Developing EVRoam with NZTA
With fuel prices rising, and the environmental impacts of fossil fuels becoming a pressing concern worldwide, there’s never been a better time to switch to a Rapid Electric Vehicle.
Motorists considering going electric will be pleased to know that charging stations for Rapid Electric Vehicles will soon be available every 75 kilometres across New Zealand’s state highways. This is great news as long as you know where the nearest one is! The answer to that question is now at your fingertips, thanks to EVRoam, a location intelligence solution developed by Traverse, in collaboration with NZTA.
In line with their primary objective of ensuring an effective, efficient and safe land transport system for the New Zealand public, NZTA are taking steps towards future-proofing by laying the groundwork for a projected increase in the use of Electric Vehicles. In 2016 the Government announced its electric vehicle uptake package, a cross-government programme that aims to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand to reach 64,000 vehicles by the end of 2021, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Part of this effort involves defining a vision for a nationwide public charging infrastructure. To this end, NZTA worked closely with local and government agencies, power companies, technology providers, and the motor industry, aiming to provide rapid DC charging stations every 75 kilometres across our state highways.
This is where Traverse comes in. We worked with the NZTA to produce EVRoam, a live database and API of New Zealand’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The goal is to maximise the profile of available charging infrastructure through dozens of existing apps and maps, letting drivers know where to find operational stations so they can plan journeys.
A live database doesn’t just benefit motorists – it improves the reliability of apps and maps developed by companies such as ChargeNet, AA, and YooGo by ensuring they are presenting their users with accurate and reliable charging information, and provides NZTA with a clear picture of how and where New Zealand’s electric vehicle charging network is developing. EVRoam is also beneficial for operators of charging stations – even one-off installers such as shopping malls can be promoted through dozens of channels using EVRoam.
A key to the success of this collaboration was our approach to delivering projects. We began by leading a discovery workshop with NZTA and industry stakeholders which produced a clear understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and interests of all involved. We learned that EV infrastructure is expected to grow significantly in the coming years – so EVRoam needed to scale affordably from very low usage to very high usage without the costs and risks of making major ad-hoc modifications to the whole system.
The information we gained from discovery meant we could enter the solution design phase with a detailed project plan. CEO of Traverse, Sam Drummond states “our philosophy is to leverage existing software platforms rather than reinventing the wheel – we stand on the shoulders of giants by designing solutions that build on the success of world-leading platforms.” With our goal of seamless scaling and flexibility in mind, we designed EVRoam as a fully cloud-based platform, leveraging Microsoft Azure, Esri ArcGIS and Safe Software FME.
We use an agile implementation approach to deliver our projects on time, on budget, and above expectations. When implementing EVRoam, Traverse started each iteration with a brief in-person workshop clarifying tasks, roles, responsibilities and timeframes. With these aspects clearly defined, we were able to work remotely to deliver functionality, and co-ordinate testing. As a result NZTA had monthly access to fully tested, production-ready functionality throughout the implementation process.
Having successfully delivered and tested our new product, Traverse have now moved into an ongoing support phase. We host and manage EVRoam to ensure NZTA and Electric Vehicle drivers have confidence in the platform’s ongoing reliability and accessibility.