eDRV’s mission is to make it easy to connect, manage and operate a network of EV charging stations to serve EV drivers anywhere around the world. This will accelerate the movement to electrify transportation across the globe, which lies at the heart of eDRV’s conception.
Their charging management solutions and easy-to-use software are pointedly developed to free charge point operators (CPOs) from the burden of integrating with different charging hardware, working with payment gateways and electricity distribution utilities. As a developer focused platform, eDRV provides its charge point operator customers with a set of tools to build customized apps for EV drivers, all while ensuring reliable connectivity for their chargers. With just a few lines of code, anyone wishing to enter the EV charging arena can do so thanks to eDRV. Their developer-first APIs have helped CPOs in the US, Europe and Asia launch solutions tailored for EV charging segments across multi-family apartments, retail, hospitality and fleet charging. Capabilities include starting and stopping charging transactions, user access control, pricing groups, reading energy consumption values, reservations and real time power management. Clients can get to market quickly and focus on providing their EV driver customers with convenient access to EV charging.
With backgrounds in clean energy policy and telecommunications, eDRV’s founders created their business with the ambition to create a global SaaS platform, and a shared desire to impact climate change through decarbonization of transport. “I knew I wanted to do something more hands-on in the clean energy transition,” says Bhaskar Deol, CEO and founder of eDRV. Aware of the benefits of the electrification of transport in the clean energy arena, an idea was born.
CPOs face a number of potential roadblocks when launching a network of charging stations; from marrying the charge point management software with a variety of hardware options, creating EV driver-friendly user interfaces, implementing pricing aligned with their business model, while ensuring reliable network operations and meeting regulatory requirements. eDRV’s team works to alleviate some of these issues by creating software that works with a wide range of hardware and can be easily configured to cater to a variety of end use cases.
As active members of the OpenADR Alliance (www.openadr.org), eDRV also acts as the layer between their users and utility providers. They unburden operators by intercepting demand response signals on the CPO’s behalf. eDRV then adjusts charge sessions based on real-time demand and production data.
eDRV are cheerleaders of the Open Charge Alliance and its continued efforts to standardize open communication within EV charging infrastructure via a protocol called the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). Most of the EV industry has adopted this de-facto communication protocol, and with an interest in promoting interoperability, eDRV’s software works with any OCPP compliant charging station.
The number of connected charging points in Europe and North America regions is expected to reach 7.9 million in 2025 (1), up from 1.6M in 2020. Charge point operators will want to scale quickly to command their market share.
eDRV’s technology platform is putting enterprising tools at its clients’ fingertips; but for devices such as EV chargers to really drive value, connection is everything. Without a robust cellular network to keep the charge points connected to the cloud, those tools aren’t being used to potential. The importance of reliable network access became painfully apparent to eDRV’s team right away. This is where Twilio comes into play. Twilio Super SIM – a highly reliable IoT SIM that provides global reach – is now giving eDRV the uptime they need to serve their customers well. But it hasn’t always been this rosy.
Our first batch of charging stations went out with a different provider—not Twilio. Their pricing was fantastic and they had a package that seemed exciting. We regretted it almost instantly. It gave us a lot of trouble. Lots of sleepless nights for my team.
This initial set of charging stations would lose data connectivity frequently, rendering them useless. The client was losing revenue. Members of eDRV’s team would need to work with local technicians who sometimes had to visit stations physically and reestablish connectivity. This was not a sustainable business option.
Further complicating the distance issues were COVID mitigation recommendations that meant physically visiting the stations wasn’t an option. The only solution was to reset the SIM remotely. eDRV’s team discovered this was easier said than done. “Sometimes they would reset and sometimes they wouldn’t. It made the start of this project very, very stressful for us.” says Safaya.
In addition to lost connectivity, the network services reseller that initially provided SIMS to eDRV would have network-wide outages that could last hours or days. "It just didn't work for us." lamented Safaya. "We were a startup, trying to launch our services. With so many other moving pieces, comms should not have been an issue."
Wanting to provide top-tier support to clients and maximize charge station uptime, eDRV decided it was time for a change. They required the perfect solution for cross-network, cross-country connectivity so that Internet access would not be an issue for their growing business, no matter what geographic markets they would want to enter.
Safaya had worked with Twilio SMS in previous roles and had heard about Twilio's launch of an IoT SIM from friends in the industry.
Twilio's simple self-serve portal allowed eDRV's founders to easily order their first batch of Super SIMs without requiring a conversation with Sales. Their team conducted side-by-side testing to establish superiority and avoid reliving the frustrating first experience with the previous MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). They found that Super SIM ticked all the boxes with its redundancy-powered Multi-IMSI approach, network partnerships, and convenient programmability. "We made a decision to move to Twilio." says Safaya.
“We realized very quickly that reliable connectivity was something that Twilio was able to provide. Twilio’s IoT SIMs were superior. They stayed up. Where they had to switch networks they switched, automatically. Twilio had fantastic infrastructure. That gave us a lot of confidence.” says Safaya, after witnessing the clear advantages of Super SIM’s built-in redundancy.
We thought the Super SIM product was perfect for us. It gave us confidence. It just works
With the ability to handpick multiple top-tier networks in any country, CPOs can steel themselves against signal issues, or loss of connection with an automatic failover feature that sets Super SIM at the front of the pack. Should one network fail, the SIM simply switches over to another network automatically – leading to unrivaled uptime and increased efficiency for both eDRV and the CPOs that they cater to.
“We wrote tooling to check if the connections are up and if the data has been consumed. If not, we would reset the SIMs remotely using your API. To be honest, we never have to use it. It’s a testament to your network. The API is great and it works. We’re super glad it’s there, but we don’t need it.” says Safaya when discussing Twilio’s API for pulling connection status and resetting.
eDRV has been able to leverage Twilio’s brand authority and Super SIM’s unrivaled communications benefits as marketable features – bundling software and connectivity together.
What works really well for us and for our customers is to be able to say that the communications partner we are bringing to the table is the best you can find. Our customers recognize the brand, and know that they are getting the best possible solution in the market today.
As the EV charging market expands, eDRV looks forward to all the ways they can support CPOs with Super SIM’s most cutting edge features. As Twilio rolls out its IoT VPN, eDRV can offer a more secure connection for its customers. “Customers aren’t aware that they need to ask for that security. It’s something that we want to provide for them ourselves,” says Safaya.
eDRV is also excited to offer CPOs guidance during deployment with placement recommendations using data on signal reliability. This data can be gathered with Twilio's latest Event Streams API, which gives eDRV the ability to monitor SIM connection events in near real-time and analyze all of the valuable metadata attached to them, such as uptime and data usage information. Those CPOs can report this uptime data to procure incentive dollars offered by the Department of Transportation following legislation surrounding EV charging that was proposed by the Biden administration in mid 2022.
Gathering and reporting this data to their clients has the unique potential to become a completely new and untapped stream of revenue for eDRV. It’s just another way for eDRV to scale, while simultaneously working towards mainstreaming electric transport by simplifying EV charging infrastructure and making it more accessible to entrepreneurs and established energy players worldwide.