Why lack of innovation in EV charging infrastructure will hamper future rollout of EVs in the fleet sector
With over half of all new road-going vehicles purchased by fleets, the UK fleet sector has significant potential to accelerate the adoption of EVs across the UK and play a vital role in meeting the UK government’s target of banning sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
Going forward, chargepoint availability will be a hugely important issue to fleet owners, as will be the reliability of the chargers already installed and in use. However, it is becoming increasingly clear from our commercial fleet partners that the two key issues affecting the EV fleet sector right now are those of reliability and maintenance costs.
These issues are not unique to the EV fleet sector – UK government legislation now states that all public rapid EV chargers will need to guarantee a minimum of 99% reliability. As the government pledges yet more funding to increase the number of public EV chargers on the UK’s roads, our main concern is that not enough consideration has gone into the EV charging infrastructure required to guarantee 99% reliability and to successfully scale alongside the UK’s EV fleets as they grow over the coming years.
Why lack of innovation in EV chargers will hamper future rollout
The issue at the heart of existing EV charging infrastructure is a lack of innovation. While many advancements have been made to electric vehicles themselves, all existing EV chargers are currently based around the same ‘full bridge’ technology, which requires intricate controls meaning complicated circuitry that impacts reliability and lifetime.
As a result, EV chargers continue to be sold as products with short 2-5 year warranties. Increased demand from EV drivers over the coming months and years will inevitably lead to a wide range of problems including increased maintenance and significant down time.
This is exactly why the Petalite team has spent the past four years engineering a break-through EV charging technology called SDC which confidently meets 99% reliability. Petalite’s PowerCores (modules) can be infinitely stacked like Lego bricks and simply upgraded when the future inevitably demands more power.
Due to its built-in multiple redundancy system, Petalite’s chargers can actively switch in new PowerCores to compensate for a power loss, resulting in a highly trustworthy charge experience for EV drivers.
Vertical integration and cyber security
It’s vitally important for businesses to think about widespread connectivity of their chargers, not just the vehicle but also the grid. Recent high-profile breaches have revealed just how vulnerable public EV chargers are to cyber attack.
Petalite is a vertically-integrated business, which means we own, maintain and develop every aspect of the charger. Unlike numerous leading charger providers we have ‘baked in’ security at a hardware level so we are not reliant on third party software, which leaves chargers vulnerable to attack.
Fleets will demand considerable power going forward — the key question is how to charge thousands of vehicles and the impact this could have on supply and demand. For instance, a bus company may need to charge hundreds of busses every night.
If your software is able to dynamically respond, you can create virtual power plants, with the opportunity to relieve demand on the grid by sending messages to thousands of chargers with the option to reduce or increase demand. This supports the grid and, in turn, generates a potential additional revenue stream for fleet operators.
Solutions to the issue of short-term warranties
Another way in which we are looking to innovate within the EV charging sector is by introducing the Charging as a Service (CaaS) model. Inspired by Rolls Royce’s Engine as a Service contract, CaaS represents a huge shift in the typical EV charger business model.
Through this model we have been able to introduce long term contracts of 15-25 years (compared to the current industry standard of just 2-5), with regular servicing and maintenance built in.
Petalite’s charging hardware features standard commodity parts. As a result, Petalite aims to repair, not replace hardware and this ultimately reduces waste. Our chargers can even be serviced while charging a vehicle with no revenue loss. They are also installed with a multi-layer redundancy system meaning it’s extremely rare for one of our chargers to go down.
EV fleets promise to play a vital role in the UK’s ability to meet 2030 targets. However, until solutions are found to industry-wide issues including charger infrastructure and short term warranties, EV chargers will be unable to reliably scale alongside, and meet the future needs of, EV fleets.
Petalite is an award-winning, innovative electric vehicle charging company who have engineered a break-through technology called SDC which confidently solves customer and EV driver pains related to ‘charge anxiety’. SDC charges cars, HGVs, and aircraft and will benefit CPOs, energy companies, local authorities, commercial businesses, and fleet operators. This unique charging technology meets the 99% reliability standards set by the UK government for rapid charge points
Petalite have received private investment and developed key partnerships to bring this essential SDC technology to the public charging market. With infrastructure that lasts up to 30 years, it benefits from quick installation and high scalability. Their PowerCores (modules) can be infinitely stacked like Lego bricks and simply upgraded when the future inevitably demands more power. Due to its built-in multiple redundancy system, Petalite’s chargers can actively switch in new PowerCores to compensate a power loss, resulting in a highly trustworthy charge experience for EV drivers.
A vertically integrated approach means Petalite have developed and managed every stage of the charger design, including hardware design, software management and firmware updates. This means customers benefit from advanced protection in cyber security.
Petalite’s chargers are low cost for the future, and this is by means of their long-term (15-25 years) ‘Charging as a Service’ (CaaS) contract which increases future reliability and as a result, customers revenue potential increases too. Petalite’s charging hardware features standard commodity parts. As a result, Petalite aims to repair, not replace hardware and this ultimately reduces waste.
2022 will see Petalite quickly progressing to become a world-leading solution to electric vehicle charging. Their much-anticipated SDC brings innovation, 99% reliability as standard and low future cost to the global electric vehicle charging industry.
Leigh Purnell, Founder and CEO is speaking on 14 June, Focus Day in:
9.40 – 11.00, Fleet Charging panel
12.30 – 13.15, Robust public charging networks to service consumers and fleets Partner panel
And on 15 June, The Ambassadors’ Day:
12.45 – 13.30, Leading the UK’s fleet electrification transition. Going faster together than alone panel
Leigh Purnell, Founder and CEO and Paul Khullar, Chief of Staff will also be hosting roundtable discussions with participants on 15 June, Ambassadors’ Day:
15.05-15.50 and 15.50-16.35 The importance of long-life infrastructure, how to make money from charging and how technology will solve ‘charge anxiety’
Ultra Rapid DC chargers must be able to make a return on investment for the charger operator; this is a challenge in an industry where charging technology is stagnating with limited improvements on hardware life and warranty offerings. There are two main paths to profitability as an operator, a drastic change in the technology and vertical integration of hardware, software, maintenance and payment services.
Petalite’s Ultra-reliable SDC chargers offer a new revenue model and are a step change in this market with a predicted 17 year life and a usage based contract. Petalite are also vertically integrated, which benefits operators as every step for them, from manufacturing to installation, maintenance, payment and robust cyber security services.
If you are looking to create a business model out of DC charging, it’s important for you to join our round table so we can discuss how Petalite can solve the business model and make you money through highly reliable and long-life charging infrastructure for the future.
The team from Petalite will be exhibiting on 14 and 15 June.
If you would like to meet with Leigh Purnell and his colleagues please register here using our registration form here quoting PETA-EV1 to get 50% off: