Stop wasting money on smart EV chargers

December 7, 2020
Evan Goldin


When it comes to installing chargers for electric vehicles (EVs) at condos and apartments, don’t let the names fool you. So-called “smart chargers” have their perks, but they’re nothing compared to a smart solution.

“Dumb chargers” do their job as well as smart chargers, and they come at a much more affordable price. The downside of these chargers is that without a way to monitor usage, it can be hard for buildings to recoup utility charges and charge users fairly.

With Parkade, buildings can transform dumb chargers into a smart solution that benefits both the building and residents. It’s a win-win that offers buildings and residents a low-cost way to maximize the efficiency of dumb chargers.

Smart vs. dumb EV chargers

EV chargers can be divided into two categories – smart and “dumb” chargers.

Smart EV charging stations collect data and can process payments for the use of the charger. Like a modern gas pump, these types of chargers will usually tell their customers exactly how much electricity they consumed and charge them the precise price cost of that electricity. 

Dumb chargers are basic models that come in the form of a non-networked box with a plug or, heck, just think of an electrical outlet as a “dumb charger.” They can’t connect to the cloud nor be managed remotely.

The greatest advantage of smart chargers is that they monitor each vehicle’s usage and allow buildings to charge by the kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed. Smart chargers often show notifications when your vehicle is charged and other information on charge level, efficiency, kWhs consumed and any costs.

Despite notifying users when their EV is charged, the chargers themselves rarely offer any incentive for owners to move their vehicles. Tesla famously charges a “supercharger idle fee” at their Superchargers, but that’s rare and solvable by just unplugging the charger.

Sometimes people leave their cars in an EV charging spot simply because they forget about it, which prevents others from using that space and accessing the charger for their vehicle. Dumb EV chargers, on the other hand, offer buildings a significantly lower cost to install. Smart EV chargers cost 3-20X more than a dumb charger.

Even if a building invests in smart EV chargers, there’s no mechanism to motivate residents to share and keep the demand manageable.

The good news is that with Parkade, you can transform any dumb EV charger into a smart one and encourage sharing amongst residents. This will result in better utilization of existing chargers and reduce the demands for installing new ones.

Parkade revolutionizes dumb EV chargers

By using Parkade, buildings massively save money on the cost of installing chargers, get the ability to charge for parking + charging together, and the ability to incentivize sharing among residents or workers. 

Buildings can use Parkade to add a price to EV parking spots for the time the spot is used. 

By charging for EV parking by the hour, not only will buildings be able to recoup the cost of the chargers and energy consumption, but it will also encourage sharing. Charging by the hour will incentivize residents to only use those spots for the time needed to charge their vehicle.

Additionally, with Parkade, residents can reserve parking and their time slot. This gives EV owners the opportunity to use the chargers when it’s most convenient for them. Knowing when exactly will an EV charger be available would help many EV owners plan in advance and reduce range anxiety.

Using Parkade will turn every dumb EV charger into a smart one and allow every residential building to provide their tenants with reliable EV charging spots. 

This simple and cost-efficient solution will enable more buildings to install EV chargers and increase charger utilization. With better utilization, buildings will need fewer chargers while making sure that all residents have the opportunity to “fuel” their EVs at home.

Most popular “dumb chargers”

Most popular “smart chargers”

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