Pod Point’s chargers are connected via Wi-Fi, so you’ll never be cut off from smart features.

There are some concerns going around that certain electric car chargers are at risk of going dumb, hitting their users with hidden costs to remain connected.

A woman using a wall mounted electric car charger

The issue revolves around how the charger connects to the house. Any charger that includes smart capabilities, like the ability to integrate with off-peak tariffs or communicate with the energy grid, needs to be connected to the internet or mobile data in order to use them.

When getting connected, EV drivers with home chargers typically have three options:

  1. Connection wirelessly via Wi-Fi
  2. Hardwire connection via ethernet cable
  3. Mobile data connection via SIM card

Customers that have home chargers connected via Wi-Fi or ethernet – including all Pod Point customers – have nothing to worry about. But for those relying on SIM card connectivity, they could soon face unexpected fees to keep their charger from going ‘dumb’ or even outdated.

So what’s happening?

Essentially, chargers that utilise SIM card connectivity run on a data contract in order to allow the owner to use smart features. These contracts typically include connectivity for a set number of years, which some EV drivers aren’t aware of.

This means customers with these non-ethernet or Wi-Fi connected chargers have lost the ability to access these smart features once that contract expires, leaving their charger effectively ‘dumb’.

But it’s not just that. Many chargers rely on data connections to receive software updates ‘over-the-air’. Sometimes, these updates are to unlock new features unique to the charging provider. But they can also be important security updates, or even updates required as part of evolving industry regulations.

Without a reliable and consistent data connection, these users could also end up with a charger that doesn’t meet requirements or even at risk of cyber threats.

From here, they have two options:

  • Pay the monthly tariff to keep their charger smart and safe, or
  • Completely replace their charger with a more future-proof model

The monthly tariff varies by charging provider, but it could be as high as an extra £5 per month. Meanwhile, swapping out the charger with an upgraded model would cost hundreds.

Either way, these options aren’t cheap, and it’s an issue that’s catching some drivers by surprise.

A wall mounted electric car charger

How does this affect Pod Point customers?

All of Pod Point’s home chargers are designed to connect exclusively via Wi-Fi or ethernet cable. This means none of our customers will be affected, so they can rest easy knowing they always have access to our smart features and continue to receive vital software updates. Because we’re committed to our mission that driving shouldn’t cost the earth.

Ashley Boaden, Pod Point's Head of Fleet and Home Charge Sales, said:

At Pod Point, we fully support our fleet & OEM partners. We understand that their drivers, customers and employees need smart access to their charging data - with no ongoing costs. Our Wi-Fi connected chargers keep up-to-date, on the right software and in control of your charging costs at all times, for free, for life.

For drivers who are affected, take a look at Pod Point’s Solo 3 home charger, offering fast, safe and smart charging from £798, including standard installation.

This article was originally published by Pod Point.


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