Next-generation EV charging management

Ben Kegler
Ben Kegler
January 13, 2023
• Updated
min read
Next-generation EV charging management

Switch platform: watch Plug & Charge for AC and DC unfold in real-time

On 12 September 2022, Switch successfully showcased the first-ever Plug & Charge for AC charging at the Intercharge Network Conference (ICNC) in Berlin, Germany. We successfully demonstrated automated and secure charging with chargers by Alfen and Zaptec against cars from Volkswagen, Porsche and Mercedes Benz.

Switch is a fast-growing, premier tech and knowledge company dedicated to creating the most user-friendly and seamless EV charging experience. We deliberately decided to pave the way, pushing and challenging technological development, to create the most powerful and user-convenient solution yet.

Our entire software architecture is based on the latest protocols ISO 15118-2/-20 and OCPP 2.0.1.

Our jam-packed showcase demonstrated first-hand Switch's vision of advanced next-generation capabilities for EV charger management, unique to the Switch platform. 

In particular, the granular real-time data visualisation of the charging station’s components and the 'conversation' between the car, the charger and the cloud-based Switch platform is a cutting-edge capability that piqued the attendees’ curiosity. Enabling Plug & Charge (based on ISO 15118) for AC charging stations for the first time and making the details of this most convenient authorisation method visible on the platform is another first in this industry. This will benefit anyone operating a charging network with certified Plug & Charge hardware, as this gives granular visibility, meaning issues can be detected remotely, analysed and ideally even fixed before drivers are left frustrated.

Granular visibility for Plug & Charge AC and DC charging in your backend

The Switch platform helps you build better EV charging networks and brings real market value that benefits you and your customers. It gives you a competitive advantage by allowing you access to the right tools needed to increase network uptime and reduce maintenance costs - preventing customer churn.

At Switch, we are dedicated to accelerating the electrification of transport, while giving businesses and end customers access to vital-packed advanced capabilities for a seamless charging experience and an opportunity to diversify their portfolio of revenue streams. Powered by the Switch platform.

We believe our embedded operating system for EV chargers, Josev, is essential in building the foundation to turn this vision into a tangible solution for all network operators.  So, what are some of these ‘advanced capabilities’ we’re talking about in this article? 

Here are a few examples:

  • automated and secure charging and billing without any driver involvement across AC and DC charging
  • bi-directional charging so you and your customers profit from using the energy stored in your power banks on wheels to reduce your energy bills
  • chargers that work all the time and notify you of any issues ahead of charger failure, yielding happy EV drivers

Our solutions enable and expand business opportunities across AC and DC charging, such as Advanced Uptime Diagnostics, which specifically shines in public forecourt DC charging. With its typically high turnaround times on expensive high-powered chargers, public charging networks favour high network uptime. The Switch platform has you covered and opens up new business opportunities too. Thanks to bi-directional charging powered by Josev, you can compete in the energy services market with the ability to monetise storage capacities.

The destination charging space (i.e. shopping centres, restaurants and hotels), which is primarily AC charging, offers an opportunity for additional revenue streams. Why not reduce your parking costs by leveraging your EV as a power bank to provide that bit of energy you can spare to the building or the grid when needed? EV drivers can opt-in to allow their battery capacities to be used in a virtual power plant via vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services soon offered through the Switch platform. These examples show how we can make EV charging a commercially viable business by enabling EV charging networks and hardware providers with value propositions that are superior in the market. 

To surmise, the launch of the Switch platform brings an array of advanced next-generation capabilities to businesses that want to leverage their EV charging networks to generate recurring healthy revenue streams, and pass on the benefits to the end customer. All this means that you get a superior product packed with vital, advanced capabilities for businesses, who want to leverage their EV charging networks to generate and diversify their revenue portfolio and create a seamless charging experience for the end customer.

Our platform is native to the latest EV charging communication standards, which means you get access to important next-generation capabilities as mentioned above through our unique embedded Josev software solution. This helps you save time and money, reduce operational costs and create a profitable business case for your EV charging network.

Plug & Charge is the gateway to next generation charging services

ISO 15118 is an industry-approved EV communication standard co-written by Switch CEO & founder Marc Mültin. It brings cutting-edge capabilities such as the Tesla-like, hassle-free identification method to all EVs and chargers, regardless of the brand. Simply plug in and start charging. That’s why this feature is called ‘Plug & Charge’. With the Switch platform, you have access to Plug & Charge and other important benefits. 

Here’s a short overview of some of the most outstanding advantages for your business:

  • advanced uptime diagnostics, which lets you see in real-time the charging process from the car to the charger to the backend, is a unique feature of the Switch platform. This means you can identify and analyse the problem before your charger fails. Helping you to reduce operational costs and retain happy customers! It’s a win-win
  • Plug & Charge for AC and DC is the simplest, most secure way for drivers to charge their electric vehicles. Switch is the first to offer authentication, billing and payment without driver involvement for the workplace, fleet and home - giving you an edge in user-convenience
  • bi-directional charging brings energy self-sufficiency to your home or commercial property (Vehicle-to-Home/Building, V2H/V2B), allowing you to utilise the energy stored in your EVs for day-to-day life and during emergencies (Vehicle-to-Load, V2L). It also unlocks the ability to generate additional income via ancillary smart grid services (Vehicle-to-Grid, V2G)

The benefits of granular data visualisation in real-time

A cutting-edge feature of the Switch platform is the visibility of the communication between the car and the charger in granular detail. This granularity allows you to remotely pinpoint a potential failure by identifying and analysing log files to determine the source of the problem, either from the car or the charger. This way, network operators can better zoom in upon the issue and know exactly what to do to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. The result: less downtime, more revenue for the network operator and happier EV drivers that can count on an increasingly reliable network of chargers.

With Switch, you can manage and control your charging network regardless of size and location, allowing you to grow and scale your business based on the latest technologies - seamlessly.

If you can’t see it, you can’t manage it

The Switch platform is the only CSMS on the market that offers unique insight into the entirety of the charging process, including the conversation between the electric car and the charger (based on ISO 15118) and between the charger and the CSMS (OCPP 2.0.1 / OCPP 2.1), including the grid integration powered by Nuvve’s GIVe platform). This vertically integrated solution is essential to control, optimise and maintain charging sessions across time, location and vehicles and tackle the issues customers currently face in a heavily fragmented EV charging ecosystem.

In the video below, our Switch expert Adam Chilab, Chief Product Officer, gives you a tour of the Switch platform, which lets you see in real-time the charging process like never before! 

So, what's next?

At Switch, we are building a vertically integrated EV charger management system. The resulting insights into the EV charging value chain – from the ISO 15118 specific communication between vehicle and charger to individual charger components – are monitored in the Switch platform in granular detail and real-time. With the additional grid integration through Nuvve’s GIVe platform, Switch is not just helping to balance the grid but unlocking a myriad of data-driven revenue opportunities.

Our recent collaboration with chargebyte will help you to get there faster, as it offers a turnkey solution combining the best-in-class communication controller with the most advanced operating system for EV chargers (Josev). This dramatically reduces the effort of integrating the latest industry-approved communication standards for EV charging that unlock these advanced diagnostics and bi-directional charging opportunities for AC and DC chargers. Ultimately, this means charger manufacturers can accelerate their go-to-market and focus on the value-added business operations and services that differentiates them from their competition. Through our vertically integrated solution, businesses can achieve energy self-sufficiency by turning their EV fleets into power banks on wheels, which feeds energy back into their industrial plants or offices when prices peak. This helps to reduce both OPEX and CAPEX.

But now for some really exciting news!

Our platform will launch with initial rollouts across the United Kingdom, Germany and a group of hand-selected pilot customers. Below is a teaser of our dynamic tariff set-up as an example of our design-driven approach to bringing easy-to-use features to the market.

If you would like to be a Switch pilot customer, click the button below!

I’m interested

Want to learn more about the future-proof Switch platform? 👉 Book a demo here

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Ben Kegler
Ben is an experienced expansion specialist who has worked with companies like Cosmic Cat Group, High Mobility, Hubject, and Heimat. At Switch, he devises business strategies and response tactics to shake up the market.
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