EV Charging Innovation | 12/10/2020

Software Will Define the Future of E-Mobility


Colleen Jansen

Chief Marketing Officer

VERGE 20 Software Will Define the Future of E-Mobility

Change is in the air—and it isn’t only because of the cooler weather and falling leaves. As we near the end of this challenging year, hope seems just around the corner. Encouraging new COVID-19 vaccines are on the horizon and U.S. election results promise renewed focus on the environment. But even before the latest round of good news, I was feeling optimistic. That’s because I recently had the honor of participating in a panel discussion as part of this year’s virtual VERGE 20 conference.

A New Story

Presented by GreenBiz, VERGE 20 brought together more than 10,000 leaders and professionals from every part of the clean economy—carbon, circular, energy, food and transport—to discuss what’s happening, and what’s coming, in sustainability. Apple vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, kicked off this year’s virtual event with an inspiring keynote. Jackson, a former EPA chief, talked about the importance of social justice in the effort to combat climate change and highlighted Apple’s commitment to eventually construct all its devices from renewable and recycled materials. This year’s event also featured a keynote by environmental icon, Bill McKibben, who reminded attendees that “solar and wind are now the cheapest energy sources on earth,” noting that the environmental movement is now big enough to challenge the oil industry. “The next 10 years are going to tell the story,” he said.

Polestar 2

New Kind of Car

In my own breakout session, Software Will Define the Future of E-mobility, I had the great pleasure of sharing the virtual stage with head of Polestar USA, Gregor Hembrough, to tell the ChargePoint story. During the well-attended panel moderated by GreenBiz Senior Writer, Katie Fehrenbacher, Gregor and I discussed why we believe that, unlike with traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, software will define the electric vehicle (EV) driver experience as the world moves to e-mobility. Gregor pointed out, “The beautiful thing about EVs is that they have torque and horsepower almost from the onset,” but we both agreed it will be what’s behind the scenes is what makes the EV experience really take off. That begins with how they’re fueled.

EVs are born in an era of connectedness and new technologies. That’s something we think about every day. How do you make electric mobility not just different, but better? When you’re asking consumers to change a pattern; something they’ve known for so long, you have to meaningfully demonstrate how the experience can change their lives. – Colleen Jansen, Chief Marketing Officer, ChargePoint

ChargePoint Software

Fueled by Software

EV fueling is more like charging a device than it is to traditional vehicle fueling, where you make a separate stop to gas up. At ChargePoint, we know we have to improve on that model. By letting people charge where they park, we help make fueling as convenient as possible for our business customers, fleets and drivers. As I told Katie, “EVs are born in an era of connectedness and new technologies. That’s something we think about every day. How do you make electric mobility not just different, but better? When you’re asking consumers to change a pattern; something they’ve known for so long, you have to meaningfully demonstrate how the experience can change their lives.” At ChargePoint, we build that seamless experience into everything we do; from our intuitive app, which includes tap to charge and a Waitlist feature that lets you “get in line” at busy stations to our innovative Driver Experience Network and, most recently, our industry-first integration with Apple CarPlay.
 
Polestar 2 Infotainment System

Driven by Experience

It’s much the same on the vehicle side, says Gregor. Although the basics of driving electric are the same as with an ICE vehicle, the experience itself is dramatically different. Besides the immediate acceleration and lack of noise, it’s the software that enables consumer convenience and confidence, from the purchase onward, he says. “Software is driving the customer experience. From the Polestar app, you can learn about the vehicle, customize it, purchase and have it delivered. If you need maintenance, that can be done from your phone as well. Software helps surprise and delight customers from a UX and CX perspective,” he says. That experience extends to the Polestar 2’s infotainment system, the first of its kind to integrate directly with Google’s Android Auto™, soon to feature its own ChargePoint integration—so you always know where to find your next charge.

From the Polestar app, you can learn about the vehicle, customize it, purchase and have it delivered. If you need maintenance, that can be done from your phone as well. Software helps surprise and delight customers from a UX and CX perspective. – Gregor Hembrough, Head of Polestar USA, Polestar

As a person who’s been driving electric since 2011, I’ve never been more excited for what’s next. Beginning in 2021, in addition to the phenomenal Polestar 2, dozens of new EV models will hit the road. Those include several pickups and SUVs from traditional automakers like GM, as well as born-electric startups Rivian, Lordstown and Bollinger. Soon, everyone will be able to choose an electric vehicle to fit their own unique lifestyle. When that happens, it’s goodbye gas. It really does feel like change is in the air. And isn’t it about time?

Because we know software is so important to the future of e-mobility, at ChargePoint, we test it as rigorously as we do our hardware. See our groundbreaking Advanced Test Facility in action here:

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