Nowadays, eco-friendly mobility is on the rise. With electric vehicles comprising 10% of new cars sold annually, it’s essential to provide the infrastructure that keeps these vehicles on the road. Thanks to the Ingenico self-service range of terminals, SPIE makes charging a car battery as easy and accessible as buying groceries.
Contactless: the best payment option for charging stations
Contactless technology is easy to use, and payments can be made quickly, with no need for a PIN pad, a receipt, a login, or a phone. It is the way forward for electric car charging, an answer to the EU’s clean air policy and a way of keeping the promises made at the COP 21 climate change conference.
ORIOS makes charging easy
Using the driver-centric portal ORIOS, once at the charging station, the driver swipes their card, selects the kind of charge they want (time, speed), plugs in, and the recharge begins. Once the car is fully charged, the driver swipes their card again to unlock the pump from the station and the correct, validated amount is debited from the driver’s account.
Charging for charging
Before 2015, there was no mention of payment in the world of electric cars. Public charging points were completely free. “This was a crazy system when you consider how expensive, polluting and increasingly scarce energy is,” said Bruno Vaslin, Development Manager for electric mobility solutions at SPIE. Charging points had to start charging drivers money – and SPIE had to retrofit its existing stations with technology that could accept electronic payments.
Inconsistent customer experiences
In April 2015, SPIE equipped its public charging stations with RFID software. Payment could be made via a badge or a smartphone. This proved complicated for French drivers to use because the electronic layer that read the badge was often different from one charging station to another, due to the diversity of providers.
A market in its infancy
Despite a constant increase in the number of electric cars, this market is relatively new. It is not yet well regulated and is highly dependent on political decision-making. The government funds 50% of charging stations, and can decide whether or not to implement incentives to encourage the purchase of electric cars. This increased SPIE’s need for a simple, reliable, futureproof solution.
An omnichannel solution
With the e-portal solution, if there is a problem, the customer can complain online and SPIE will link the complaint to a transaction made at a charging station. This simplifies complaint management and refunds when needed. Operators also get access to real-time reporting, and unprecedented visibility of every transaction at every location.
Secure customer identification
Tokenization is at the heart of the solution: when the customer pays, their credit card data is converted into a securely encrypted token. A customer can identify themselves, activate the charging station, lock and unlock the cable, calculate the amount and then pay – all thanks to tokens.
Creating a cleaner environment
As a result of this improved infrastructure, more people are buying electric cars, which generate less pollution. This is a matter of national health as the French government estimates that 42,000 people die every year due to the atmospheric pollution caused by transportation.
France is the top European country for electric cars, and this figure increases every month."
Bruno VASLIN, Development Manager for electric mobility solutions at SPIE.
SPIE supports its customers to design, build, operate and maintain energy-efficient and environmentally friendly facilities. With 38,000 employees at 600 sites in 38 countries, SPIE is the independent European leader in multi-technical services in energy and communications. It operates 9,800 charging points in France.