Transport and Logistics

Connectivity Solutions for the Electric Vehicle Market

The Electric Vehicle (EV) market is booming. As more and more consumers and businesses take advantage of the technology, unit sales are increasing with figures reported for 2018 of 2.1m EV’s delivered and for 2019, stats suggest that there will be plug-in sales of 3.2 million light vehicles and 140 thousand heavy vehicles.

The increasing figures of EVs means one thing – the need for the right amount of charging stations – whether at home, at work or in publicly accessible areas for on-the-go electric top-up. The growing network of charging points is being provided by a number of providers and software platform developers, all driving to create global standards, highly efficient delivery solutions and loyalty programmes to ensure repeat visits. In turn, the networks need to be connected – enabling operators to monitor performance and maintenance of the hardware together with the monetisation of the charge points with automated billing and usage management. In many cases, operators are turning to the flexibility, security and cost-effectiveness of cellular IoT connectivity – enabling secure communication with a dedicated 3G/4G SIM for the charging point.

Whilst still in its relative infancy, sector standards are now coming to the fore with common operator software platforms such as Fortum’s Charge & Drive platform. As a global SaaS platform, sessions handled on a month by month basis already number in excess of 100,000 from thousands of connected chargers with solutions for both network management and end-user billing. Over 80% of Fortnum’s operating companies have turned to Wireless Logic Group for their 4G connectivity requirements. As Europe’s leading IoT connectivity platform provider, the Wireless Logic team have created best-in-class communication solutions for the Fortum software using a secure 4G non-steered roaming SIM for each deployed charging asset. With the growing network of charging units, users identified the need to have a multiple Mobile Network solution so that each location can automatically connect to the strongest signal. Not limited to a single country network, Wireless Logic’s single SIM solution delivers pan-European coverage with no bias towards any given Mobile Network.

Security is provided by Wireless Logic’s secure mobile network overlay, delivering VPN connectivity with end-to-end encryption. Throughout the testing and integration stages, technical teams from Fortum have monitored the effectiveness and integrity of the 4G solution with a drive to ensure suitability in line with Open Charge Point Protocol 1.6 and 2.0. Importantly, Fortum has approved the secure overlay infrastructure as appropriate to the new open standards.

With the EV eco-system requiring varying levels of mobile data usage – low thresholds for charging points and higher thresholds for ANPR applications, the need to monitor and control SIM activity is critical. Wireless Logic’s SIM management platform enables charger operators to have complete visibility and control of connected assets – provisioning deployments, managing data usage and organising billing points. With an increasing number of chargers – across Europe, it is vital that connectivity is effectively controlled.

With charging operators such as Alfa Power, Franklin Energy, Go Charge and Epower using the Wireless Logic 4G solution, the sector is in safe hands as secure connectivity paves the way for the growing number of charging points requiring rapid and flexible deployment, wherever they are located.

For more information on 4G connectivity for the EV sector, contact Wireless Logic’s Transport Solutions specialist, Justin Godfrey-Cass.

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