As electric vehicles (EVs) become more prevalent on the roads, the need for reliable and efficient charging infrastructure is becoming increasingly important. That is where EVA Global comes in, with our wide range of services for optimal charging network management such as infrastructure management and monitoring, integrated ad hoc payment solutions, customer support and prescriptive maintenance, and field service orchestration for EV charging stations.
Recently, Emanuel Moreira, Principle Architect at EVA Global, embarked on a long-distance EV driving trip from Amsterdam, Netherlands to the southernmost parts of mainland Europe and back, having a chance to do a deep test into EV charging on the road.
Tell us about you trip!
We started the trip from our home in Amsterdam, Netherlands and first drove to Porto, Portugal to reunite with family, continued our office in Lisbon, which was followed by Málaga, where many of our colleagues work, after which we returned back to Amsterdam. Overall, the trip spanned through 5 countries with almost 6.000 kilometers on the road. Happily we were in no hurry, working remotely and at other EVA offices, so we had a chance to make the most of it with longer pitstops at the main destinations in our plan.
What inspired you to make this journey with an EV?
As a company that provides charging infrastructure service, it is important for us to understand the real-world challenges that EV drivers face. I was excited to test charging infrastructure in a range of different locations and conditions to see how well it performs in different countries and by different service providers. Professional reasons aside, it was a great experience to have an old-fashioned road trip through Europe with the family. Compared to flying, driving takes away the sense of urgency and gave an opportunity to see new scenery. Also, traveling with a young child and dog by car has its advantages when it comes to space and having control on the pace and breaks.
How did you plan your trip?
I first mapped out our route to make sure we had access to charging points along the way. I was delighted with the geographical expansion of charging stations, as I noticed a trip like this does not need as much detail of a plan as it would have just a few years ago.
There are many EV charging mobile apps, that help planning: finding chargers, including traffic pattern simulations, agent-based and app-based intelligence, which sifts through traffic patterns and directs you to an available charger. They make it easy, but I can’t wait for the times, when no special planning will be needed.
How did the charging stations perform during your trip?
Overall, the charging infrastructure performed well. We were able to easily access chargers at our planned stops, and the charging stations across this route were mostly reliable and efficient.
Although progress has definitely been made, this is not always the case. That’s why EVA Global exists and why it was professionally interesting and important to take this road trip. You really need to understand reliability, availability and accessibility of charging infrastructure firsthand to develop them. As a result, we can provide a service that enables us to monitor infrastructure efficiently, knowing the status and condition of EV chargers and with the data and experience we have can advise customers on the best charge location with the latest operational information to optimize your trip or charge time.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the trip?
Although there is huge progress, EV adoption still needs to tackle some challenges to scale steadily. When making their journey, EV drivers have been accepting charge delays and bottlenecks with limitations or a lack of charging infrastructure.
We did encounter a few unexpected challenges at some of the charge points but managed to resolve those quickly by calling customer support. We also faced some sudden changes in weather conditions that affected our travel time. However, we were able to adapt quickly and adjust to keep the trip on track.
The reality of bottlenecks may not go away overnight, and this is one of the issues we are solving at EVA Global: supporting charge operators by increasing uptime and availability of chargers, helping drivers find operational chargers on site, reducing wait times and frustration.
How will your experience from this trip inform the development of EVA Global services?
My experience on this trip will definitely help the team to continue to improve and refine our services. On one side, it will be a direct and practical input to EVApedia, our own internal knowledge base that allows all the agents widespread across all offices and continents to have the same EV charging knowledge.
On the other side, we will be looking at ways to make the charging infrastructure even more efficient and reliable, taking advantage of the available charger and EV data to increase charger uptime and availability and even predict the failures before they happen, as well as exploring recent technologies and services that can enhance the overall EV driving experience.
Overall, this long-distance EV driving trip was a success. We made it without any major issues and spotted the bottlenecks of the charging infrastructure we are to solve next. As the popularity of EVs continues to grow, we keep ensuring that drivers have access to the charging infrastructure they need to keep their vehicles moving smoothly on the road.
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