ChargeBox

How Cambrionix helps ChargeBox improve user experience and make mobile charging a key infrastructure technology.

Challenges

  • Maintaining market, service and product differentiation
  • Perception that public charging systems were unsecure, unreliable and slow
  • Growing demand for free-to-use mobile charging services

Solution

Benefits

  • Improves user experience with secure, fast and managed charging
  • Delivers detailed, real-time management information to refine and improve solutions
  • Provides customers with a value-add resource that enhances existing services
  • Collaborative partnership to advance and improve mobile charging products
  • Helps transform charging from convenience to a key infra- structure technology

Challenges

ChargeBox is a UK-based business success story operating in a global market. It is a leading developer and manufacturer of mobile charging technology, providing a range of private and public space charging solutions. ChargeBox has over 2,000 products located around the world in sites such as shopping centres, stations, universities and hospitals. In the UK, ChargeBox units are in 20 of the top 30 shopping centres.

A key differentiator that sets ChargeBox apart from competitors – besides highly efficient charging – is a robust management and control infrastructure that helps ensure customers and users get a high-quality solution and experience. This is in contrast to other products that are low-cost, standalone, but unmonitored charging boxes that provide a poor service to users.

ChargeBox recently worked with Network Rail and the UK Department of Transport to deploy a tethered mobile charging solution at Birmingham New Street Station. Underpinning the highly-successful project is a managed infrastructure that connects all charging units and allows them to be monitored and controlled remotely and in real-time.

When ChargeBox developed its first products they included standard charging technology. But there were several issues. Information about how charging units were being used was limited or non-existent and it was difficult to spot faults without visiting sites or reacting to customer service complaints. There were even attempts to abuse the equipment by scams such as swapping keys from one charging unit to another and claiming a fault.

To provide its customers and users with a better and more robust service, ChargeBox wanted the ability to monitor, manage and audit equipment more effectively. Also, customer demand for free charging and the consequential increase in use further underlined the need for better control.

Solution

Ian Hobson, CEO of ChargeBox, says, “Once we’d iden- tified the challenge, we spent about two years searching for better charging technology, but we couldn’t really find what we wanted. Then, almost by chance we came across Cambrionix, but it wasn’t as if we had 10 different suppliers to choose from. Cambrionix appeared to be ahead of everyone else and the only one developing what we needed. And we’ve based our solutions on Cambrionix ever since.”

ChargeBox is using Cambrionix technology exclusively across its range of secure charging station solutions including table-top, wall-mounted and floor-standing units.

The charging and data management capability is based on the Cambrionix U8S OEM Module, 8-Port, managed USB hub and universal charger. Typical configuration is two Cambrionix hubs in an eight-locker unit. As well as fast, secure and more efficient charging, the Cambrionix technology gathers data about the charging process and the device, though not data on the device itself. In the space of some five years, ChargeBox has bought around 3,500 Cambrionix hubs.

ChargeBox is collaborating with Cambrionix to deploy the latest Cambrionix charging technology based on fast-charge, USB 3.1 power delivery offering charging capabilities of around 0-50 percent in 30 minutes.

“Cambrionix technology has allowed us to build a much better solution for our customers. It has given us state-of-the-art USB charging – fit for all

the top-end mobile devices – as well as the ability to communicate with the Cambrionix hubs and gather valuable performance data which helps deliver a high-quality solution for our customers and an excellent experience for users.”

Ian Hobson, CEO
ChargeBox

Benefits

Hobson says, “Cambrionix technology has allowed us to build a much better solution for our customers. It has given us state-of-the-art USB charging – fit for all the top-end mobile devices – as well as the ability to communicate with the Cambrionix hubs and gather valuable performance data which helps deliver a high-quality solution for our customers and an excellent experience for users.”

Data from the Cambrionix hubs provides a wealth of information to enable sophisticated monitoring, management and auditing. For instance, it can show, in real-time, when a device is plugged in and out and length of charge, as well as device brand and type. Information such as this helps to improve the service to clients and users by guaranteeing security and the safety of the charge.

Customers deploying ChargeBox solutions, on a university campus or in a shopping centre, gain valuable management data such as how busy a unit is at different times of the day, whether units should be relocated or if more units are needed. To protect user privacy ChargeBox and Cambrionix only collect charging data. With ChargeBox hard- ware and software personal data is secure and cannot be accessed. This contrasts with some other solutions with less stringent data protection requirements or different business models. The ChargeBox brand has developed a reputation that users can be sure its products are safe to use for charging and data protection.

Cambrionix also helps to make charging faster which is important especially at locations like train stations or airports. Users at Birmingham New Street Station, for example, have noticed and reported that charging is faster than they can achieve at home. Equipment design and engineering by ChargeBox of features like quick device connection makes the charging process simple and easy for users.

“The fact that we have an intelligent charging hub from Cambrionix means that we can provide a great service not just from day one, but for day 1000 and beyond, and that the service is easy and hassle-free for customers and users alike. We keep on beating performance records and we believe it’s a service few if any can match,”
says Hobson.

For many ChargeBox customers who deploy the charging equipment, having a reliable, fast and secure, charging solution has other benefits, even when the service is free to use. Research has shown that if shoppers have a fully charged phone they tend to be more relaxed and therefore stay longer in a store or retail centre and are likely to spend more money.

Other ways in which the Cambrionix technology is improv- ing ChargeBox products and services are using real-time data to spot faults before they impact users and extending product life with remote software updates. Also, there is a UK-based initiative about intelligent mobility and fostering new technologies to improve transport.

Hobson says, “Increasingly, mobile devices are integral to the transport experience with things like e-ticketing, mobile pay, travel apps and connecting with transport services. Transport providers are starting to see that having an effective, reliable and manageable charging solution is more than just a convenience, it’s becoming an essential part of the transport infrastructure.”