By Alok Dubey, UK Country Manager at Monta
At Fully Charged Live in Farnborough this year, Monta unveiled and tested its newest feature – SmartQueue – with the help of EV experts, enthusiasts, and the general public.
SmartQueue was enabled across 10 Rolec 22KW charge points each with dual sockets and we monitored results across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Over the weekend Monta saw a total of 54 charges performed using a total of 1,115kWh of electricity. Drivers on average were charging for two hours 42 minutes and the longest virtual queue that formed throughout the weekend was nine vehicles long. Clearly the chargers were being used heavily throughout the weekend, but there are three key areas of interest that we can take learnings from.
Deepdive into queueing behaviours
On average, queue joiners waited 11 minutes from joining the queue to beginning the charge with the longest wait time being 25 minutes. This means that drivers who were virtually queueing were able to enjoy these extra minutes in the show, instead of physically queueing in their vehicle.
Participants were given the option to skip their place in the queue if they were unable to plug in within the 15 minutes allocated. However, none of the queuers elected to skip their turn. This implies that 15 minutes is an appropriate amount of time to move a vehicle and plug in to charge and that the notifications provided are clear and provide an accurate expectation for what will happen next.
SmartQueue as a feature was designed to create efficient charging behaviour. During the trial the average time between participants reaching the front of the queue and starting the charge was 6.5 minutes – this is a very short downtime between charges. In a workplace environment, this would mean that employees are only taking an average of 6.5 minutes out of their day to charge their vehicles.
What caused queuing?
The longest queue of nine cars started on Sunday at noon. When we look at the charging data, we can see that this was caused by eight cars plugging in at around 8am for long charges.
These cars were charging for an average of four hours and 21 minutes (almost double the average charge length) which led to all charging sockets being occupied at noon, and a long queue being formed. What we can learn from this is that in destination charging and workplace charging environments, efficient charging is achieved through shorter top-up charges. When vehicles are charging from 0-100% they impact the number of charges that can be achieved.
Queuing can’t solve everything
While SmartQueue helped with efficient charging at the event, there are some situations where virtual queuing cannot help drivers. On Saturday, one charge point was entirely blocked by an ICE vehicle – which meant that two sockets were unable to be used for EV charging.
As this charge point was ICE’d out, the sockets showed as available on the Monta platform which meant that SmartQueue could not be triggered. While this must have been annoying for EV drivers attempting to charge during this time, it was a huge learning curve for us at Monta.
As we continue to iterate on and improve SmartQueue and continue to look at our data, we may look to include new features such as the ability for users to flag an ICE’d out charge point.