Cloud-controlled charging for electric vehicles

2013-06-10 - ABB’s cloud-based connectivity solutions are changing the face of electric vehicle charging – enabling operators to run their charging networks more efficiently while maintaining maximum flexibility in a constantly evolving industry

By ABB Communications

ABB electric vehicle charger on the forecourt of a filling station.

The electric vehicle (EV) market is rapidly evolving and so too are customers’ needs.

It is not enough for a charger to simply charge a vehicle. Operators also require safe, secure connectivity solutions that enable them to run their charging networks more efficiently while maintaining maximum flexibility in a constantly evolving industry.

As the world’s industry leader in deploying and managing nationwide EV charging networks, ABB has made Internet connectivity a crucial part of its EV charging strategy and offering.

Already, ABB chargers are equipped with a package of connectivity-based services, including remote maintenance and diagnostics as well as interfaces to service providers.

Flexibility and cost savings
Utilizing connected services via the cloud enables ABB customers to better serve their own customers, partners and suppliers. The advantages are numerous, but the most important ones are flexibility and cost savings.

With ABB’s cloud-computing services, operators can access the data they need anytime and anywhere. There is no need to purchase and install expensive software because ABB delivers it by remote. This generates huge cost-savings – especially for software that requires frequent updates.

Because ABB connected services are provided via the cloud and use open standards, they are compatible with any charging network or payment and billing platform. This means that customers can simply connect to one central point (ABB’s Network Operations Center) to access each charger in their network.

Thanks to the use of open-standards-based interfaces, all ABB EV chargers allow remote monitoring, proactive maintenance and functional upgrades to provide ABB customers with the tools necessary to gather usage statistics and reports.

This capability benefits both ABB and its customers.

Firstly, most customer-specific configurations are pushed into the cloud and implemented via software. This means that the chargers are essentially identical, which offers tremendous economies of scale in the supply chain as well as in servicing. Managing charger updates and upgrades is also much simpler, both in terms of hardware and software.

Cloud connectivity infographic
Secondly, the network-based configuration enables the future integration of new functionalities, such as smart-grid configuration, without changing anything on the chargers.

Thirdly, thanks to ABB’s use of open cloud interfaces, customers can still work with other charger suppliers who deliver stand-alone chargers.

As the world enters the era of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) networks, where the car battery can be used to supply power to the grid via the charger, a connected charging platform is essential. ABB already has all the elements required for V2G and smart grid functionality.

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