top of page
  • Writer's pictureEmre Can Anlar

Charging Up the Future: The Role of Fast-Charging Hardware in Emobility

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Welcome to another edition of 'Behind the scenes'. Today, we're discussing a critical aspect of electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem development and adoption - the fast-charging hardware. We're joined by Manuel Fernandes, a freelance consultant and advisor, and Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer, founder of greenventors GmbH. Looking forward to getting valuable insights into the challenges faced by operators and the critical success factors in operating fast-charging infrastructures. Welcome, gentlemen!

Listen to the post - here!

Picture of Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer (MD greenventors GmbH) & Manuel Fernandes (Emobility Advisor)
Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer (CEO greenventors GmbH) & Manuel Fernandes (Emobility Advisor)

Both of you have a very long history in emobility - especially in the fast-charging market. Let's start with Dr. Pfeiffer. Andreas, could you tell us about the significance of the fast-charging infrastructure for emobility?

Dr. Pfeiffer: Certainly. From our point of view, fast-charging infrastructure is absolutely crucial for the advancement and acceptance of emobility. It provides the solution to one of the main challenges faced by electric vehicles - limited range. By allowing electric vehicles to recharge in a shorter span of time, it encourages drivers to undertake longer journeys. A well-developed fast-charging infrastructure can help to boost the overall acceptance of electric vehicles. As greenventors, we help companies develop business models focusing on this important aspect. We believe that by offering solutions to overcome this hurdle, we're not just promoting the use of electric vehicles, but also contributing to a sustainable future.

To provide exceptional assistance to our customers, we work closely with our partners to assess market dynamics, customer requirements, and technological advancements. Moreover, we adopt a comprehensive approach, supporting companies throughout the entire process, from initial concept development to implementation. - Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer

That's quite enlightening. Can you tell us more about how greenventors supports the development of business models in companies?

Dr. Pfeiffer: At greenventors, we help businesses understand the technical, operational, and financial aspects of establishing fast-charging infrastructure. Our focus areas include hardware selection, identifying suitable locations, pricing strategy, maintenance and service requirements, and compatibility with different EV models. We also advise on factors like user-friendliness and total cost of ownership, all of which are crucial to success in this field. To do so, we closely work with our partners to evaluate the market dynamics, customer requirements, and technological advancements. Furthermore, we take a comprehensive approach, supporting companies from the initial concept development, right through to implementation. We help identify key success factors for the operators of these infrastructures. This includes cost-effectiveness for the end customer, robust software for managing charging points and billing, and effective maintenance and service.


What are the major business implications for operators in the fast-charging infrastructure market in regard to their hardware selection?

Dr. Pfeiffer: One of the major implications is the total cost of ownership, which includes not only the hardware and hardware installation costs but also operational costs like maintenance, software updates, and electricity consumption of the hardware. A thorough understanding of these costs can support profitable pricing strategies. Also, the choice of location for the charging stations significantly impacts the hardware choice due to the footprint of the infrastructure at the specific location. Lastly, operators must be ready to adapt their business models to evolving market trends, technological advancements, and changes in consumer behavior, which will be crucial for their long-term success. These costs also impact the business case of the operator.

Several factors come into play when choosing hardware for rapid charging infrastructure. These include charging power, reliability, compatibility, ease of use, size, and form factor. Manuel Fernandes

Let's switch gears now and bring Manuel Fernandes into the conversation. What are some critical success factors when choosing the hardware and operating fast-charging infrastructures?

Mr. Fernandes: Several factors come into play when choosing hardware for rapid charging infrastructure. These include charging power, reliability, compatibility, ease of use, size, and form factor. For instance, higher charging power means shorter charging times, which can increase the appeal of EVs. Herein, the hardware must also be robust and reliable, as downtime can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Other factors include compatibility with a variety of electric vehicles, user-friendly operation, and strategic location selection. Moreover, operators should also focus on ongoing maintenance and service, the deployment of robust software for charging point management and billing.

Compatibility is another vital factor. The charging stations need to accommodate a variety of EVs, each of which might have different charging interfaces and standards. This is where the importance of ongoing standardization processes comes in, even though they may cause uncertainties for operators.

high-power charging hardware as an essential part of the emobility ecosystem
High-power charging hardware as an essential part of the emobility ecosystem

Very well said. Can you elaborate on the standardization processes and the uncertainties they can cause for operators?

Mr. Fernandes: Standardization in the context of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure is crucial for ensuring compatibility, safety, and efficiency. However, given the rapid evolution of technology in this space, the standards too are continually evolving. This creates a certain level of uncertainty for infrastructure operators, as they need to ensure that their hardware remains compatible with future vehicle models, backend systems, and charging technologies.

The selection of hardware is indeed a due diligence process on the manufacturer, assessing their ability to adapt to market requirements, their network, and their connection to regional standardization bodies. - Manuel Fernandes

Manuel Fernandes, could you suggest ways to mitigate these uncertainties?

Mr. Fernandes: Sure, I believe transparency and active participation in standardization committees and industry forums can be beneficial. By being part of the conversation, operators can not only stay updated on emerging trends, but also influence the development of standards. Training and skill development in the area of EV charging infrastructure can also equip operators with the necessary knowledge to adapt to changes and do smart choices in the selection process of hardware and partners.

Another way to mitigate these risks is by choosing hardware from a reliable manufacturer with a strong capital base, the right development resources, and the ability to scale. The selection of hardware is indeed a due diligence process on the manufacturer, assessing their ability to adapt to market requirements, their network, and their connection to regional standardization bodies.


Dr. Pfeiffer, your company is also focused on location acquisition and therefore has brought knowledge on the specifics of certain locations. From your experience, what is the significance of size and form factor when choosing a charging station hardware?

Dr. Pfeiffer: Size and form factor of charging stations are crucial when selecting infrastructure, especially in tight parking spaces. Compact systems are usually larger and sometimes take up considerable space on parking spaces. Space efficient satellite systems have a central power unit with smaller charging points, less obtrusive in the parking area. The choice also depends on power supply, expected demand, and installation/maintenance costs. Hence, a thorough site and portfolio analysis and consideration of future needs is vital for operators when selecting hardware suppliers for HPC charging.


That was a great discussion. Thanks, Mr. Fernandes and Dr. Pfeiffer, for shedding light on such an important aspect of emobility. It seems clear that a robust and efficient fast-charging infrastructure is key to the future of electric vehicles. It's been a pleasure speaking with you both. Thanks for highlighting the crucial role of fast-charging infrastructure in promoting emobility and overcoming range limitations. It was great to understand how you support businesses in developing comprehensive business models for fast-charging infrastructure, considering factors such as hardware selection, location, and pricing strategy. The emphasizing of the importance of factors like reliability, compatibility, and ongoing standardization processes when choosing charging station hardware and mitigating uncertainties was very helpful.


Stay tuned for more "Behind the Scenes" insights into the fascinating world of technology and innovation.

104 views

Comments


bottom of page