FAQs for Properties
1. What is network management and why do I need it?
Network management refers to the capability of EV chargers to be connected to the internet for the purposes of providing remote monitoring, access control, energy metering, billing & payments, and over-the-air updates. As a property manager, network management allows you to restrict access to specific sets of users, define usage rates and automatically recoup energy costs, and access usage data to inform your decision-making.
2. Should I install private or shared chargers?
Great question! Many buildings offer a combination of private and shared chargers. Ultimately, it depends on EV owner preferences, parking availability, and budget. We’re happy to work with you to understand the particulars of your building and develop a cost-effective, scalable plan for EV charging provision.
3. How do I make sure my building doesn't lose money on electricity?
As part of SWTCH’s network management services, we charge EV owners an hourly usage rate (e.g., $1.50/hour) based on the cost of electricity and return these funds to the property on a recurring basis.
4. Can I choose what price EV owners pay for charging?
Of course, and we’re happy to advise a rate that makes sense for your building.
5. How do my residents, employees, and/or visitors access and pay for charging?
Users can download the SWTCH app on their mobile device, create an account, and add their credit card information. They can also request a SWTCH Charge Card.
6. My building has limited electrical capacity. What do I do?
Fret not! We offer load management capabilities to extend your available capacity and limit or delay the need for infrastructure upgrades. With our networked solutions, load management is built-in and available at no extra cost.
7. Does a sub-meter need to be installed with your chargers?
Our chargers have built-in energy meters therefore an external metering device is not required.
8. What is Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and why is it important?
OCPP is the globally accepted open communication standard for communication between EV charging hardware and software components. We think of it like an unlocked cell phone; when you buy an OCPP-compliant EV charger, you have choice of which service provider can manage your charger.
9. Can you recommend an electrician?
10. I’m considering installing shared/community EV chargers. How do I prevent loitering of fully charged EVs?
We can implement a time limit and/or loitering penalty.
11. What ongoing fees should I expect to pay with your system?
For network management services, we charge a monthly fee per port, plus a nominal service fee per transaction.
FAQs for Drivers
1. How do I start charging?
You can activate SWTCH chargers via the mobile app or by tapping your SWTCH Charge Card on the charger's RFID reader. The SWTCH app can also be accessed via mobile or desktop browser by visiting charge.swtchenergy.com.
2. How do I stop my transaction?
Simply unplug the charger. You can also stop your transaction via the SWTCH mobile app; click your active transaction on the homepage, then press ‘End Transaction’.
3. How do I know if my car has finished charging?
By default, you will receive an e-mail and push notification when your vehicle is drawing little power (i.e., is finished charging). You can update your notification settings at any time. If your vehicle comes with a mobile app, we encourage you to explore that for information specific to your vehicle.
4. What is a SWTCH Charge Card and how can I get one?
A SWTCH Charge Card can be used to activate any RFID-capable SWTCH charger. If a charger is not RFID-capable, this will be indicated in the charger detail page on the SWTCH mobile app. To request a SWTCH Charge Card, open the SWTCH mobile app and choose ‘Charge Card’ from the drop-down menu at the top right.
5. How much does it cost to charge?
Hourly usage rates vary and are set by the property. You can find out the price of a specific charger by viewing the charger detail page.
6. It’s my first time charging with a SWTCH station. Why was I charged $10?
Like most charging networks, we require a minimum amount of funds ($10) to be added to your SWTCH wallet upon first use. Each charging transaction will then deduct from that minimum. Once your balance hits zero, your credit card will automatically be charged to top up your wallet.
7. The charger I’m trying to use shows an offline status on the SWTCH mobile app. What do I do?
It’s possible that the charger is experiencing temporary connectivity issues due to weather conditions or other variables. Refresh the page and try again. If the charger is offline for a prolonged period of time, please contact us at 1-844-798-2438.
8. How do I reach SWTCH customer support?
Call us! We’re available 24/7 at 1-844-798-2438. If you’re more an e-mail person, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EV Charging 101
1. What’s the difference between level 1, 2 and DC fast charging?
Level 1 is the slowest type of charging, using standard 110V electrical outlets and providing ~8 km of range per hour.
Level 2 is the most common, requiring 208-240 V outlets and providing ~30 km of range per hour.
DC fast charging (also referred to as level 3) is the fastest, requiring 480-600 V outlets and providing ~250 km per hour of charge.
2. What does EVSE refer to?
Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) is an industry term for EV charger(s) or EV charging station(s) including cables, connectors and other components that enable power transfer from the electric circuit and the vehicle.