Charger access and pricing

Configure the access to your chargers for every scenario

As electric cars increase in popularity, drivers seek both convenient fast charging when traveling and slow destination chargers in cities that are along the route of their weekly routines. Unlike petrol stations, charge points can be installed in semi-private locations, such as office parking lots, creating new opportunities for convenient charging. For example, companies offer charging as a perk to customers and employees alike. Likewise, operators can partner with retail chains, housing associations, and cities to offer tailored charging experiences at special rates.

While it’s a clear advantage to set up charging point locations like these, semi-private charging adds a layer of complexity for operators. They often manage networks of hundreds, or even thousands of chargers, with partnerships spread across locations with different access levels.

When designing the Plugsurfing Power Platform, we wanted to tackle this problem by making it easy for operators to decide who can access their stations and set the right prices for each customer group.

We added flexibility by designing price profile associations, as well as customer and connector groups. Using price profiles, charge point operators can create an unlimited number of profiles based on the characteristics defined by their location partners. A price profile describes all the price conditions, including prices assigned to different customer groups. Operators can then apply the same price profile to any number of connectors, reducing the amount of manual work.

Match your customer needs by offering them a flexible access to your chargers

Often, charging points are installed with an audience in mind. When chargers are semi-private, it becomes important for the owner to limit the access to the charging point in question to a specific set of people. For example, a company may want to install a few charging stations that will be available only to employees. Connector groups can be set to provide this exclusive perk to company drivers while restricting the public from accessing it.

Similarly, a housing association can decide to provide free charging access to residents, while offering a paid service to residents’ guests and neighbours. The possible configurations for access restrictions are endless, so, charge point operators can customise the charging experience and build a better driver experience for the customers they want to reach.

Flexible pricing for every scenario

In many semi-private charging locations, operators have to handle multiple price levels for different customer groups. As more companies and public administrations install chargers at their premises, they want to be able to offer preferential rates of charging to specific groups, whether it’s customers, employees or residents.

For example, consider a workplace that has installed charging points specifically for their employees. They have decided to offer special pricing for company car owners and fleet members. In this scenario, drivers of company cars could charge at a rate of 0,50€/kWh, and cars from the corporate fleet at 0,30€/kWh. Only customers in these customer groups can see the chargers in the app and start charging.

A step-by-step guide to configuring access to your chargers

Do you already use Plugsurfing Power Platform to monitor and manage your network of chargers? Now is your chance to take a bit of a deep dive and discover how to configure multiple price levels and access to your chargers.

Let’s consider the following example scenario, in which a retail chain installed twenty charging stations at one of their stores. They would like to make them available to both store employees and customers. To encourage an uptake of electric cars at their company, they want to offer a discounted charging price to their employees. The process for setting up a scenario like this is straightforward on the Power Platform. First, you will need to create a new connector group. Let’s call it “Amazing Store Chargers.”

Now that you have a connector group ready, you can start adding the relevant charging stations to the connector group. Once that’s done, you can create a customer group for store employees by adding all employees with electric cars to the group. You can always return to edit this group later. The next step is to set price levels. Configure a price profile for “Store Employees” with a rate of 0,50€/kWh and a price profile for “Everyone Else” with a rate of 0,80€/kWh. In this scenario, everyone can charge but store employees charge at a discounted rate.

When you have the price, the connector group, and the customer group configured, you can link them all together in what is called a price profile association.

That’s all! Once the price profile association is created, you can easily add another charger or a driver to the group and apply a corresponding price.

Price profiles open growth possibilities

The ability to manage access and apply several levels of pricing makes it easier for operators to grow and scale.

Operators can serve many customer groups, opening doors for collaborations with companies, housing associations, the public sector, and destinations that drivers frequent. All distinct customer groups can have specific access restrictions and pricing at chargers across the network.

Interested to know more? Get in touch to find out how your company can use Plugsurfing Power Platform to manage your charge point network.