Establishing a charging infrastructure entails a complex process. Fleet managers must decide how to address the energy management challenge for their electric vehicles. Two systems can be integrated: local or cloud-based charging management. But which one is the best fit? It's quite simple: For even smaller fleet companies, a cloud-based software solution proves most advantageous, offering benefits in terms of security, reliability, flexibility, data insights, and accessibility.
Two systems for smart charging
Smart charging makes the charging process of electric vehicles much more efficient than conventional "normal charging". In smart charging, the charging of vehicles is controlled and coordinated by an automated computer system, creating a link between electric vehicles, charging stations, energy suppliers and users, and making the best possible use of the local capacity of the power grid. Smart charging can be applied both at the local level and through a cloud platform.
With local smart charging, all the functions for charging electric vehicles are installed on site. The charging stations are connected to each other by cable and communicate with each other via the appropriate manufacturer protocol.
In cloud-based smart charging, the charging stations at the site are connected to the Internet so that decisions are made on the cloud system and instructions are sent to the physical charging stations. This means that cloud-based charging management is constantly communicating with the local infrastructure. Cloud-based energy and charging management software offer a robust and versatile solution to streamline the operations of electric fleets. Unlike traditional local charging management systems, which are confined to on-site servers and limited in their capabilities, cloud-based solutions leverage the power of the internet to provide real-time data and analysis.
Key advantages of cloud-based software over local charging management
Scalability and Flexibility:
Cloud-based solutions are highly scalable, accommodating fleets of any size without the need for extensive hardware upgrades. Whether managing a small fleet or a large, diverse one, the cloud can easily adapt to the changing needs of the organization. This flexibility allows businesses to expand their electric fleet operations seamlessly.
Real-Time Data and Analytics:
Cloud-based systems provide access to real-time data on charging sessions, energy consumption, and fleet performance. Fleet managers can monitor and analyze this data remotely, making informed decisions to optimize charging schedules, reduce energy waste, and maximize fleet efficiency. This level of data-driven insights is often unavailable in local charging management systems.
Accessibility and Remote Management:
With cloud-based software, fleet managers can oversee charging operations and remotely control charging stations from their laptops or mobile devices. This accessibility ensures that the charging infrastructure remains efficient and operational, regardless of the manager's physical location. Moreover, software updates and improvements can be easily deployed across the entire fleet through the cloud, ensuring that the system stays up-to-date with the latest advancements.
Enhanced Security and Reliability:
Cloud-based energy and charging management systems offer robust security measures to safeguard sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. Cloud service providers invest heavily in cybersecurity to protect customer information and ensure the continuous and reliable operation of the platform. This level of security is often challenging to achieve with local systems that may lack the necessary resources for robust protection.
Integration and Collaboration:
Cloud-based solutions often easy and fast to integrate and set up. They also support seamless integration with other enterprise systems, such as fleet management platforms and billing systems. This integration facilitates cross-platform data sharing, improving overall fleet management efficiency and enabling collaboration between different departments.
When internet connection fails: Enabling fallback mode for secure e-fleet operation
Some fear that the failure of the Internet or disruptions in the connection could paralyze cloud-based e-fleet operation. However, cloud-based smart charging can ensure that fleet operations continue by means of so-called fallback modes: The fallback mode is activated in case of an emergency and then continues to charge the cars in such a way that there is no grid overload and the cars continue to be charged. Only the automated and scheduled charging as well as the readout of real-time data can temporarily not be accessed. Internet outages, however, can usually be quickly recovered from. In the event of a failure in the local system, on the other hand, it can take days or weeks for the fleet to resume normal operations.
Cloud-based energy and charging management software offer a transformative approach to optimize the charging infrastructure for these fleets. The advantages of scalability, real-time data and analytics, accessibility, security, and integration make cloud-based solutions the ideal choice for businesses seeking to efficiently manage their electric fleets. The costs for cloud-based smart charging are manageable and integration is easy and quick. Anyone with e-cars in their fleet should therefore consider purchasing a cloud-based solution.
More on the topic: Here's the blogpost: "CLOUDBASED VS. LOCAL SMART CHARGING: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?"