Launching into business as an electric car charging station operator just became easier with the introduction, on Wednesday, of GreenLots SKY v3.0 software platform. The software-as-a-service platform enables a company to install electric car charging stations, configure them to connect to the GreenLots servers, and use that system to manage the charging stations.
The GreenLots system implements a range of open standards that are typically available on the charging stations. These include OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol), SEP2, OpenADR, and HomePlug Green PHY. The Open Charge Point Protocol was specifically designed for charging network operators to use to communicate with their charging stations, monitoring their status, remotely configuring them, and allowing customers to use the stations to initiate charging sessions.
GreenLots is a service provider whose system implements the software necessary to manage a charging network.
By implementing open protocols, the GreenLots service can manage charging stations made by a long list of manufacturers. Hence, network operator can mix-match charging stations, and are not locked in to stations from specific manufacturers.
Companies can engage with GreenLots in one of three models. In some cases, the network operator installs charging stations and then GreenLots is identified as the customer service organization. In other cases, the network operator co-brands their service with GreenLots, and the network will have a name like "Joe's Charging powered by GreenLots." Finally, the company offers a white label solution where customers of the network operator have no indication that GreenLots is driving the system, and the network operator even has their own customer support.
Customers of the system can become a member of the GreenLots service, or else a member of the network operator's service. GreenLots also offers support for payments through credit cards. Customers don't need to carry an RFID based identity card, because the stations all have QR code labels on them. The customer scans the QR code with their cell phone, and that initiates the charging session.
“As the EV sector evolves, site hosts and drivers have become much more sophisticated and are seeking to avoid proprietary networks that limit flexibility,” said Ron Mahabir, CEO, Greenlots. “The third generation of our Greenlots SKY platform makes the installation and management of charging stations not only easy, but also cost effective and future proof. We’re excited to offer a truly open network for the North American and Asia Pacific markets.”