EQUANS can use its electrical expertise to install fast and ultra-fast charging stations, which are technically more complex.
In France, you need to be qualified in high voltage to be able to install these charging stations. Elsewhere, as Jan Brandts in the Netherlands points out, "our advantage is that we are not associated to an exclusive equipment manufacturer. We are integrators". "We know which type of terminal is suitable for a given use, which supplier to contact, and whether this type of terminal is reliable for credit card payments" confirms Bogdan Calinescu, EV Charging Development Director at EQUANS France.
But EQUANS is also able to choose and control the software required for operations (Charge Point Operations) such as supervision, remote management and payment. "Our strong point is that few companies have the capacity to offer this set of solutions: advice, design, installation, maintenance and optimisation. We are talking about an engineering capacity, a technical capacity and a capacity to offer 'as a service' solutions" explains Peter Damen, e-mobility consultant at EQUANS Netherlands.
Another added value of EQUANS lies in its ability to optimise the use of charging stations thanks to its expertise in energy management systems. In Rotterdam, four smart charging centres have been opened, in which V2G (Vehicle to Grid) charging points are connected to the grid. V2G is a technology that allows a car to give back part of the electricity stored in its batteries to optimise the supply to the grid (sometimes in the absence of production from renewable energy sources, which are intermittent by nature).
Another strength of EQUANS is its ability to offer interoperability, i.e. to allow a customer to use other networks, through partnerships. In the Netherlands, EQUANS fulfils this role as an e-Mobility Service Provider (eMSP), which includes the provision of charging cards and a charging application. In the UK, this is all done with the GeniePoint network. Recently, EQUANS has partnered with Bonnet, a start-up that connects networks together. Motorists will be able to use the GeniePoint network and pay for their charge using the Bonnet app. "We are committed to improving the accessibility of charging points, so that drivers can charge where they want and when they want," says Dee Humphries, Managing Director of EQUANS EV Charging. In France, the choice is to offer interoperability services, not by developing them in-house but by contracting with the most suitable subcontractor.