Blog

Ask the Experts - Q&A

11 April 2020

During an event we held to discuss the Fortum eMobility platform, we held an expert panel discussion with an open Q&A session aimed at answering industry-related questions and discussing our platform features. Here's a summary of some of the questions and answers!

Mike and Adam chatting to each other

The questions were asked by the audience and answered by our panel of eMobility product specialists. 

The majority of credit cards have RFID - why not associate with them Fortum and integrate contactless payment with billing, invoicing, and roaming?

We are not allowed to store credit card details in the platform. In theory any RFID can be stored as a customer key in CDMC, even your library card, for example. The problem is that the encoding of credit cards is different and hence charge points cannot decrypt and send in the value to the CDMC backend.

Some countries have banned per minute charging. Do you think this will be the case in Europe?

Some countries, such as Germany, have said that only charging per minute is not allowed, but not that you can't charge for time and energy. It would be unacceptable for cars to remain parked free of charge when their batteries are full. It would also be unacceptable for cars with poor consumption rates to utilise fast chargers. To tackle this, the platform will understand when the session is at "end of charge" and be able to charge a fee or change rate when this event occurs.

EU has strict rules on mobile data roaming costs and mobile call costs in Europe. Any plans from the EU on similar rules for EV charging?

We have no indication on how the EU sees this but it is reasonable to assume that there will be EU legislation in EV charging pricing. In addition we see that CPOs and EMPs will work together to create a better user experience for drivers "roaming" nationally and internationally.

Have you considered developing a plug-and-charge capability based on the VIN of the vehicle instead of ISO 15118?

We are considering different alternatives and will follow best practices and experiences from the market.

Will subscriptions sort of round the demands from the German “Eichrecht”?

No, I don't believe so. Subscriptions just changes how sessions are priced and paid for and is an EMP feature. The German "Eichrecht" is a requirement on German CPOs to provide users with an ability to get "certified" meter values.

When will fleet management be available for the backend?

Both Plugsurfing and CDMC have support for fleets, as well as a joint Fleet Management offering – please contact sales to discuss this further!

With all of the new pricing structures being made available, how is this complexity going to be communicated to the end users?

1) The platform supports EMP pricing; in other words, this enables an EMP to simplify pricing for end users, even if the CPO defines highly complex pricing.
2) Subscriptions are also possible; for example, pay a monthly fee and get same simple price for all your sessions with all CPOs
3) The app will show real-time pricing and greater information on, for example, the average price of a session at this station.

Would it be possible set up a routine for updating firmware from HW manufacturers? We have compatibly issues between car-charger every now and the due to this.

We are evaluating how to improve the process of firmware updates, and what roles and responsibilities should different parties have in it (CPO, HW manufacturer, as well as Fortum).

Can we integrate the Fortum platform already through direct OCPI with other platforms?

We already have OCPI support for CPOs on CDMC platform who can open their network to other EMPs via OCPI. We have also already completed the EMP (outbound) roaming via OCPI, making the first steps with e.g. Gireve via OCPI, and we continually develop this. 

In CDMC (Charge Drive Management Cloud), does the .csv-file of transactions include the actual payed out amount and the transaction fees?

Yes, it does.

Could the micro-transactions for all sessions for a month of a private customer be added up to one monthly  transaction?

Yes, with our invoicing or monthly billing functionality.

Will there be a reservation function in Plugsurfing?

Reservations are on the roadmap, but for obvious reasons is only possible for assets managed by the platform. The first version of the reservation functionality enables the user to reserve a connector on a charger for X minutes during which the user is supposed to arrive at the station and start charging. During those X minutes no other users will be able to start the session on that connector. If user arrives late, the reservation will be removed. 

Do you plan to integrate social network and evaluation service inside the apps to help user to choose the service in the future?

There are features in the app for evaluating stations, but the current long-term plan is to grade stations based on factual data and not user experiences. For example number of sessions per day, average power consumption rate, hours online/offline per day, failed starts etc.

You talk about the mobile experiences sometimes, and the mobile experience sometimes. Will you merge the mobile apps, and offers of Plugsurfing and Fortum Charge & Drive?

Our joint platform will have common core services and “engines,” while enabling multiple different front-end interfaces and experiences channels. Possible decisions about existing consumer facing interfaces will be based on our clients and customer demands to ensure and maintain best user experiences.

When will Spring be available in the U.K.?

If you are interested in Fortum Spring solutions for the UK market, please contact our sales. We are open for conducting a pilot project as the first step to bring the Spring functionalities into UK.