Building a Software Solution for Monitoring Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

JatApp developed a web application that integrates with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. It allows users to operate EV stations, control their performance, and track expenses for electricity.

  • Duration: 8 months
  • Country: Switzerland
  • Industry: IoT
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Background story

In 2020, more than 3.2 million electric vehicles were sold globally, with 1.4 million marketed to European drivers. The number of people who choose eco-friendly cars grows, which drives the need for EV charging solutions. Our client is a Swiss company that has been successfully satisfying this need.

The client approached JatApp with an idea to make their EV charging stations smarter and more efficient. We needed to develop software that would enable users to monitor the performance of their EV charging stations and let them carry out common operations remotely (for example, station reboot).

About the client

Our client is the leading producer of EV charging solutions that they sell and lease to businesses and individuals. Customers can buy their charging solutions in the online store or from official resellers. When an individual or business chooses to set up a charging station, our client offers professional installation and maintenance services.

Challenge

When we got engaged with this project, our client had software for their charging stations already built by their in-house development team. We had to collaborate with the developers on the client’s side to integrate a new system with their existing software.

We developed a web application that allows our client to manage their charging stations more efficiently, respond to failures faster, and resolve specific problems remotely.

The solution we built serves three types of users ‒ our client’s support administrators, managers of the companies that rented or bought EV charging stations, and end-users ‒ people who set up charging solutions for personal use. All users can perform specific operations to monitor the EV charging stations and deal with issues.

JatApp developed the web application in 5 months and spent 3 more months integrating the software with charging stations.

Solution

  • Prototyping

    Our work on the project began with analyzing our client’s requirements and competitors on the market. Next, we wrote a technical specification and built a middle-fidelity prototype (MFP). Once the prototype and specifications were ready, we started the development process.
  • Web app development

    JatApp built a web application that simplifies the maintenance of EV charging stations. It lets individual customers get daily reports to monitor their electricity expenses and track the stations’ performance. Managers are able to perform software reboots and report problems to the administrators. As for administrators, they can remotely reboot both the software and the hardware, as well as run station diagnostics.
  • Software integration with EV charging 
stations via Open Charge Point Protocol 
(OCPP) 2.0

    Once the development process was completed, we had to establish communication between the software system and charging stations. We achieved stable communication by implementing an international protocol OCPP 2.0. It ensures smooth interoperability between software and stations and enables running charging operations uninterruptedly.
  • Containerization for better scalability

    We used a containerization approach to package up the code into separate containers so it can be run, with its dependencies, isolated from other processes. This method allows for updating specific parts of the code without affecting the rest of it and results in scalable software.
  • DevOps

    JatApp implemented DevOps methodology to create a seamless software development process. We set up CI/CD pipelines to automate and accelerate software delivery. Our team configured AWS and the firewall for network security. By following DevOps principles, we were able to facilitate communication and collaboration throughout the whole software development lifecycle.

Technologies Used

  • PHP (Laravel)
  • VueJS
  • MySQL
  • RabbitMQ
  • Docker
  • OCPP 1.6, OCPP 2.0

Results

  • General statistics and logs

    All users can access general statistics, but with different permission levels. For example, end-users can upload daily reports on how much electricity was consumed and what vehicle was charged, while administrators have extended access to the EV charging station transaction logs.
  • Problem reporting

    When a charging station doesn’t work or works inadequately, users and managers can inform the company’s representatives of the problem. If possible, the issue is solved remotely.
  • Software and hardware reboot

    In case of any failures, like when the station doesn’t respond to the user or the charging process is spontaneously interrupted, administrators and managers can remotely reboot the software to deal with the problem. Along with a software reboot, administrators can also perform a hardware reboot to handle such issues at a distance.
  • Remote diagnostics

    Our solution enables administrators to remotely monitor the system’s performance, identify failures, and troubleshoot them immediately.

Benefits

The IoT-powered web application we developed allows 68 companies around Europe to use EV charging solutions produced by our client.

  • Usage data and statistics
  • Software and hardware reboot
  • Remote diagnostics
  • Problem reporting

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If you need to support your hardware system with IoT software, contact us.

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