Charging Ahead When Others Can’t

AT&T’s network went down a few weeks ago.  Verizon’s went down in November.  Tens of thousands of customers were affected.  And if your EV chargers used either of those networks for internet access, you were down, too.

Which means your cloud-based Charge Management Software (CMS) was down.  And when your cloud -based CMS goes down, controlled charging grinds to a halt, because your cloud-based CMS cannot communicate with your chargers to control EV fleet charging.

But there is a simple and readily-available solution that keeps your EV fleet charging operations humming along smoothly even when your connection to the cloud goes down.  That solution is a CMS platform installed at your charging depot.

A locally-based CMS system has everything onsite to manage your charging.  Data doesn’t have to move between your chargers and the cloud and back again.  And that means your chargers keep operating and your EV fleet keeps charging the most efficient and cost-effective way possible even when networks go down.

Which means your EV fleet charges on schedule and your fleet vehicles are ready when you need them.

The greatest vulnerability of cloud-based CMS platforms is that they must have a network connection to function.  If the network connection goes out, your cloud-based CMS is useless.  But a CMS platform based on local control keeps operating whether your network connection is up or down.

That makes CMS platforms which use local control more reliable than cloud-based CMS platforms.  Reliability translates into more hours of operation, which translates into more money from operations.  And we all like more money.

In this case, you drop more money to the bottom line in three ways.  First, because your local CMS keeps operating, which keeps you operating, which means those revenue-generating activities which involve your EV fleet continue uninterrupted.  That brings in more revenues.

Second, if your fleet isn’t charged and available when you need it, you’ll have to scramble to meet your customers’ critical needs.  Finding yourself in a crisis situation, where you have to urgently arrange alternative transportation solutions, gets expensive in terms of the time expended (think opportunity cost) and the actual dollars spent on rental vehicles, couriers, or other solutions.

Third, if your cloud-based CMS loses its network connection and charging stops, you will find yourself in a situation where you will have to complete vehicle charging as quickly as possible once the network connection is restored.  Charging as quickly as you can to make up for lost charging time and to get back on schedule is not cost-efficient charging.  You will almost certainly pay higher rates for your “catch-up” charging, which drives up your costs and eats into your profits.  A local CMS platform will do a better job of holding down charging costs, dropping more money to your bottom line specifically because you don’t lose charging cost efficiency to network outages.

Even if you operate a non-revenue generating EV fleet (think school buses or in-house maintenance vehicles), you will still realize the charging savings we just discussed.  This provides a little more operating budget breathing room.  And it lets you stay on schedule, which is important if you are operating a fleet of electric school buses and kids need to be dropped off at school or home at specific, fixed times.  It also lets you complete more tasks on schedule, reducing work backlogs (in the case of that in-house EV maintenance fleet).

A CMS platform which is not cloud-based gives you something else besides more money:  more security.  In simple terms, hackers cannot hack systems which are not connected to a network.  They need a way in, and the cloud is often the highway to hacker heaven.  With the rise of ransomware and the increasing frequency of bad actors hacking corporate or government systems, a local CMS platform is a strong line of defense for your EV operations.

It comes down to this: to ensure reliability, continuity, and security with your EV fleet charging, think globally, but control charging locally.

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