The growing adoption of Electric Vehicles (EV) has created a spike in demand for more charging infrastructure, both in public and private spaces. Many charging stations exist in car parks, supermarkets, parks and hotels, but more are desperately required to meet objectives for reductions in emissions. New EV charging locations would include new-build residential properties and also commercial properties such as large shops, shopping centres, leisure and sports facilities with parking facilities, as well as petrol stations as they are ideal locations for public charging. Cars are parked for periods of time at these sites, making them convenient for EV charging. 
Additional challenges that are faced in the smooth operations of charger networks is ensuring that only electric vehicles are using the EV bays, and that the availability of a vacant bay can be advertised to customers as quickly as possible for most efficient use of the EV charging bay. Real time availability of a bay for charging can be delivered via an app to the user’s smartphone, and also to a dedicated screen at the entrance to the carpark or charging station.
Comms365 has developed IoT solutions, delivered using M2M technology, NB-IoT or LoRaWAN infrastructure, that can make significant contributions to solving these challenges for EV charging operators.
Sensors located in the tarmac register when a vehicle is parked and additional datasets are collected by the charging unit, including vehicle identifiers to validate a charging operation, to indicate if and when the charger session has started, and when it is finished. Safe and reliable onward transmission of this precious data can be easily achieved.
LoRaWAN chips inside the road sensors communicate directly with a gateway in a LoRaWAN IoT network and the data is then backhauled by our Network Server to your backend system using 4G or fixed line technology. Data can be forwarded to application servers to provide alerting, trend analysis and integration with other data sets.
Alternatively, individual NB-IoT enabled sensors communicate directly with a cell tower using an embedded SIM, but this service is subject to coverage availability of the Vodafone carrier network.
By deploying Multi-Network SIMs inside the EV charging units, uptime is greatly improved for general data management and payment processing by giving the connectivity added resilience. Uptime and productivity can be further enhanced by installing dual-sim routers.
Additional security and network performance at the charger can be achieved by setting up a secure VPN coupled with routers and software-based bonding appliances.
Blending the IoT sensor data together with charger data could deliver operational advantages including:
- Increased Utilisation Of Bays - revenue maximised.
- Reduction In Bay Blocking - more EV’s can charge per day per week.
- Analytics - charger and user trend analysis collated for market insight.
- Greater Utilisation Of Charger - ‘Smart’ City applications could be added to charger installations e.g. air quality, noise monitoring.
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 Recharge EU, Transport and Environment Infrastructure Report 2020 [https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/01 2020 Draft TE Infrastructure Report Final.pdf]
Additional Reading – Electric vehicles: developing the market and infrastructure [https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmbeis/383/383.pdf]
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