World EV Day: installers voice vision for enhanced EV chargers

6th September 2023
Paige West

To mark World EV Day on 9 September 2023, smart charging consultancy Versinetic is revealing the results of a poll conducted amongst installers where they were asked how EV chargers could be improved.

Versinetic firmly believes that a successful increase in electric vehicle (EV) adoption hinges on a proportional improvement in EV charging infrastructure, coupled with the elimination of any obstacles that deter motorists from using chargers. In line with this vision, Versinetic recently conducted a poll to gain valuable insights into how and where EV chargers can be enhanced from an installation perspective.

Enhancing EV chargers to unlock the future of electric vehicles

Installers cited the following areas for improvement in EV chargers.

Wider compatibility is a key area for improvement

According to the poll results, 39% of installers expressed the need for improvements in the design of EV chargers. Among the design-related improvements, 26% highlighted the importance of enhancing EV charger compatibility, supporting a diverse range of charging interfaces to accommodate various brands and models of electric vehicles. Currently, different EVs face limitations in using various charging interfaces such as CHAdeMO, CCS, and Tesla Supercharger. Given that the design of EV chargers emerged as the most significant aspect for improvement, Versinetic closely examined this category.

Within the realm of design improvement, two other areas garnered equal attention, each accounting for 15% of responses. Firstly, there was a focus on enhancing the exterior appearance of the chargers. Secondly, respondents emphasised the importance of using high-quality materials in the construction of EV chargers. Survey participants also brought up the idea of “considering the aesthetics of the surrounding environment when designing EV chargers”. This approach would aim to minimise the impact on the landscape, making the charging stations more visually appealing and environmentally conscious.

As part of the desire for improved compatibility, simplification of payment protocols would promote hassle-free EV charging. 12% of survey poll participants believed that simplifying the payment process for using an EV charger was an area for consideration. Currently, each EV has a specific means of payment. Many installers cited that various payment methods should be available, including credit card, mobile payment and charging cards.

Installers’ recommendations for improving the design of EV chargers

Remote EV charger maintenance for early warning fault diagnosis

In the past, Versinetic's investigations into EV charging barriers highlighted a significant shortage of EV engineers responsible for the regular maintenance of EV chargers. It is crucial, therefore, to explore alternative approaches for monitoring and maintenance. The survey revealed that 21% of participants raised concerns about EV charger maintenance.

Respondents strongly advocated for the implementation of proactive systems that enable early fault detection. Specifically, they emphasised the need for an intelligent management system that covers remote monitoring, fault diagnosis, and maintenance capabilities. Presently, no such proactive system exists, and instead, EV drivers are expected to report faults on charging posts by calling in, leading to scheduling repairs after the fact.

Concerns over EV driver information security at charge posts

12% of survey respondents highlighted safety and security as key areas for improving EV chargers. One respondent emphasised user privacy concerns for EVs, urging charging post manufacturers to "consider user privacy protection when installing charging piles to ensure user information security." Another participant focused on enhancing the safety and security of the EV charging post itself, suggesting measures to "strengthen the safety of the charging pile, including fire prevention, theft prevention, and prevention of unauthorised use."

Online charge post reservation system for optimal resource allocation

Of the remaining areas for improvement mentioned, reservation of charging could be improved with a charging scheduling feature that could allow EV drivers to book specific times to charge their vehicles. If the number of EV charging posts does not correlate with the growing number of electric vehicles, this would be one way of ensuring that drivers are able to charge their vehicles.

Dunstan Power, Managing Director of Versinetic, concluded: “The EV charging industry stands at a pivotal moment, with the potential to revolutionise transportation and pave the way for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles on an unprecedented scale. To achieve this vision, we must make electric vehicles more accessible and appealing to the masses, surpassing the convenience of fossil fuel cars.

“The poll has shed light on numerous areas where improvements can be made. However, our focus should be on creating a better user experience for EV drivers, who often find the public charging process inconsistent.

“Simplifying the process of paying for EV charging is also a high priority, ensuring a seamless experience for every driver.

“If we embark on this journey with a commitment to enhancing charging infrastructure and user experience, we can propel EVs into the mainstream, surpassing the convenience and appeal of traditional vehicles. Together, let's make these crucial improvements, setting the stage for a greener, more sustainable future.”

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