Imagine that in the future, you walk up to a smart EV charging kiosk, you tap your EV charging card (which is also your key card) on the charging kiosk after which it greets you and welcomes you. It already knows your preferred charge amount.
so all you have to do is,
EVs are an up-and-coming technology with a fast-growing market and it has huge potential to be the mainstream mobility solution of the future. Hence, it makes sense for far-sighted businesses to jump into the bandwagon early and reap their rewards either by directly producing EVs or by investing into the EV infrastructure to enable it.
EVs are seen as the direction that future automobiles are headed towards. In exchange for the higher upfront costs, EVs have much lower running and maintenance costs. Hence, in the long term, effective cost over the lifetime for electric vehicles is lesser than conventional vehicles.
The landscape of EVs in India may appear bleak when compared to more developed western markets as of now, but EVs have started growing at a strong pace in recent years. The Indian EV market is only going to grow faster and has a huge potential to capture a large segment of the automobile market share in this decade. This is helped by the fact that petrol and diesel were always relatively expensive in India to begin with and electric two-wheelers come with great benefits like requiring much lesser charging time compared to cars, on top of being more efficient.
The government of India are also keen on playing their part to accelerate the trend by offering schemes like Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India). Manufacturers can take advantage of the FAME II scheme to avail benefits and incentives. The government of Tamil Nadu also has issued various plans and rules for implementing a robust EV infrastructure within the state. Some of their plans state that one charging station will be set up at 25 Km intervals on both sides of the NHAI and State Highways. Along with this, they also encourage active participation and partnership with private firms to set up charging stations in commercial buildings and popular urban areas. Moreover, they also encourage prospective EV owners with incentives like registration fee waivers and road tax exemption on new vehicles for a period of time.
As we can see, there’s plenty of demand for both EVs and the supporting infrastructure and hence there’s plenty of motivation for businesses to take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade people’s EV charging experiences and incorporate such ideas into their business models to ultimately bring more revenue and increase their reach.
Charging kiosks can add a whole new level of convenience and quality of life features by integrating smart kiosks into EV charging stations. They can be accessed by an EV card which is all the driver would need to charge their vehicle at numerous charging points across the country. EV manufacturers like Tesla already support smart car unlock methods like smart key cards and secure app based unlocks. Thus, the functionality of these two cards can be combined into one EV super card, which is all a person will ever need to unlock their car, drive to a charging point, charge and pay for it as well. This can be done by collaborations with the manufacturers of the charging kiosk and the EV itself to offer a unique customer-centric, convenient experience for EV owners.
Once the driver parks their car beside a charging kiosk, first they can tap or swipe the card in the kiosk’s RFID or NFC scanner, which will log them in instantly. Then, they can select their preferred charging options on the screen, along with personalized suggestions based on your past charging practices. Also using this data, it can give them long term insights and help by giving tips to improve the battery health while they charge. When they plug the cable in to charge, it will be locked in place for safety reasons. After they’re done, the cable can be unlocked after the payment is made, which can be done simply by swiping the card again and entering an OTP sent to their mobile.
The amount will be debited from the EV card account, to which money can be added at any time through the same charging kiosk. Banks can partner in with the EV firms to come up with attractive credit options with reward points and exclusive benefits similar to credit cards. A subscription option can also be offered, wherein for instance the customer gets free 100KWh of charge free every month when they pay an annual fee. One of the perks that can be unlocked for long time subscribers with high levels of experience points can be the ability to pre-book or block charging points prior to usage by paying an advance fee, so that they can save the waiting time of being stuck behind queues of vehicles.
The charging kiosk comes with more features like access to helpline numbers, voice call and video call options in case of emergency or to request a tow truck in the event of a vehicle breakdown. Moreover, the wayfinding kiosk option built into it gives the user a bird’s eye view of all the important points of interest like hospitals, police stations, service stations, restaurants and hotels in the vicinity along with their working hours and open status.
Bus stands and taxi depots that employ mostly EV fleets can attract potential passengers by constructing these charging stations at their premises. Using these, people can look at the bus timings, look at the bus routes on maps, purchase bus tickets or book taxis from the very interactive kiosks that the vehicle charges from. A future use case would also include self-driving taxis, which can be booked at the place where it charges via the kiosk.
Self-service kiosks can really benefit not only businesses, but end-users as well. Since the kiosks are all smart and connected to the cloud network, they can send real time usage information to drivers. Using a mobile app, the EV drivers can see the map of charging stations in and around their location to check for the available status or the number of people in the queue for any particular station. Not only that, but the addition of a kiosk would enhance the user-friendliness of the transactions, given that they can opt for UPI and smart payment methods.
They can also find their place in busy car workshops and service centers, where the interactive kiosk can intelligently communicate and read the telemetry data of the car when it charges to provide detailed health reports on the vehicle’s parts. Additionally, it can suggest repairs to be made, along with other regular services like general maintenance or car wash, all of which will be done by the press of a button by the user. Of course, this is only possible if the OEM manufacturer works closely with the charger manufacturer or if both are of the same make.
Self-service kiosks can play a vital role in remote areas or hostile environments with harsh climates, where people cannot work in power bunks. Software and media updates can be sent remotely from any global location to provide timely and useful information to users. Rugged kiosks can be employed in such extreme environments, and can be the difference between life and death for a person whose vehicle battery just died. Wayfinding kiosks built into the charging station can help point the way for someone who got lost or stranded in the wilderness, or even send an emergency SOS signal to local authorities to call for help in extreme survival situations. Charge points fitted with interactive kiosks can even run off the grid, using solar power for emergency needs and to charge mobile devices.
At Cizeron Kiosk, we’re striving hard to make this vision a reality as soon as we can by dedicating our resources to research on the same topic. In the long term, this is a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved, including the manufacturer, business owner and of course the customer. Conversely, this can also serve as a conduit or a gateway for kiosks in general to find more widespread use in the near future.