What does 5G mean for electric vehicle charging?


Fleets are emerging as early adopters of electric vehicles (EVs), and the market for fleet charging services will prove a lucrative one. McKinsey estimates it could be worth US$15bn a year in the US alone by 2030. For service providers, 5G could prove a game changer in terms of what they can offer.

EVPassport is looking into just that. The company offers an EV charging hardware and software platform for businesses, and sees considerable potential in 5G to improve the charging experience. In May 2021, it was chosen to participate in the 5G Studio run by Verizon and Newlab, a project that incubates start-up companies to leverage Verizon’s 5G network and mobile edge compute (MEC) capabilities. Here, EVPassport operated three Level 2 chargers at Newlab’s headquarters in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The aim was to demonstrate how 5G could facilitate fast, simple and reliable charging solutions for EV fleets. The results are telling.

The combination of the 5G Ultra Wideband network and MEC allowed EVPassport to reduce latency in charging sessions by more than 50%. It also meant the company could orchestrate chargers in real-time to rebalance the load based on EV charging levels. For instance, it could automatically prioritise power to vehicles with lower charges. EVPassport Chief Executive and Co-founder Aaron Fisher believes 5G could indeed prove the way forward as large fleets electrify.

What sort of connectivity powers most of the EV charging network today?

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