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Why we need more than just an expansion of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Service Technician is working on availability of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.

At IAA mobility 2023, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a massive push to expand charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in Germany. With this move, range anxiety for EVs should be a thing of the past, Scholz said. With this step, Europe’s industrial nation is clearly in line with the global trend: Despite decreasing car sales due to the pandemic and post-pandemic geopolitical challenges, the electric vehicle market has continuously grown worldwide. 

As the transport sector is still one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, there is no doubt that urban transport needs to be reimagined and refined to make cities more liveable. In addition to more intelligent and new forms of transportation, EVs are a vital component for the transport sector to improve air quality – starting today. Yet a larger uptake of EVs will require a major build-out of the worldwide Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI). Globally, it is estimated that the charging infrastructure market will grow by more than a third each year until 2030. However, ‘range anxiety’ and ‘infrastructure availability anxiety’ are still the two most significant barriers to drivers switching from fossil fuel to electric power – which a simple expansion of charging infrastructure won’t solve.

For a smooth and convenient driving experience, EVCI must be reliable, available, and accessible. And this is not always the case. A study conducted in early 2022 in San Francisco Bay (United States) found that over a quarter of almost 700 public charging stations were non-functional when tested, re-tests a week later showed no sign of improvement.

Rising Demand for Public Charge Points and Service Partners

Being aware of the end-users’ concerns, charge point manufacturers have started to focus on developing higher-powered and crucially more reliable chargers. According to BCG, two-thirds of the electricity demand for EV charging is private, whether at home or in place-of-work parking lots. At the same time, recent developments show that the number of public charging stations will soon balloon, for example, at public parking spaces, retailers’ parking lots, or service stations.

With the rising market requirements, we have seen an increasing demand for service partners supporting charge point manufacturers in meeting their reliability goals. This is where our team at Yunex Traffic comes into play: We are here to support manufacturers and charge point operators with end-to-end services for every phase of their charging point’s life – from initial consultancy, planning, and design through to installation, servicing, and operating and finally decommissioning and replacement. 

No EVCI strategy without objective data and thorough groundwork

The required configuration and specification of EV-charging infrastructure varies depending on the location, the parking set-up, the individual charging needs, and local requirements. Besides, data-based decisions should be part of every EVCI strategy, providing a clearer picture of the unique needs and implications. Private charging point location and type planning, for example, can be supported by telematics data from an existing fleet, resulting in optioneering reports and providing detailed analysis and considerations to make.

The public infrastructure itself can be very costly, and with new laws being announced to ensure countries are ready for mass migration to EVs, businesses and governments will no doubt be considering the economic and environmental implications of installing suitable infrastructure. Using innovative design and installation techniques, our team at Yunex Traffic can future-proof any EV installation site with all the necessary groundworks and utilities for future demand without the need for the capital outlay of many, potentially surplus, charge points. Subsequently, our customers can procure and install the required charge points on request onto the existing groundwork, reducing costs and minimizing the environmental impact of site enhancement and upgrades.

EV Hub in Woolwich

It’s not only the Charging Point availability

Reliable, accessible charging options away from one’s home or workplace will crucially support longer sustainable road vehicle journeys. Yet, it will not be sufficient to just set up new charging points. There needs to be an entire ecosystem working – simple, fast, and easy to manage. For example, the payment process: At conventional filling stations, you can pay by credit card, cash, or mobile payment solutions. Quick and easy. At many EV Charge Points, this is still problematic. You sometimes need dedicated apps for each charge point station and the payment methods accepted can vary depending on the country or charge point operator.

To tackle this challenge, at the beginning of 2023, our team rolled out a new contactless and intuitive payment solution in the UK. This contactless solution offers effortless operation with a built-in contactless bank card reader and RFID reader. All instructions are displayed on one screen, rather than users having to look at different charger parts to read or input information, making it convenient and quick to use.

Another pain point for EV drivers is still the duration of the charging process. While it takes less than 10 minutes to fuel a car, charging an electric vehicle can take more than 12 hours. The charging time depends on a number of factors including the battery’s size and charge status and the charging point’s power output. Until recently, rapid chargers have been the fastest way to charge electric vehicles, providing between 60-200 miles of range in less than half an hour. In September 2021, we were involved in designing, installing and commissioning a rapid charging hub at the Glass Yard in Woolwich in conjunction with Transport for London (TfL) and the operator ESB. Thanks to integrated battery storage and the intelligent energy management system, eight vehicles can charge at the 50kW EV rapid chargers in 20-30 minutes simultaneously. The Woolwich hub is the first of a series of purpose-built, standalone hubs in the city providing safe and sustainable EV charging for drivers. And: our involvement did not end with building the site. We still maintain all aspects of the charging hub to ensure a high level of reliability and availability for the end users.

Overall, we already recognize a lot of positive movements in the political community and the market toward expanding charging infrastructure. With the right partners at hand, we can jointly support electrified mobility by ensuring that the infrastructure is expanded and operational to its full extent. Let’s tackle this challenge together and shape greener mobility in cities!

You want to learn more about our EVCI services?

Our long-term experience in servicing and maintaining ITS infrastructure and our global team combined with national experts knowing all the local requirements, make us a trusted partner for manufacturers and operators. As our service is independent of specific hardware, we can align our services with the particular needs of the charge point owners, building and enhancing their existing infrastructure, even operating an entire charge point network. Through our round-the-clock contact centers, our experts at Yunex Traffic ensure a consistent customer experience throughout the electrification journey.