traditional charging stations, EV charging stations are self-contained units, often located in unattended parking lots. This means that electric vehicle drivers encountering a faulty public charging station should call the 24-hour customer support hotline rather than go to the station manager. The customer support hotline will likely solve the problem, but the station's reputation may suffer temporarily.
The market for electric vehicles is still very small, and some participants have managed to "make it work." It is also important to understand that, unlike conventional fuel pumps, electric vehicle charging is almost entirely controlled by software. As a result, the quality and sophistication of the software that controls the charging stations and their networks will determine the investment in electric vehicle charging. It will pay off in the future today. Connecting software-driven devices to a centralized network is a natural evolution of all Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and the secondary benefits of hosted charging are enormous. Intelligent connected charging stations allow facility managers to charge electric vehicles from Simplicity Turning. The convenience turns into a sophisticated and scalable business opportunity.
Other than a dedicated modem to read credit cards, the first charging stations had no Internet connection. Even when stations were later upgraded with data capability, they could not provide detailed error reports over the network. This means that the owner of the facility may not be aware of the problem until he sees the monthly utility bill or a profit and loss report on the charger. Once a problem is identified, the owner of the disconnected station is faced with the tedious process of arranging for repairs and spending time rebuilding the station's reputation for electric vehicle charging. Today's networked charging stations protect facility managers from such outages.
Equipped with a permanent Internet connection, new charging stations can report on whether they are working, how often and how long customers are charging their batteries, and send basic error reports. Most connected charging stations can also inform the EV charging smartphone app whether the station is currently in use. While these are significant improvements, charging station owners face the challenge of repairing unconnected charging stations.
Maintaining and ensuring uptime is challenging when there are multiple charging stations to ensure profitability. However, a national network with multiple types of chargers in each of its 300 branches across the country puts its investment and reputation at immediate risk if a charger fails. This scale usually involves one of the largest and most popular EV charging station suppliers. These companies determine which chargers can be purchased and owned, and manage the national charging network. A "wall-in" agreement may be suitable if the supplier always agrees to any changes made to the system or its price and feels that he will not purchase the equipment at a price higher than the mandatory equipment list. The trade-off for charging stations and a functioning network is to accept reliance on one supplier for the long term. An isolationist approach is detrimental to property owners and discourages the development of electricity as the primary fuel for transportation.
Premises owners considering offering charging as a business are not looking at the charging station logo and stickers of modern industrial design but rather trying to see if the whole system is manageable and very flexible. When selecting accounting software, they ask questions about how the system will help their business. Questions like:
Decisions about how to create a revenue stream from electric vehicle charging will vary from company to company when owning or using a charger. If the embedded provider stops operating, do you double your investment and change network providers and equipment, or do you stop charging altogether? Does replacing or removing a charger waiting for an electric car driver do more or less damage to the brand than a failed charger?
The number of electric cars continues to grow along with the infrastructure to charge them. The same is true for business opportunities related to electric vehicle charging. The right electric vehicle charging platform can give entrepreneurs confidence in the long-term performance of their investments. Entrepreneurs and startups, just like any other business system, need to take the time to evaluate the billing proposal. Do your homework, get started, ask the tough questions, and plan for the long term. Start today with ENERGY5.
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