Experienced EV driver about Norwegian smart charger: "I hardly have to think about it, really"

One of the world's safest chargers is Norwegian. Its functionality has been tested by electric car veteran Harald Lien.

"There were a couple of months when I had to drive to a charging station. It was exhausting and took a lot of time. Additionally, it wasn’t good for my health in the long run. I ended up eating a lot of chocolate while waiting there."

In his garage in Bergen, Norway, electric car owner Harald Lien demonstrates how easy it has become for drivers like him since then.

'Now, I just plug in the charger in the evening, and the car is ready for work again in the morning. I hardly have to think about it, really. Everything works as it should,' he says while plugging his Zaptec charger into the car.

As an electric car user, Harald was an early adopter. On his way to work one morning eight years ago, he spotted a Tesla and instantly fell in love. It was just a coincidence that he was also in the market for a new car.

'I mostly drive shorter distances and thought that an electric car could be suitable for me. At that time, the range of electric cars was generally around 100 kilometres. A lot has changed since then.'"

Harald Lien bought an electric car as early as 2014. Now he is extremely pleased that the housing cooperative where he lives has invested in Zaptec’s charging system.

Safety first

In the homeowners' association where Harald lives, there is a high density of cars, and more and more of them are electric. Chairman Trond Endresen explains that their primary concern was safety when they started looking for a communal solution for electric car charging.

"We have garages built from wood and an electrical grid from 1986. As more and more residents began charging their cars, it was important for us to ensure the safety of the residents was also maintained."

The association's board received offers from three different suppliers before they ultimately chose Zaptec's charging system. There were several reasons why they opted for this solution.

"Zaptec offered the best overall solution in terms of safety, design, user-friendliness, and fair distribution of power. It was the choice that, in our opinion, would best serve the interests of the community."

Trond Endresen, chairman of the Nedre Ulsetskogen Homeowners' Association, chose to install Zaptec's charging system to ensure safe charging and fair distribution of power for the residents in the neighbourhood.

Zaptec offered the best overall solution in terms of safety, design, user-friendliness, and fair distribution of power.

Trond Endresen, chairman of the Nedre Ulsetskogen Homeowners' Association.

Finance matters

The new charging infrastructure in the neighborhood quickly revealed several advantages. Among them, Zaptec's smart solution offers fair and transparent power distribution in cases where multiple users share the same power grid.

"Before we had Zaptec, people charged their electric cars through regular power outlets. We set a fixed monthly fee of 200 NOK for electric car owners. Now, seeing how electricity prices have evolved recently, it was naive of us to think that was enough," says Trond.

As chairman, he has an overview of the entire charging system through the Zaptec Portal cloud service. Here, it's easy to identify if there's an issue with any of the units and to monitor power consumption. The association's treasurer uses this overview when sending out electricity bills.

And, importantly, each resident also has access to the overview.

"It's easy to use the app to check if the bill matches the electricity consumption. Economics matter to people," says Trond.

Harald agrees.

"That's mostly what I use the app for. It's always good to have an overview."

Fair and intuitive

The Nedre Ulsetskogen Homeowners' Association consists of a total of 86 houses sharing a power grid. Even though each resident owns their own house and garage, it's important to find good and fair solutions for the community.

"Given the infrastructure we have, it's largely about power distribution and capacity on the grid. If we had operated with different types of standalone chargers, it wouldn't have been compatible with a fair distribution of power," explains Trond.

Zaptec's smart solution, the "cloud brain," automatically establishes a queue system and ensures that everyone in the neighborhood has their power needs met quickly and efficiently. This is intended to ensure a stable and predictable charging system.

"So far, I've never experienced not being able to charge when I need to," says Harald.

Additionally, the high number of houses in the association presents another challenge when it comes to finding common solutions.

"We are a neighborhood with a wide range of people, especially in terms of age," says Trond.

While adapting to new digital solutions and power metering via applications may not be a problem for younger generations who are already familiar with them, Trond also wanted the threshold for switching to electric cars to be low for older residents.

"The impression I have is that even the elderly find the system user-friendly. It's extremely intuitive."

Expansion Plans

"It looks quite nice, doesn't it?"

In his garage, Harald seems pleased with the solution his neighborhood has adopted. According to chairman Trond, he's not alone in this sentiment.

"Most people seem satisfied. And personally, I'm convinced that these types of solutions contribute positively to our local community."

The homeowners' association website informs new residents and potential electric car owners about the opportunity to connect to the Zaptec system. The process is straightforward for ordering a unit, and new customers receive favorable prices.

In a world where more and more people are choosing electric, the ability to expand is crucial. It's easy when the infrastructure is already in place.

"We're considering establishing charging stations in the neighborhood where people can purchase electricity and charge. This will generate income for us and be a convenient solution for guests and the like."

Trond doesn't hide the fact that the goal is for everyone to soon be driving electric.

"I simply see no reason why it shouldn't be possible."

Find out more about the charging system Zaptec Pro

The charging system designed for efficient charging at all levels – whether it's a single charging station or thousands.