Eneco e-mobility (Eneco) is one of the leading CPOs and EMSPs, which operates more than 25,000 public and home charge points across the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
In 2021, Eneco’s previous hardware-plus-backend service provider for about 3,500 charge points opted to phase out its legacy software platform. Eneco wanted to simplify asset management and upgrade its charging management functional capabilities at the same time. Additionally, the operator needed to meet the price transparency norms mandated by the Netherland’s Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the previous year. The rules state that consumers, or EV drivers, in this case, must be able to clearly see all costs – from the price of the recharge cards to the invoice detailing their charging sessions. The regulation thus calls for CPOs to offer ad hoc charging and share real-time transaction data with the drivers.
To meet its requirements and ensure business scalability, Eneco decided to migrate its 3,500 charge points under a single, future-proof GreenFlux platform.
Migrating charge stations to a different software provider is usually a tedious and costly process. This project posed primarily three major challenges: the need for the same communication language, secure path communication, and project management.
A large group of charge points from Eneco’s previous manufacturer were G2 (generation 2) chargers that used the older version of OCPP (1.5 SOAP). Plus, there were some G3 (Generation 3) chargers, which used OCPP 1.6 JSON, and several customisations and deviations of the protocols made by the existing backoffice provider in the early days of EV charging. The first challenge for GreenFlux was to accommodate different protocol versions and address potential communication issues.
Ensuring safe communication with a secure data exchange between Eneco’s charge station telecom SIM card providers and the backend platform provided a second challenge.
And third, with six different parties involved in the large-scale migration, the team needed to facilitate efficient cooperation to deliver the project on time.
The hardware-agnostic GreenFlux platform accommodated charge stations leveraging a variety of OCPP protocol versions, including 1.5 SOAP, 1.5 JSON, and 1.6 JSON, plus deviations. The experts in GreenFlux team performed several integration tests, customised paths, and created an entirely new communication channel to optimise communication for various charge point configurations. Plus, the GreenFlux team ensured only stations with the latest firmware and correct configuration settings were migrated.
Security is one of the core principles of GreenFlux’s product design principles and the platform is ISO27001 and 27002-certified. The GreenFlux team set up private APN and VPN data connections with Eneco’s SIM card providers to achieve desired security configuration. This avoided the need to physically change any SIM card in the charge stations. “Creating these connections while ensuring safety is a major milestone that we achieved together with GreenFlux,” said Art Speksnijder, Product Owner IT, Eneco eMobility.
GreenFlux conducted the migration in a phased manner thereby avoiding a complete shutdown of charge points at any point in time causing distress to EV drivers. With over 10 years of operational experience in managing charge stations, GreenFlux managed coordination between six different parties and handled the complicated technical requirements right from preparation to execution to the final migration of 3,500 charge points.
“Overall, the collaboration, commitment, and knowledge that GreenFlux offered helped make this migration a success,” added Art.
GreenFlux successfully migrated Eneco’s 3,500 charge points to its own backend platform. The outcome provided Eneco with operational efficiency of its entire network, secure data communication, and simpler asset management. Eneco ensured future scalability of its business by operating all the charge points under one, future-proof platform. Besides, the company met the EU’s price transparency requirements and gained access to real-time data sharing and ad hoc payments.
GreenFlux is competent to handle large-scale, complicated projects as was proven with this project that required technical expertise and coordination between six stakeholders. The backend platform supports all current and legacy versions of OCPP and can perform any required integrations and customisations for protocols. The GreenFlux team facilitates efficient project management, customises any necessary technical changes when dealing with legacy systems, ensures technicalities are by the standards and meets all safety concerns.
“I know some platforms are saying they can help with such migration. They claim to have all kinds of scripts and technology to help. GreenFlux is capable and competent to actually deliver on that promise,” said Art Speksnijder, Product Owner IT, Eneco eMobility.