Not all charging stations are created equal. Apart from considering the price, quality, and smart charging capabilities, you need to ensure the right charging station at the right location to accommodate various EV charging use-cases. For instance, a fast DC charger is appropriate in a high traffic point because customers are ready to pay for the convenience of charging quickly to get to their destination as fast as possible, whereas a slower AC charger is suitable for an office parking lot.
The question is, how can you manage all your charging stations from one and the same platform? You achieve this when you choose an EV charging management software that is hardware-agnostic.
The definition of hardware-agnostic
A hardware-agnostic EV charging solution allows you to add charging stations from multiple manufacturers to your network and manage them from one platform. To make this possible, your software needs to support the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) that enables charging stations and management software to integrate freely.
The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is an open-source communication protocol that connects charging stations with back-end management software solutions. The protocol was developed by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) and is considered the de facto standard that ensures interoperability among charging stations manufacturers, software system providers, and charge point operators.
The advantages of charging networks based on open standards
Open networks encourage innovation and competition and guarantee interoperability between existing and new EV charging stations. This creates better services for your customers and you profit from lower charge point prices. For business owners, broader access to a variety of charging models leads to quicker expansion of overall infrastructure and greater efficiency. EV drivers benefit from access to a larger network which reduces range anxiety ensuring a superior experience for EV drivers.
The risks of choosing software that is not hardware-agnostic
Business owners who have used the proprietary technology of a specific hardware vendor often encounter one or more of these issues:
- Maintenance costs became too high;
- The custom software vendor discontinued their production or support;
- The software could not keep up with the market needs.
To avoid these costly problems, we strongly recommend that you test the compatibility between the charge point model you have shortlisted and the back-end management platform you plan to purchase. At AMPECO, we have 40+ ready integrations with leading charge point manufacturers. We also offer a Proof of Concept for your selected chargers to give you the confidence that you are making the right choice.
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Why you should use hardware-agnostic EV charging software
Freedom of choice
When your software is hardware agnostic, you are free to choose the OCPP-compliant charger you think is best for your business without being limited to a specific hardware manufacturer.
Future-proof your infrastructure
What you build today must be able to grow tomorrow. As your network expands, you often have to add charging stations and upgrade specific sites. You need to be able to add models from different vendors to existing locations without disrupting your software performance and management.
No vendor lock-in
Software that communicates with any OCPP-compliant hardware gives you security. What happens if a non-OCPP compliant manufacturer goes out of business? You would be stuck with stations that are no longer supported, and you’ll have no choice but to replace them. The same goes for pricing. When the hardware only works with its proprietary software, you are at the mercy of its networking fees. When you have the freedom to choose any OCPP compliant hardware, you can easily reconfigure your chargers to a more affordable solution.
The ability to choose the best value option depending on your business helps manage your initial investment costs. You may get a great deal from one vendor today, but this may change in the future, and you should be able to add charging stations from other vendors. A hardware-agnostic EV charging platform ensures this flexibility.
A system based on OCPP allows you to remotely manage your charging stations, set price tariffs, and generate reports. You can also easily detect and fix problems and update your firmware without having to be on-site, ensuring your network is always up-to-date with the newest technologies and solutions.
Gain a competitive advantage
Cover different business cases with the ability to use the right hardware at the right location. Choose the OCPP compliant hardware that best fits your needs and exchange or add charging stations from a different vendor, if needed.
How AMPECO can help
AMPECO’s hardware-agnostic EV charging management software fully supports OCPP and can integrate with any compliant charging station of your choice.
The ability to mix and match hardware from different OCPP compliant manufacturers to accommodate a range of EV charging use-cases is imperative to the success of your business. The seamless integration between hardware and software will define the quality of service you will offer your customers: other businesses or EV drivers directly.
Our EV charging experts are ready to answer any further questions about our software and discuss strategies to grow your revenue and limit your risk.