Drivers of internal combustion vehicles rarely face problems when it comes to filling up the tank. Between the time spent filling the tank and paying, it should not take more than 5 minutes (when there is no queue). Unfortunately, things are not so simple for EV owners. A study shows that 73% of European EV owners experience problems with public charging points. The problems are diverse and cover a wide spectrum, such as having to queue, or the charging point itself being out of order.
It is therefore clearly recognized by the industry that it is imperative to improve the charging experience, it is even a necessity for EVSPs (EV charging service providers) and EMSPs (eMobile Service Providers). Indeed, as institutional support for charging infrastructure increases, the market will open up and new entrants will compete with them such as utilities, car manufacturers, and of course mastodon such as oil companies that will diversify their activities.
Competition in the market will be tough and the customer experience when charging will be a key argument for end users. This will promote loyalty during non-work trips. Let’s find out how to make an EV driver happy while charging!
How to improve the customer experience when charging an electric vehicle?
No matter how complex the management of charging stations and EV charging may be, the end-user experience must be kept simple. To achieve this, the platform that manages charging sessions must be customer-focused and offer a range of features that will make life easier. Here are some of them!
Making charge points easily accessible
Let’s be clear, the days of charging points in industrial estates or at the back of dreary car parks must be over. Charge points must be accessible and easy to find. Likewise, applications and web portals must make it easy to display them.
Another important point is that it seems normal to be able to display a lot of information about the charge point. Type of charge point, power in kW, operating status, available or not. It would also be interesting to display the area where the charge point is located so that you can plan what to do while waiting for the charge to take place.
Payment methods should be simple but numerous
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to pay in a simple and intuitive way when recharging. Simplifying the payment option is a must.
Drivers should be able to pay simply when they are in another country! Authentication and validation should be made possible as easily through roaming. So should the customer’s payment history. To go further, real-time prices as well as estimated prices can be considered in order to smooth out the demand for charging stations.
Be reliable in every way
Let’s imagine the following scenario: you have just arrived with your EV at a charging point, you start charging, and then the charge stops. The charging station has just gone out of service. How would you react? This is probably how “charging anxiety” translates. Arriving at a charging point and not being able to charge your car.
To remedy this, charging stations need to be able to have a self-repair system to automatically fix problems that can be fixed and provide an alert for human intervention. It is imperative to maintain a network that is operational and reliable to ensure a good charging experience.
Provide information on the state of charge
Charging time is still a significant issue, even though technologies allow charging in about 30 minutes. Charging time remains an obstacle to the adoption of EVs for longer journeys. The time spent waiting is time wasted when the car is immobilized during its journey. Users want to know how much charge their car battery has. This avoids worries and may even allow the car to leave more quickly, while at the same time smoothing out the demand around the terminal.
It is important to give a very good image and experience to customers. The recharge sector is becoming increasingly competitive. Providing customers with a simple and user-friendly tool is bound to increase their loyalty and awareness and use of future solutions. This is what we are trying to do with Open E-Mobility.