AWS IoT Use Case: How to Build an EV Charging App Flawlessly?

Electric vehicles or EVs are the future as they are cost-effective, environmental-friendly, and innovative transportation modes.

Seeing the copious benefits of EV, this revolutionary vehicle is commended widely and there is a quick surge in its demand these days.

As for charging stations, we need inventive transportation ways. So, it’s natural that surged demand for EV will intensify the charging station exigency. If the recent market research is to be believed EV charging station industry is likely to grow at a CAGR of 46.6% in next 5-6 years.

The modus operandi of EV charging IoT leverages stations based information systems for accelerated charging. EV charging station service providers are encouraging the use of innovating IoT technologies to deliver maximum possible performance.

The article features the practical details of developing an IoT solution for the EV charging station in a crisp manner. Before we dig a little deeper to know the IoT EV solutions development, let’s know about electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicles – Knowing the Future Transport

Electric vehicles feature electric motors in place of gasoline engines that operate using AC to DC power sources. For completing the charging job, EV features an installed EVSE or a home outlet.

Coming to the categorization, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are of three types:

  1. Battery EV or BEV that is totally electricity operated. Because of 100% electric operations, such types of EVs are best known for zero gas and fume emission.
  2. Plug-in Hybrid EV or PHEV is a type of EV that uses ICE as well as electric motor. Because of dual engines, its performance is amazing.
  3. Fuel Cell EV or FCEV EV that works using a stack of fuel-cells, which are non-rechargeable unlike the BEV and PHEV. Using the cell stack, EV generates the electric charge from hydrogen.

Features That Every EV Charging App Should Include  

The most crucial aspect of building an app for EV vehicles is including the right kind of features in it so that it suffices its purpose diligently. Here are certain features that every successful EV charging vehicle app should have.

  • The app should feature real-time location related facilities such as charging station detection, geo-fencing, vehicle location tracing, etc.
  • There should be a charging scheduling facility, reminders for the pending charging, and usage tracking.
  • The app should provide a real-time charging status update.
  • In-app payment facility using via methods.
  • Feedback, ratings, and features offered by a charging station. 

The Tech Stack you May Prefer

Now that you know what features should be included in an EV charging app, it’s time to figure out the crucial technology components required for developing the EV charging app.

  • AWS, Azure, and Google are the most suitable cloud environments.
  • For accurate user location, the app should feature Google Maps or Places API, alongside Apple’s Core Location Framework.
  • The suitable databases for EV charging apps are MySQL, Hbase, MongoDB, Postgre, and Cassandra.  Mailchimp integration can also be considered.
  • OCPP is the most preferred communication protocol.
  • The app works wonderfully when hosted on an NGINX server.
  • Urban Airship, Amazon SNS, Twilio, and Firebase Cloud Messaging are the most preferred push notification tools.
  • Laravel is an ideal framework for EV charging apps.
  • Seamless payment integration is possible using Stripe, EWallets, and Paypal.
  • For accurate data analytics, developers can place their bet on Spark, Cisco, Big Data, Apache Fling, and Hadoop.
  •  Twilio and Nexmo are the most preferred resources for MS, voice, phone verification.
  • For strong back-end infrastructure for the app, Python and Node JS are the most preferred choices.

Understanding the Role of OCPP in EV Charging Station Function 

EV charging app development is nearly impossible without the use of OCPP that refers to Open Charge Point Protocol. This application protocol is crucial for establishing continual communication between the application user and the charging station.

As soon as a charging station is functional, OCPP connects with its management system and gains access to crucial details like current status, charging facility availability, location of charging station, and so on.  It is operational and essential throughout the charging process.

OCPP is useful in multiple ways:

  • End-users or EV owners enjoy easy charging station reservations.
  • OCPP makes remote charging station management possible.
  • The use of OCCP makes charging stations smart as they can increase or decrease power supply automatically.
  • Data transaction between the mobile app, EV stations, and management software becomes effortless with the help of OCPP.
  • Any unforeseen issues and warnings can be anticipated well ahead of time with the help of OCPP. It aids in remedial solution delivery.
  • Charging station reporting becomes easy as OCPP can collect the latest and accurate information related to the current state, power supply consumed, and so on.

Using AWS IoT for EV Charging App Development 

AWS is the most preferred cloud ecosystem for enabling your EV charging app as per Bacancy technology. AWS IoT Core is actually used for this purpose. It’s AWS’s top-notch cloud service used for connecting devices to communicate with other applications and tools securely overcloud. Communication protocols like HTTP, MQTT, LoRaWAN, and MQTT over WSS for seamless data transfer. Here are the set-up components required for developing an IoT solution for EV charging apps, using AWS IoT.

  1. Data pipeline creation where raw data such as voltage, device signals, power & temperature figures, and current details are stored.
  2. Per hour data sampling and its effective storage.
  3. Developers need to keep track of overall power load consumption across the devices and store it.
  4. ML model should be invoked to observe whether or not consumed power has reached the limit.
  5. Using the above-mentioned data pipeline is transmitted to AWS IoT Analytics and Lambda function. Such centralized data accessibility allows developers to speed-up IoT application development.
  6. AWS IoT uses a high-end machine learning model that is implemented with the help of Amazon Sage Maker. The use of Amazon Sage Make allows developers and data scientists to develop, deploy, and train ML models quickly.
  7. The stored and analyzed data is then used for IoT Events creation. By creating IoT events, it’s easy to detect and respond to IoT devices requests. Developers define the logic of each event using the “if-then-else” statements and set the custom actions, responses, or triggers for the event.

The use of IoT Events leads to multiple action triggers such as:

  • Sending a message of Lambda functions
  • DynamoDB table message insertion and message splitting
  • Sharing an alter such as SNS push notification
  • Amazon S3 bucket used for statement storage
  • Sending a signal to Amazing Kinesis Stream
  • Alert sent to Amazon Kinesis Firehose
  • Message writing into Timestream table

Other than the above-mentioned actions, IoT Events are useful for constant data monitoring from devices and integrating it directly to IoT Core and AWS Analytics. Doing so ensures the early detection and unique insights generated from the events.

Ending Notes 

EVs are modernist means of commuting without harming nature. As they are becoming the norm, the world will need more and more EV charging stations. AWS IoT is one of the most doable resources for developing high-end and cut-above IoT-base EV charging applications. It’s easy-to-use, makes applications functional at various levels, and ensures quick communication. Bring it into action in full swing and be a proud owner of feature-rich and inventive EV charging application.

Author Bio:

Chandresh Patel is a CEO, Agile coach and founder of Bacancy Technology. His truly entrepreneurial spirit, skillful expertise and extensive knowledge in the Agile software development services has helped the organisation to achieve new heights of success. Chandresh is fronting the organisation into global markets in a systematic, innovative and collaborative way to fulfill custom software development needs and provide optimum quality services.