As electric vehicles (EVs) become more prevalent, the need for charging stations continues to grow. There are two main types of EV charging stations: “networked” and “non-networked.” Here are the differences between the two types of charging stations and their respective benefits.
Networked Charging Stations
Networked charging stations, also known as smart charging stations, are connected to a central network and can communicate with other devices, such as smartphones and building management systems. These charging stations are typically operated by third-party companies, such as ChargePoint, EVgo, and Greenlots.
Networked charging stations offer several benefits. First, they can provide real-time data on usage, including the number of charging sessions, the amount of energy consumed, and the cost of charging. This information can help EV owners manage their charging habits and help operators maintain the charging stations. Networked charging stations can also provide alerts when a charging station is available, in use, or out of service, making it easier for EV owners to find available charging stations.
In addition, networked charging stations can be integrated with other smart building systems, such as lighting and HVAC systems. This integration can help optimize energy usage and reduce overall energy consumption.
Non-Networked Charging Stations
Non-networked charging stations, also known as dumb charging stations, are not connected to a central network and cannot communicate with other devices. These charging stations are typically installed by property owners, such as businesses or municipalities.
Non-networked charging stations are simple and straightforward to use. They do not require any special software or apps and can be accessed by anyone with an EV. Non-networked charging stations are also less expensive to install and maintain than networked charging stations, making them a good choice for smaller businesses or individuals.
However, non-networked charging stations have several limitations. They do not provide real-time data on usage, making it difficult for EV owners to monitor their charging habits. Non-networked charging stations also cannot be integrated with other smart building systems, limiting their potential for energy optimization.
Which Charging Station to Choose
Both networked and non-networked charging stations have their respective benefits and drawbacks. Networked charging stations offer real-time data on usage, alerts on availability, and integration with other smart building systems. Non-networked charging stations are simple and straightforward to use and are less expensive to install and maintain
Ultimately, the choice between networked and non-networked charging stations will depend on the needs of the EV owner and the property owner. For large commercial properties or municipalities, networked charging stations may be the best option. For smaller businesses or individuals, non-networked charging stations may be more practical. Regardless of the choice, the increasing availability of EV charging stations is a positive step towards a more sustainable transportation system.