Electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer a novelty reserved for green tech enthusiasts and early adopters. Some industry experts estimate that EVs will make up 25-30% of passenger car sales in the U.S. by 2030. That means more people will soon find themselves driving an EV on the freeway.
But before EVs become a viable option for most consumers and businesses, we need charging infrastructure, including EV charging software. EV software allows network operators, value-added resellers, and EV owners achieve a common goal: to make EV charging a fast, convenient, and painless experience.
Let’s talk about what EV charging software is, some key features, and the top solutions currently on the market.
What is EV charging software?
EV charger software allows operators to manage and optimize EV charging operations. It’s a tool that allows someone who doesn’t (and doesn’t need to) know about the intricacies of EV charging hardware to manage their power network, handle payments, and control access to their stations.
Who needs EV software?
The simple answer is everyone. If the popularity of EVs continues at the current pace, most people in the U.S. will need to interact with a component of EV charging software. In the short term, however, these groups will benefit most from EV software:
- EV owners: As more consumers and commercial drivers adopt EVs, they will need to interact with EV charging software to charge their vehicles on the road and process payments. They will need a user-friendly interface with terminology and intuitive design that they understand and can use without specialized knowledge.
- Network operators: Charger network operators need a way to manage their charging stations remotely and have a bird’s-eye view of everything happening at their sites. They are looking for hardware-agnostic, reliable solutions.
- Property managers: Condo associations and retail property managers need to control access to their charging stations, handle payments, and have the ability to troubleshoot issues through customer support.
- Fleet owners: As more commercial vehicles go electric, more heavy-duty vehicles will need a place to plug in. New EV fleet owners will need access to reliable, compatible EV charger software and hardware to operate their vehicles.
- Value-added resellers: White-label, hardware-agnostic software can be especially valuable to resellers who want to provide a streamlined, turnkey solution to prepare for the inevitable wave of new EV charging station owners.
To learn more about EV charging software, read What is EV charging management software?
Key features of EV charger software
Here are some standard features you’ll need to consider when choosing EV charging software.
Managing a set of EV chargers is a more fluid process than managing gas station pumps. You’ll need to adjust power distribution between the different chargers based available power, number of vehicles attempting to charge, and electricity prices. Energy management software can do everything from optimizing EV charging costs to making sure you do not overload electrical infrastructure.
Staying in compliance with electrical safety regulations is also a must-have capability of an EV energy management system (EVEMS).
The best EV charging software allows non-technical users to control power distribution and comply with local regulations.
EV charging stations will need to accept a variety of payment options to serve a wide range of consumers. Some retail, commercial, or multi-family property managers may want to offer reduced pricing to residents or employees, give discounts to members of a particular network (similar to gas card rewards), or lower prices during non-peak times. A best-in-class EV charger software can handle a sundry of payment preferences and nuances.
Fleet owners and network operators need to address network issues and charger faults quickly. Notifications, options to troubleshoot the problem remotely, and the ability to connect with support when all else fails are critical components of EV charging software.
Fleet operations and user access
Fleet managers need one central platform to monitor individual vehicles, communicate with drivers, and control access to EV chargers. Many new EV charging station owners will also need to decide if they want to keep their EV chargers open to the public or restrict use to their fleet. An EV charger software solution allows owners to authenticate users and set up a custom permissions system for their business.
White-label products allow a company to add their branding to a pre-existing product. From the point of view of the consumer, the product and solutions appear to come from the brand.
White-label EV charging software allows resellers, retail businesses, multi-family properties, and commercial real estate companies to establish trust with consumers through familiar branding and boosts their company through positive associations with green energy.
White-label software typically includes a web app where users can manage their accounts and payment information, a mobile app, and a network card—similar to a bus tap card—that allows customers to use any charger in the network.
Some advantages of using white-label EV charging software include:
- Easy to implement: You are working with a fully developed product that doesn’t require additional development. Simply add your branding to the web app, mobile app, and network card, and the software is ready for implementation.
- More affordable: Using a ready-made product costs significantly less than developing EV charging software in-house.
- Builds brand awareness: Because a white-label product carries your branding, you remain top of mind for consumers every time they use your EV charger.
- Less risky: You’ll be working with a product that’s been tested by others and works the way it’s intended.
To learn more about these important features, check out 6 Features to look for in EV charging software and platforms & Why white-label EV chargers are the best way to jumpstart your EV charging network.
What are some of the best EV charging solutions on the market?
The EV market is an exciting space right now, and it seems like there’s a new kid on the EV charging software block every day. However, not all EV software has the same features and benefits, so it’s important to do your research and find the best solution for your specific needs. To get you started, here are some top solutions on the market.
ChargeLab is a white-label, hardware-agnostic charging software solution, which means it works with all charger types, perfect for networks made up of a patchwork of charger types. It focuses on customization and interoperability. Some key features include a customizable charging station management system (CSMS), which allows users to easily access control settings, usage fees, and power management profiles.
ChargePoint offers hardware and software solutions, with one of the largest EV charger networks in the U.S. and a decade of experience in the EV industry.
Shell Recharge Solutions
Shell Recharge Solutions is a turnkey solution for EV charging designed for retail, residential properties, and cities. It has a lower implementation cost than other solutions on the market and offers a full suite of services: hardware, software, and implementation.
EV Connect is a CSMS for cities, municipalities, healthcare facilities, and retail locations. Because their customer base is usually not EV experts, they focus on ease of implementation and providing a painless end-to-end experience.
To learn more about EV charging software solutions, check out The top 5 electric vehicle charging software solutions for 2023.
Selecting the perfect EV charging solution
There are many variables to consider when selecting an EV charging software that’s right for you. At ChargeLab, we offer a white-label, hardware-agnostic solution that can scale together with your charging business. If you are building an EV charging business that will deploy more than 500 ports in the next year, contact us today.