This week on Mobility Moments, Auto Futures speaks to EEVEE Founder, Steffen Brans, who has created a Belgium-based company based on new products and services that are designed to make charging more transparent, cheaper and efficient which, in turn, will help accelerate the adoption of EVs.
What is EEVEE and why was the company formed?
Everything started when I bought an EV and discovered the problem that you charge at different locations, be it at home, at work, or at public chargers, but in the end you don’t have an overview of all your charging costs in one place.
So we started looking at different solutions like smart cables, smart charging stations and charging passes, but this posed a hardware problem – you have to buy the hardware in the first place, which is quite expensive, then you have to manage it, and for companies it’s not ideal installing charging stations at employee’s homes which you have to get back when they switch jobs.
We found that it was very hard for consumers to track how much they’re spending on charging and for businesses to reimburse employee’s charging costs for work use, so that’s why we started to develop our own solution.
We found that there’s actually only one place where all your charging data is stored – your car. So we used this data from vehicles to create a holistic overview of your charging costs. It began with an easy-to-use app and later on we developed our business solution for companies to manage the charging costs of their fleets and to reimburse employees, as well as a solution for energy companies.
Our aim is to accelerate the adoption of EVs to help bring about a zero-emissions future.
Do you believe that charging vehicles is the biggest challenge for consumer EV adoption?
I don’t think it’s the biggest one, but I do believe it’s one of the top 5 hurdles for EV drivers today that is slowing down the rate of EV adoption. As an EV enthusiast and owner, I was frustrated by the lack of transparency in charging costs.
I believe we can speed up EV adoption by providing a very easy and intuitive solution to this problem which is neither hardware nor OEM-dependent. EEVEE’s products and services are designed to make charging more transparent, more efficient and cheaper.
Is this the same case for businesses and their fleets?
I think businesses face the same challenge but on a bigger scale, given the number of cars they have to manage. EEVEE’s web platform helps to overcome this by providing valuable insights into charging data for companies with electrified fleets.
It’s designed to help those fleets operate more efficiently by connecting to and complementing existing fleet management solutions.
How does the app work to combat uncertainties surrounding charging an EV?
Everything starts with measuring, in this case knowing how much your vehicle costs to charge at each location, so the app provides real-time statistics and can generate reports of your charging activity. These reports can be sent directly to company accounting systems, finally allowing company EV drivers to accurately claim back home charging costs for business use.
All this takes away the uncertainty from keeping track of your charging costs. The next step is to make those insights actionable – maybe even make charging cheaper. For companies we provide insights, but we also use these to enable them to reimburse the charging costs of their employees.
EEVEE is the only service that connects directly with vehicles to unlock real-time data on consumption, cost and charging efficiency. It works by using a ‘virtual key’ provided by the vehicle manufacturer, known as an API token. Once connected, ‘Vehicle to Cloud’ technology allows information to be shared with EEVEE. This is a safe and secure process and the API token can be revoked at any time by simply changing your password.
Is the app GDPR compliant?
Yes, of course. Privacy, security and compliance were top priorities for us when building the app. We use the highest standards of security to protect users’ data. We go a lot further than what is required – for instance, we don’t save any passwords and all the data we use is encrypted. We work very hard to be compliant and we use the official APIs provided by OEMs.
What carmakers are you currently working with?
We currently have partnerships with Tesla, BMW and Daimler and are talking to lots of other brands. We aim to build an OEM-independent solution so that a fleet manager can manage all their brands on one platform.
How will you adapt alongside the industry, as both consumers and businesses work towards a zero-emission future?
The aim of building our platform is to help create a zero-emission future. We will adapt our platform to provide more insights, such as how much CO2 people save by driving an EV. We will develop a tool for consumers and business so they can further reduce their CO2 consumption.
Using smart charging algorithms, we will enable people to choose to charge their EV when CO2 consumption for generating electricity is at its lowest.