How a Missed Dinner Inspired a brand new EV Charging Platform
There are very few points in one’s life that provide deep clarity around what the world needs.
One fateful day, I was traveling from my apartment in New York City to my grandmothers house outside Hartford, Connecticut. It was her 90th birthday, and for the short drive, I had decided to take a buddy’s BMW i3.
In order to prepare for the trip, I downloaded the mobile applications necessary to charge my EV, I created accounts, and even topped up balances. Nowhere was it clear that the EV charging experience was going to be broken from the moment I took the first turn onto the highway.
As my journey progressed, I became increasingly nervous about running out of juice. Range anxiety kicked in and I located the first of many stops to charge my car.
First stop: Blink Charging (Level 2 charger)
Not having a keyfob on me, I instead opted to utilize the mobile app. Needless to stay, communication issues ensued and I had to reach out to Blink customer support. What should have been an easy charging experience took at least 30 minutes to initiate, wasting valuable time. I was now behind by thirty minutes.
Second stop: EVgo
I eventually continued on my journey. Next up was an EVgo DC charging station. I was happy to see a credit card reader on the charger, but my excitement quickly faded. The app and credit card reader seemed to not work and weird error messages started displaying on the screen.
I was stuck with an almost dead battery, at a bank of chargers, unable to charge my vehicle. How did we get to this? It took an hour to troubleshoot on the phone with EVgo but I eventually got some juice. Definitely not a quick charge by any standards.
I’m now one and a half hours behind schedule.
Needless to say, my grandmother continues to call me to express concern that it is taking me unusually long to get to her house. She proceeds to ask if I am okay and if there is some kind of accident blocking the road. No accidents, just bad charging experiences.
Third stop: ChargePoint
The largest charging network in the United States has to be reliable, right? Apparently not. My next stop involved topping up at a ChargePoint DC fast charger outside a supermarket, but it continued to give me errors when attempting to charge. Eventually it activated and the poor i3 got some juice.
Add forty five minutes to the clock; I am now two hours and fifteen minutes behind schedule.
Fourth stop: EVgo
I was so close to my grandmothers house that I could almost taste her delicious home made cakes but needed to make one more stop for a quick top up. I pulled into a Dunkin Donuts parking lot to find an available EVgo 50kW fast charger.
If you guessed that it didn’t work, you are correct. Nothing that I could try to make the electrons flow seemed to do it, and I eventually gave up and headed to a nearby dealership to see if they would take pity on me. I was driving a BMW and it was a Chevrolet dealership. Needless to say, I was at their mercy.
Add an hour and a half to the clock to cover the remaining stretch, we’re now at nearly 4 additional hours of wasted time.
What should have taken 3 hours, even with traffic, resulted in a 7 hour tour. I missed dinner and my grandmother was very disappointed. The one thing you don’t want to hear from a grandmother is disappointment.
The issues I experienced can be applied to any of the large EV charging networks (except Tesla) today. Reliability issues, complicated, siloed payment apps, and inability to access real time data is hindering the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
Fast forward to today, and EVPassports is working to solve the complexity that surrounds poor EV charging experiences. Here’s how:
No more apps, only QR codes
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that contactless QR codes are the best way to interact with systems, so we built an entire EV charging platform around them. To charge, drivers simply scan the QR code on the charger and use Apple Pay or Google Pay. We also support typing in your credit card number.
Under 15 seconds from the moment you plug-in your vehicle to a charging session started guaranteed.
Down with Closed Ecosystems
In the world of technology, there are two fundamentally opposing viewpoints. There’s the perspective that closed products create the best user experiences. On the other end, there is the position that open ecosystems are for the betterment of all humankind.
All EV charging networks in the United States and Canada stand firmly in camp number one… until now.
EVPassport is proud to be the first open EV Charging Hardware and Software Platform provider for purpose-driven organizations to create customer focused EV charging experiences.
In order to achieve this, we are putting our chargers where our ideals are. Starting now, we are opening our network to all developers.
Developers will be able to sign up for an account, similar to how they can for Stripe, Twilio, and thousands of other services, and receive the following information from EVPassport powered chargers.
- Charger availability`Charger cost (USD)
- Charge Speed
- Plug Type
Any brand or developer will be able to integrate the data and payment system directly into their own mobile experiences.
EVPassport believes innovation occurs where you least expect it and walled gardens reduce the pace of progress, which greatly limits the runway we have to solve our climate crisis. Open, universal access must be implemented if we want to create next-generation transportation solutions for the American consumer.
I told my grandmother after that fateful trip that I would help solve the very issues I experienced, and I don’t like to disappoint my grandmother.
EVPassport is the EV Charging hardware and software platform for purpose-driven organizations. Brands committed to sustainability rely on EVPassport to provide their customers with the most seamless payment experience to charge any electric vehicle without requiring a separate app, account or a top-up balance.
And EVPassport is the only platform that enhances customer engagement for these companies by providing custom branded hardware with API-powered software that easily integrates with their existing applications and services.
Source: Mobility Makers