Why software is the key to successful EV charging for commercial real estate

The Business of Charging |

Person viewing ChargePoint portal on monitors

Deploying EV charging requires strategic planning in terms of site design and hardware selection, but just as important is finding a solution that includes robust software, empowering you and your tenants to maximise the impact of your new EV charging programme.

Software is the intelligent backbone of any modern EV charging implementation. It promotes flexibility, controls pricing and enables scale as your programme needs change. Choosing a software-driven EV charging solution also allows you to adapt to evolving industry standards and stay on top of the total energy expenditure of the system, all in a way that’s easy to track and adjust. Let’s take a deeper look at why software is a crucial element of any EV charging solution, especially for commercial real estate investors looking to future-proof their properties.

Streamline charging management across your commercial properties

Choosing a unified platform with powerful software that supports all aspects of fleet, commercial and residential charging enables you to get started quickly and manage mixed-use charging as your programme grows. For example, your building tenants might want to offer EV charging to employees and may also need charging for their corporate fleet of vehicles. You or your tenants’ facilities team members can use ChargePoint software to manage employee charging at offices, while fleet managers can optimise fleet depot charging for low cost and high availability — all using the same powerful platform. Software ties everything together so you can manage charging for any use case.

Boost ROI with smart pricing and energy management

To help generate revenue from EV charging, ChargePoint software includes a pricing wizard and sophisticated energy management options to help set prices that optimise station utilisation. For example, organisations may choose to offer free charging to employees while charging a fee for the general public to use their stations. Our software also provides the ability to change pricing over time, so you can increase the fee after a few hours to encourage drivers to make the station available for others once their vehicle is fully charged. Software also enables seamless payment processing that integrates with payment gateways, digital wallets and credit card processing systems, giving drivers a choice for how to pay for charging.

Energy management data and tools help optimise energy costs. For example, you can set a ceiling for power usage to avoid expensive demand charges. Power-sharing software allows station owners to dynamically distribute existing energy resources across their entire site. Intelligently allocating energy helps avoid costly electrical panel upgrades and ensures efficient charging for all drivers. Dynamic load management allows you to optimise power across all stations, control energy costs and eliminate the risk of overloading the grid.

ChargePoint implementation experts can get you started with the software tools at your disposal to fully optimise return on investment.

Attract EV drivers to your site

Many people are familiar with the ChargePoint driver app and use it to find charge points wherever they go. Advanced access control features within our charging management software give you or your tenants the ability to limit charging to employees only or offer special deals to loyalty programme members. These drivers can then use their ChargePoint app to initiate charging. Advanced software tools and API integrations also create opportunities to connect with drivers, understand their charging behaviour and manage the relationship over time.

Software is also responsible for user authentication and data security, ensuring that only authorised users can access charging stations and protecting both the infrastructure and users’ personal information. Robust security measures are essential for building trust in the EV charging ecosystem.

ChargePoint Driver app screen on mobile and desktop view

Deliver scale and adapt to changing needs

If you install sufficient electrical supply and charging hardware upfront, you can count on software to reconfigure and adapt how those charging stations work as you scale. It’s easy to change who can use your stations and how much it costs with just a few simple software settings, enabling you to grow and expand your programme to support different types of charging as well as changing business needs. Expanding the uses for your charging stations gives you the flexibility to support the shift to electric mobility in a way that works for your business and opens new revenue streams.

And with a cloud-based system, you’ll automatically receive updates to your solution’s firmware, charging features and security enhancements, which means you’ll always have the latest technologies and will always be up to date on the latest standards, without the need for a physical visit to the station.

Connect data with other systems to improve efficiency

Another key advantage of cloud-based EV charging management software is that it makes it possible to connect EV charging with all your other software systems and seamlessly sync data between them. This enables you to break down silos between building and energy management tools, customise your technology stack with an open API and improve efficiency by syncing data and workflows.

ChargePoint has built-in API integrations with a variety of systems, including:

  • Building management systems (BMS)
  • Distributed energy management systems (DERM)
  • Consumer loyalty programmes
  • Fuel cards and fleet management
  • Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)

Integrations make EV charging an integral and strategic part of your business operations, generating revenue, reducing emissions, engaging drivers and providing a measurable return on your investment.

More than 35 prebuilt dashboards and reports help you track energy usage, driver charging behaviour, greenhouse gas emissions reductions and more. This data can help you evolve your EV charging programme, adjust pricing, become eligible for grants or funding, report on your sustainability achievements and plan for the future.

ChargePoint API

Smart grid integration

As the world transitions to renewable energy sources and a smarter grid, software is also critical for integrating EV charging with the broader energy ecosystem. Smart charging algorithms help ensure that EVs charge when renewable energy generation is high, reducing the carbon footprint of the charging process. In addition, software enables bidirectional charging, allowing EVs to return excess energy to the grid.

Ready to power up your property?

With all these advantages, the value of software-driven EV charging — not only for commercial real estate but any use case — is clear. Integrating hardware and software in one solution ensures that both work better together and are poised to help your EV charging programme grow with your business.

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