Part 2: Public Charging by Ad Hoc Users
The operator of a charging station (the CPO) often wants to enable strangers to charge as well. This could be visitors to a leisure facility, guests of a hotel or restaurant, etc.
The operator could simply keep a pool of RFID cards ready, one of which he hands over to their visitor and then requests it back:
However, this requires direct customer contact, which is not always given or wanted.
Therefore, Gridware also supports charging via smartphone for ad hoc users as an alternative. To do this, a QR code sticker must be attached. It leads to a mobile website with a corresponding booking and payment function.
business concept map then looks like this from the user’s point of view:
So there are two different ways to serve an ad hoc user.
How to get the QR-code sticker onto the charging station?
Gridware provides the sticker for download, either for a charging station or for a single charging connector:
Whether you want to provide each charging connector individually with a QR code is a question of taste and structural separation. If there is only one QR code for several charging connector, the user has to select “their” charging connector on the smartphone:
Can the (QR-code based) ad hoc usage be switched on and off?
Yes. This is where the use cases come into play, which are usually activated for each charging connector:
A charge point operator may want to unlock certain use-cases for certain times-of-day or days of the week. An example may be a retailer: during business-hours cars can be charged for free without authorization. After business-hours cars can be charged via pay-as-you-go by scanning a QR-code.
We will take a closer look at use-cases in a later blog-post.
Must the operator configure everything themselves?
This is where the so-called “sub-clients” come into play: With a simplified back-office access, the “Admin Lite”, a “sub-CPO” can handle parts of the administration themselves and also view what is happening at “their” charging connectors:
It is usually the pay-as-you-go payment that will be configured here: payment methods, prices, VAT ID, billing address for the receipt and other settings..
In some cases also the “branding” of the payment and charging process, i.e. colors, logo, name of the provider.
Can usage via QR-codes be combined with roaming?
Usually not. If a charging connector is published on a roaming platform, it can usually only be used via this platform. If any QR-codes are allowed here at all, it is the one of the roaming provider:
We will take a closer look at Roaming in part 3…