For millions of electric vehicle (EV) owners, the joy of having a quiet, eco-friendly vehicle can swiftly transform into disappointment. The main culprit? Lack of availability of charging infrastructure. The vision of achieving widespread EV adoption faces a hurdle, not due to a lack of interest, but because of a few critical elements being absent: Lack of infrastructure to have widespread rollout has been key but then of those that are available the lack of resilient IoT connectivity is making these unreliable to the extent they may not be usable. These challenges might prompt a revaluation of traditional hybrid or petrol vehicles.
The current state of the EV market and charging infrastructure.
The growth of the electric vehicle market has been substantial in recent years, in the UK. As for EV chargers, having a dependable and secure source of connectivity is of utmost importance. The UK government’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate was created to provide confidence to invest in charging infrastructure – with 43% more public charge points last year. This means the charge point deployment will need to grow around 30% per year to reach the expectation of 300,000 points.
The number of public EV charge points in the UK.
As the chart reveals, the past few years have seen a significant increase in the number of public EV charge points in the UK.
The statistics paint a picture of progress. Worldwide EV sales are skyrocketing, and the UK's public charging network has been on the rise. But a closer look reveals cracks in the foundation. Reports cite unreliable chargers, long wait times, and patchy coverage – all fuelled by one critical factor: lack of resilient IoT connectivity.
The initial plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, along with the zero-emissions vehicle mandate, stands as the most significant measure to reduce carbon emissions in the Government’s Net Zero Strategy.
However, the ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars has been postponed to 2035. In September 2023, the UK government disclosed the delay in the zero-emissions mandate.
The UK’s Prime Minister attributed the delay to high costs, practical concerns from small businesses, and a lack of widespread charging infrastructure. They highlighted that drivers considering the switch to electric often express worries about the availability and reliability of public car chargers.
With this, the need for reliable connectivity for electric charging points emerges as a critical project, and businesses will need to focus their efforts on providing extensive coverage across the UK even in remote areas. This becomes particularly significant as the demand for EV chargers grows, and charging infrastructures aim to expand their network on a larger scale.
What can be done to reduce downtime, and boost uptime, resilience, and reliability across EV charge points?
Addressing downtime and elevating uptime, resilience, and reliability across EV charge points is crucial for the success of the EV ecosystem. In response to the delayed mandate, the UK government enacted regulations mandating a 99% reliability rate and real-time availability updates for all public charging points. Enforced since late in 2023, charging providers now face fines of up to £10,000 per device for breaches. While these regulations highlight the importance of maintaining high uptime, it is essential to recognize that prioritising connectivity is integral to these solutions, not merely an afterthought.
In the ever-evolving landscape of IoT-driven solutions, collaboration with a critical connectivity provider is not just advantageous; it is essential for unlocking the full potential of parking and EV solutions. At CSL, we consistently innovate to deliver resilient and cyber-secure solutions tailored to each specific need. Unlike 'off the shelf' connectivity options lacking the key elements to make connectivity resilient, our approach ensures a holistic connectivity solution that addresses challenges at all levels before deployment.
Beyond enhancing user satisfaction, high uptime reduces the need for hands-on management, enabling businesses to streamline operations, boost revenue, and improve overall efficiency. In the EV charging industry, the focus on prioritising uptime has become a central discussion point, underscoring the critical importance of a collaborative ecosystem in driving the evolution of the EV market.
What does resilient IoT Connectivity bring to EV Charging Infrastructures and Smart Parking solutions?
In the dynamic landscape of EV infrastructure, the role of resilient, secure, and consistently available IoT SIMs and Routers is paramount. As the backbone of connectivity in EV charging stations, these components bring forth a heap of benefits that not only address user concerns but also pave the way for the seamless integration of advanced technologies.
We have outlined some of the transformative advantages these pillars offer to the EV ecosystem, particularly within the charging infrastructure.
Continuous Connectivity: Resilient IoT SIMs and routers ensure uninterrupted data flow, enabling real-time monitoring and remote management of EV charging stations.
Enhanced Security: Robust security features can safeguard sensitive information, protecting charging transactions, user data, and network operations from potential cyber threats.
Positive User Experience: 100% uptime leads to increased availability of functional charging points, fostering a positive and hassle-free experience for EV users.
Increased Customer Satisfaction: Reliable connectivity contributes to higher customer satisfaction, promoting loyalty and repeat business for charging station operators.
Optimised Operations: Consistent IoT connectivity facilitates the deployment of advanced technologies like predictive maintenance, dynamic pricing, and load balancing, optimising the performance of charging stations.
Reduced Operational Costs: Efficient and secure IoT infrastructure minimizes downtime, reducing operational costs associated with maintenance and troubleshooting.
Sustainable Growth: A resilient and secure IoT ecosystem lays the foundation for the seamless integration of technologies, contributing to the overall sustainability and growth of the EV market.
These pillars not only boost customer satisfaction but also enhance operational efficiency and revenue streams for charging station operators. As the cyber-security of EV charging stations is becoming a key focus area for businesses operators must continue to address these threats by working alongside expert critical connectivity providers.
Beyond the Charge
So, what does the road ahead look like? Recently I spoke on a live webinar about connectivity in the parking / EV industry, and he discussed some of the predictions and insights into IoT connectivity for EV Charging and Parking Solutions in 2024 and beyond. Here are some of the key trends he mentioned on the webinar:
Truly resilient IoT connectivity will support the deployment of advanced technologies, optimising charging station performance and contributing to the overall sustainability and growth of the EV market. To learn more about the trends and focus areas you can watch the full on-demand webinar for free: watch now
About CSL Group
CSL was founded by Simon Banks in 1996, as a UK alarm signalling provider. Today, we have over 2 million managed connections supporting mission-critical IoT applications across Europe, and we are continuing to grow and innovate.
We connect, manage and secure the Internet of Things. The world of Critical Connectivity is ever changing. We're constantly developing, evolving and transforming our platforms and services to bring our customers more powerful connected solutions.