Q&A with Hakan Ekmen, Managing Director umlaut US

How do the varied public quick charging networks examine by way of reliability, comfort, protection and value? Charged not too long ago partnered with the German agency umlaut to start to find out the state of the charging community person expertise. After performing a comparative examine of community suppliers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland earlier this yr, umlaut tailored its testing methodology to the US market, and collectively we developed the brand new 2020 EV Charging Infrastructure Best-in-Test award.

Charged and umlaut plan to proceed this partnership to carry you future stories on the state of the charging community person expertise. Subsequent yr’s work will develop past California to incorporate extra areas of North America. Up to date key efficiency indicators will likely be developed, in addition to an “ideally suited charging course of” for EV drivers. In future stories, benchmarks will point out how a lot the varied networks deviate from that ideally suited course of, together with the Tesla Supercharger expertise. Subsequent yr’s evaluation can even probably embrace the brand new Plug and Cost characteristic, which permits charging with out the necessity for a card or a smartphone app.

Who’s umlaut?

umlaut is a worldwide, full-service, cross-industry, end-to-end engineering consultancy firm with 4,500 specialised specialists and engineers, and operations in 50 places all around the world. Managing Director Hakan Ekmen defined to Charged that the corporate often releases “know-how street maps” in numerous industries, together with power, telecommunications, automotive and aviation.

When umlaut was based in 1996, the corporate began as an engineering consultancy with a deal with automotive—ever since, umlaut has a powerful automotive unit that gives consulting companies to producers and suppliers worldwide. umlaut has carried out charging community exams in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and is getting ready to additional lengthen its footprint on this space.

Charged: Why did umlaut resolve to start out benchmarking EV charging infrastructure?

Hakan Ekmen: Motorists are used to getting from A to B with out anxiously trying on the charge-level meter. Thus, for the acceptance of e-mobility, a dependable charging infrastructure with a complete protection of charging stations is an indispensable requirement. As we’re specialists in assessing new applied sciences from the customers’ perspective, we really feel the customers ought to know what they get relating to charging their automobile. Our benchmark reveals the sturdy in addition to the weak factors of every charging operator and in addition reveals who’s taking the lead.

Charged: Did the outcomes of this examine match your expectations?

Hakan Ekmen: General, the examine did match our expectations, and the outcomes are all-in-all pleasing. Nevertheless, they present room for enchancment. That is additionally true for the suppliers which scored greatest in our evaluation. We knew the charging networks are fairly completely different of their enterprise fashions and roadmaps. Some firms deal with each AC and DC charging, others intend to attach states and cities, and others put charging stations at hotspots like grocery shops or parking tons. We set excessive requirements, figuring out that it’d take just a few years for networks to realize most scores. In our expertise, operators see such unbiased exams as a stimulus to additional improve their infrastructure and optimize their choices.

Charged: What do you see as the most important future challenges for the EV {industry}?

Hakan Ekmen: Along with apparent challenges akin to vary and the provision of charging stations, quite a few further elements are equally essential for future success.

The sensible automobile will talk with different automobiles, and more and more additionally with infrastructure akin to charging stations. At this level, information safety performs a decisive position. All of this may result in the disappearance of conventional borders between numerous industries and completely different purposes.

E-mobility is a brand new area that mixes automotive with power and connectivity options. Whether or not it’s 5G, the linked automobile, or safety, with our cross-industry know-how, we preserve our eyes on all essential elements, as we need to actively form the way forward for e-mobility. A brand new benchmark measuring and assessing Linked Automotive Companies will come out shortly.

Charged: Along with e-mobility, what different industries does umlaut present advisory companies for?

Hakan Ekmen: We’re very technology-driven and future-oriented, and supply companies to quite a few sectors and industries—above all in automotive, power, aviation and telecommunications, transferring our experience and data throughout the industries.

We at present work with all automotive OEMs within the US on numerous automobile associated applied sciences, in addition to with all of the telecom operators in areas like 5G. We’ve greater than 15 years of expertise in benchmarking. Yearly, we assess greater than 200 networks in additional than 80 nations. Our methodology is revered because the de-facto {industry} normal. Additionally, we conduct e-mobility benchmarks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Charged: What are the most important variations between the ends in the US in comparison with Europe?

Hakan Ekmen: One huge distinction is the kind of places of DC quick charging infrastructure. In Europe, DC quick charging infrastructure is at present being put in primarily at freeway websites. Public restrooms or outlets are sometimes already positioned at such places. Within the US, DC quick charging infrastructure can be more and more discovered at city facilities akin to supermarkets. The environment of the places have a significant affect on your complete person expertise. One other crucial distinction is the market construction. In Europe, the client can use an app from an MSP to make use of charging stations from completely different CPOs (roaming).