The ChargePoint Network as a Platform for Advanced Services
The Network as an Enabler
The unique and pioneering networking capability of Coulomb’s family of Smartlet Networked Charging Stations provides enormous value to the various stakeholders of a smart charging infrastructure. The ChargePoint NOS provides a software platform for the implementation of new policies and features, with virtually unlimited future-proofi ng. Additionally, remote software upgradeability of the charging stations means no truck roll is required to add features to the network.
For Subscribers, the network provides frictionless mobility and ubiquity. That is, the network provides the ability for Subscribers to charge their vehicles at any public charging station, regardless of which Host owns the station, or which Utility supplies the electricity. The network allows a Google Maps search to reveal not only the location of Smartlet Networked Charging Stations, but, just as importantly, to reveal which of those stations are currently unoccupied. Strong standards-based encryption secures all communication in the network, protecting the Subscribers ID and payment information against theft. The network also allows flexibility in subscription plans, from pay-as-you-go to unlimited style plans. And the software upgradeability provided by the network allows the charging stations to accept new forms of authorization and payment in the future, such as RFID-based credit card systems, gift cards, and SMS-base payments. Finally, the built-in redundancy of the wireless mesh networkin technology employed by the Smartlet Networked Charging Stations means a highly reliable infrastructure of charging stations, available to Subscribers when and where they want to charge their vehicles.
For the Host (the actual owner of the Smartlet Networked Charging Station), the network infrastructure and the ChargePoint NOS provide virtually limitless possibilities for exciting new business models. The network’s subscription model provides payback to the Host for electricity, operations and maintenance, and the capital investment in the charging stations themselves. Such Hosts can realize a revenue stream from an investment in charging stations. Alternatively, Hosts such as corporations or apartment complexes may choose to make charging stations available free, as a benefi t to the employee or tenant, respectively. Other Hosts may wish to recover only their ongoing maintenance and operations costs, and provide electricity for free, such as shopping mall owners providing free charging service to their customers. The network-based subscription model of the ChargePoint Network easily accommodates all of these business models.
The locking door on the Smartlet Networked Charging Station protects the Host from theft of electricity. An outlet that energizes only upon successful authorization of a Subscriber, coupled with a standards-based implementation of GFCI, combine to provide a very high level of safety and to mitigate risk for the Host. The network allows the Host to reset GFCI remotely, preventing a costly truck roll in those cases where a vehicle charging circuit trips GFCI in transient and non-dangerous circumstances.
The ChargePoint NOS provides advanced troubleshooting and monitoring capabilities to the Host. The ChargePoint NOS also provides a wealth of diagnostic and monitoring tools that allow the Host to investigate a potential issue before it ever affects charging service. Detailed occupancy information is collected by the network and made available to the Host for each of the charging stations, allowing the Host to determine which locations are most in demand, and where further investment in additional charging stations is merited. Utility
For the Utility, the network solves the problem of time- and location- based unpredictability of the load presented by plug-in electric vehicles.
Specifically, the network operation and subscription pricing provides the means for local utilities to shed plug-in vehicle loads during peak and super peak generation periods at any level from an entire service area down to a single charging station. Each charging station contains an electric meter capable of very high accuracy, opening the door to exciting new business opportunities for Utilities who wish to own and operate Smartlet Networked Charging Stations themselves. Coulomb Technologies is taking the lead by encouraging Subscribers to sign up for plans that specifi cally allow the Utility to shed their load during periods when the demand on the grid reaches extreme levels.