EV Market is Growing Beyond Expectations
Market research organizations around the world continue to raise their EV growth forecasts as improving battery technology continues to challenge previous assumptions. The Global Electric Vehicle Market is estimated to grow from approximately 3.2M units in 2019 to reach nearly 27M units by 2030, at a CAGR of 21.1% (source) Widespread access to a reliable network of EV Chargers is arguably one of the most critical enablers of EV adoption and can further accelerate the growth curve.
It is therefore no surprise that the competition in the EV Charging market is heating up. What has further spurred activity in this area is the ambitious goals set and contracts awarded by VW’s subsidiary Electrify America. Funded to the tune of $2 billion as a settlement from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions settlement in 2016 (so-called “Diesel Gate”), it has a stated aim of building hundreds of EVC stations and putting in place a whopping 2,000 chargers by the end of 2019.
BTCPower (Broadband TelCom Power, Inc.) is a US company based in Santa Ana CA. and is a leader in the North American electric vehicle charging market. BTCPower is also one of the primary providers of EV Charging equipment to Electrify America. Recently BTCPower chose Scoop as the platform for performing a variety of installation, preventative maintenance, service and troubleshooting activities.
“We are proud of the fact that BTC Power has chosen the Scoop® platform to mobilize and automate their field operations. Leveraging our advanced technology, we see tremendous potential in the EV charging and infrastructure market as consumers and businesses awaken to the need to reduce carbon emissions by switching away from IC vehicles.”
As EV Chargers become more sophisticated, the complexity of installation projects as well as maintenance and service procedures continues to edge up. Even though operating an EV Charger is a simple process from the consumer’s point of view, under the hood, a rather impressive combination of subsystems have to all work well and in concert to deliver the desired results. This added complexity coupled with the high demand for skilled electricians and field technicians has given rise to a number of growing pains for leading EVC providers. As with any other growing industry, EVC business is a land grab. Ultimately, winners and losers will be determined by the scale that they can achieve and thus their ability to reap the economic benefits of their size and reach.
We are proud of the fact the BTCPower has chosen the Scoop® platform to mobilize and automate their field operations. Leveraging our advanced technology, we see tremendous potential in the EV charging and infrastructure market as consumers and businesses awaken to the need to reduce carbon emissions by switching away from IC vehicles.Babak Sardary, CEO, Scoop Solar
Operational Challenges Faced by EV Charging Firms
As EV Charging installation and maintenance companies grow, they face challenges typically centered around their ability to scale their initial success and respond to rising demand, while maintaining quality and consistency of service. These challenges are not unique and in fact are ones that our team of operation specialists at Scoop has witnessed in the rapidly growing solar and battery storage markets.
“Whenever you try to scale an operation rapidly, you start to see that the methods that got your organization to a 10-15 projects a month, gradually become less effective and won’t get you to 50 or 100 projects a month. You can feel it in the way the team responds. When the right tools and processes are put in place, efficiency goes up, communication clears up and capacity to take on more projects re-appears, it is a sign that you are pushing on the right pedals, standardizing, organizing and automating manual steps, giving you the capacity to grow again.” said Mojgan Givi, CTO and VP Customer Success at Scoop Solar.
The problem is not a lack of software. In fact many EV Charging companies have invested heavily into their IT systems including CRMs, Project Management, Remote Monitoring and ERP systems. The problem is that these systems are often not not designed for the realities of field work thus creating disconnects and gaps in how data, communication and work flows through the organization.
“When you have 70-80% of your workforce out there in the field, with a growing proportion consisting of external partners and contractors, it is irrational to expect software designed for office employees with fixed jobs is going to work well. Working in the field with distributed, multi-organizational teams is special, it has a different set of dynamics, pressures and constraints and therefore needs its own software approach and design. This is what we have focused on with our technology.” said Sardary
Below is a quick summary of key challenges and ways in which the Scoop platform is helping companies such as BTCPower:
Actionable Best Practices
Ensuring best practices are followed to maintain quality and safety by all personnel whether its the fifth year or the fifth day on the job, whether they are internal employees or subcontractors.
Reduce Time to Repair
Increasing efficiency of site visits and reducing the mean time to repair (MTTR) with mobile troubleshooting checklists, reference documents, instructional videos & two-way communication.
Boost Service Level
Eliminating manual steps and repeat data entry to free up staff time to respond to client requests. Boosting the quality and completeness of client-facing reports with automated PDF generation.
Empower Field Personnel
Providing easy and convenient means to collect a variety of site data including measurements, pass-fail checks, photos, video clips, comments and tasks directly from mobile devices. Eliminate having to ‘feed the beast’ after leaving site.
Free Up Managers’ Time
Providing everyone with real time access to a fully up-to-date data frees up managers time to spend coaching staff, talking to customers and making value-add decisions and less time simply shuttling information between departments.
Having all of that data and workflow tied into any backend IT environments like ERPs or CRMs and financial software to minimize manual steps and repeat data entry. Scoop’s sophisticated GLOO™ integration engine enforces each client’s specific business logic and field mappings.
You can feel it in the way the team responds. When the right tools and processes are put in place, efficiency goes up, communication clears up and capacity to take on more projects re-appears, it is a sign that you are pushing on the right pedals, standardizing, organizing and automating, giving you the capacity to grow again.Babak Sardary, CEO, Scoop Solar
Site Reporting, Simplified
As only one concrete example of how automation can free up valuable time and increase capacity for growth, consider EV Charging Site Visits. Personnel must regularly visit EVC sites to carry out installation steps, as well as corrective or preventative maintenance on EV Chargers. Traditionally this is a process that involves the dispatched technician receiving a paper or emailed work order with scant information. Once onsite, the technician must remember the steps to be followed for service or maintenance or at best refer to a document that is inconvenient even under the best of conditions, let alone out in the open exposed to the elements. Once the tech finally manages to complete all steps and capture all the photos and measurements, comes the task of uploading all findings and data to a web-based software such as a CRM or Project Management portal. This is a highly inefficient–not to mention error-prone–process that wastes valuable technician time that could be used to deliver value at the next scheduled site.
Working in the field with a distributed, multi-organizational team is special, it has a different set of dynamics, pressures and constraints and therefore needs its own software approach and design. This is what we have focused on with our technology.Babak Sardary, CEO, Scoop Solar
In contrast to this highly manual method, customers such as BTCPower provide technicians with access to a fully-customized mobile Work App on their iOS or Android device. The Work Apps can be customized for each of the various field processes. The Work Apps help the technician navigate to the appropriate site, access reference documents, past issues, and history and guide the technician through all the necessary steps including checklists, measurements, and photo capture fields. All data is automatically synchronized to the cloud-based secure account where managers at the office can review the site visit. An automated PDF report generation wizard then formats the site visit report and makes it available for submission to clients.
Of course, field reporting and report generation is only one of many opportunities to reduce inefficiencies in the EV Charging Installation and Service field. Experience has shown that when the ability to create Work Apps, Project Dashboards, and Centralized Task lists are made available to teams, a surprising level of creativity and problem-solving capability emerges. This is to be expected of course. Many operation managers and project managers are intimately familiar with their business and operational challenges but have lacked access to the tools to solve them. Therefore when given the means to put solutions into action, they do so with enthusiasm which benefits the organization, and results in higher employee engagement, and customer satisfaction.