Along with the Cambrian explosion in electric transportation comes opportunities of all shapes and sizes for those already in the industry. This exponential growth also introduces higher levels of complexity, a factor that ampUp aims to simplify for everyone involved.
“Lots of our customers are asking for [charging] reservations, but it is hard to do” said one of ampUp’s partners in an October meeting. Any build out of complex infrastructure is tough as it can take unique joint efforts and time for adoption.
On the other hand, the average consumer expects best-in-class service in the minimum amount of time. While many of the best selling electric vehicles are perceived as a luxury product today, the automobile industry is gearing up for lower-priced EVs to become commonplace in a few years. In the meantime, the EV charging experience needs to be effortless and reliable.
Reservation-Based + Ad Hoc Charging
At ampUp, we strongly believe that the future of EV charging will be a mix of reservation-based and ad-hoc (what we refer to as instant reservations). There are all types of EV drivers, some don’t plan their driving routes and require on-demand charging. Others want the ability to make reservations and schedule EV charging into their daily routes.
In almost every user case, drivers want to spend minimal time locating and/or reserving a charger. This allows them to minimize unproductive time at a station, regardless of their personal habits. To satisfy these needs, ampUp actively works with a broad partner ecosystem for optimizing the use of new, as well as existing EV charging infrastructure.
Software Provides Easy Management
With ampUp, EV drivers can reserve and pay for a charging station within 15 - 30 seconds. Our system also allows hosts to list a home charger in less than a minute. For hosts with multiple chargers, ampUp devised a Community Manager application suite to simplify charging management and making stations publicly available. This enables homeowners associations, office campuses, small businesses, and schools to support a large number of EV drivers efficiently while deploying fewer chargers on site. Once set up, it’s as easy as toggling individual chargers on to make them publicly available during off-hours or when they are sitting idle.
Quality Hardware Matters
Due to differing technology standards across the EV charging ecosystem, the majority of chargers are still “dumb” (don’t have satisfactory communication capabilities). To tackle this hurdle, ampUp is partnering with best-in-class EV charger manufacturers and smart device providers, such as Control Module, Enel X, Clipper Creek, and EVSE LLC. Control Module and EVSE LLC have been voted most reliable chargers by electric utilities, while Enel X’s Juicebox was the first charger built for smart charging programs tied to electricity wholesale markets and electricity cost reduction. Clipper Creek chargers are recognized as some of the most durable chargers available today, and coupled with ZEF Energy’s communication, they have incredibly high uptime. Reliable charging and communications from these providers and complementary apps are foundational to ampUp customers and EV drivers broadly.
The Importance of Information
Today’s information landscape can feel more than a little oversaturated. Yet a growing number of drivers need advice about maintaining their EV properly. As Electric Ray from the film ‘Who Killed the Electric Car’ explains about his 1999 Ranger EV, “I had to replace one pump and I don’t remember the last time I changed the brakes”. Remember, Electric Ray is talking about a two-decade-old EV.
Arguably the most critical element of EV infrastructure is quality of information, delivered by the path of least resistance. There are several sources of useful and well-researched information for existing or potential EV drivers, thus ampUp has aggregated much of these for public benefit. Below are a few useful EV links, and more can be found at ampup.io.