ChargePoint aims to increase reliability of its chargers
ChargePoint aims to increase its charging stations’ reliability to almost 100 per cent. To this end, the company “will implement 24/7 proactive station monitoring” of its more than 243,000 EV charging points.
With the so-called Network Operations Centre (NOC), ChargePoint says it wants to “ensure [that] almost any charging station issue can be instantly and remotely identified.” The NOC will thus “rapidly detect station downtime, in turn improving charger uptime and ensuring faster incident response,” the company writes in its press release.
The initiative also aims to build an ecosystem of integrated hardware and software that will enable constant communication between charging stations and the NOC. This, ChargePoint says, will allow it to quickly notify charging station owners in the event of a malfunction and expedite maintenance and repairs for them. The provider also announced a training and certification programme for electrical contractors in early 2024 “with the aim of reducing reliability issues by ensuring proper installation of charging stations from day one, and ensuring effective repairs when required.”
“Accessible, reliable EV charging plays a critical role in the ongoing shift to electric mobility, and our Network Operations Center is prepared to ensure reliability at scale in support of EV adoption,” says Rick Wilmer, COO at ChargePoint. “We believe that our methodology of calculating uptime is the most transparent in the industry and the most relevant to drivers, which provides us with the necessary benchmark to build upon. We are improving the charging experience across the entire ecosystem – network, installer, site host, and app user – to ensure every driver who needs a charge has the best possible charging experience.”
The new reliability approaches build on ChargePoint’s research and development investment, totalling more than 194 million dollars in its fiscal year 2023. The company hopes this will improve the uptime of its chargers and enable faster response in case of errors. The NOC is designed to scale quickly with the ChargePoint network, which currently has more than 243,000 active charging points plus roaming partners, according to the company.
The charge point operator wants to grow further and recently secured a credit line totalling 150 million dollars from four banks (JP Morgan, HSBC, Citi and Goldman Sachs). ChargePoint also needs to invest in its existing charging network in North America. When several major carmakers decided a few weeks ago to install Tesla’s NACS fast-charging system in their electric cars for North America in the future, ChargePoint was one of the first charging providers to announce that it would not only offer an additional NACS cable for new charging stations, but would also retrofit existing ones.
ChargePoint is also active in Europe and wants to establish itself as a provider of EV charging solutions for corporate customers by cooperating with ALD Automotive (now ALD Leaseplan). In the summer of 2021, ChargePoint acquired two European eMobility companies within a few weeks: first, the Austrian eMobility software specialist has-to-be, then the electric bus and commercial vehicle management provider ViriCiti.