Young woman with smartphone waiting while her electric car charging in home charging station, sustainable and economic transportation concept.

This California Company Looks To Tackle EV Charging’s Most Significant Woe

California company Xeal has devised an app called Apollo that could revolutionize electric vehicle (EV) charging. Xeal began its operations in 2019 and primarily focuses on installing level 2 EV charging stations in private areas, such as condo or multi-family apartment complexes and university residence halls.

How Apollo Works

According to a report from Motor Trend, the Apollo app is a distributed-ledger technology that a Xeal charger user downloads when their smartphone connects to the internet. Once the user enters their payment and identification information, the Apollo app gives the user a cryptographic token that remains on their smartphone until they use it at an EV charging station.

To use the token, the user taps the phone to the EV charger, which will authorize the charging session to begin. The driver taps their phone to the EV charger again when they are ready for the session to end. A user can use each token for a single charging session.

Upon ending the session, the charger transfers a “distributed ledger” to the phone, breaking down the session fees and how much electricity the user used to charge their vehicle. When the user’s smartphone connects to the internet again, the Apollo app will transmit the ledger for the charging transaction to Xeal. They will then bill the user’s credit card and send them another charging token to use for their next charging session.

According to Motor Trend, if a user accidentally destroyed or lost their smartphone before it found an internet connection, Apollo would send the chagrin session information to other users’ phones, which means that Xeal would still charge the user’s credit card for the transaction. However, the user would only receive a new token once they have added a new phone to their Apollo account.

How Does This Improve EV Charging?

Motor Trend’s report notes that Xeal chargers have neither WiFi nor a cellular connection, and they do not need a user’s phone to have a cellular signal either. What makes this great is that one of the most significant challenges EV charging stations face is connectivity, with as many as 93 percent of EV charging station issues resulting from “station connectivity” struggles.

Whereas gas stations can use a powerful ethernet connection to link all their pumps up to the internet, EV charging stations, which can often be in remote locations far away from their host’s building, cannot rely on that option.

Thanks to the Apollo app, which Xeal developed in 2021, Xeal’s charging stations can utilize what’s known as “nearfield” communication with a user’s smartphone, which makes their chargers significantly more reliable. According to Motor Trend, these charging stations will also be cheaper to operate for Xeal because the company will not have to supply each charger with its own cellular data plan.

Also, Motor Trend cites that while Xeal has historically focused on implementing EV chargers for private residences, the company has recently focused on providing public chargers for retail environments, such as The Grove in Los Angeles.

Author: Jarret Hendrickson

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