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New digital platform supports Waikato businesses switching vehicle fleets to EV

With access to more choice in EVs in New Zealand, the number of businesses choosing to switch to electric fleets is accelerating. WEL Networks (WEL) are expecting to see more than 50,000 electric vehicles (EV) in the Waikato by 2030, which means that the infrastructure also needs to keep pace.

Businesses need to ensure that they have the required charging infrastructure available to keep their vehicles, and teams, out on the road.

WEL has seized the opportunity to lead the way in supporting businesses to transition their fleets to EVs by providing the charging and monitoring infrastructure needed to not only keep cars on the road, but to also manage both the cost and the demand on our current infrastructure.

To provide a modern solution, the Waikato-based electricity provider initiated a multi-party project to extensively cover all the touchpoints of their customers' electric journey. With this in mind, WEL launched We.EV to deliver a complete end-to-end solution that empowers businesses to confidently make the move towards a sustainable future and manage their own EV fleets.

Hamilton-based software development company, Enlighten Designs, supported the project by developing a user interface for WEL’s specialised platform that their customers would need to interact with and manage vehicle charging.

Thanks to the experience brought into the design process, WEL and Enlighten were able to work together to allow for all the different types of customers and users within the same platform. This means that WEL can offer one flexible, consolidated platform for all users.

“It was great collaborating with WEL Networks and other partners to build the We.EV user interface and knowing that we are playing a part in driving the electric revolution and making it easier for businesses to switch to electric vehicles, as well as helping to promote sustainability efforts in the Waikato region,” says Sam McKoy, Practice Lead (Application Development).

Chris Jones, who was the lead UX Designer for this project, comments: “A key consideration of the design was to create a platform that facilitated the different types of users in their work as they would have some very different needs – be it WEL who need to manage their growing network of chargers or a business’s fleet manager who manages the day-to-day usage of chargers for their fleet(s).”

Both Enlighten and WEL Networks are heavily invested in helping the Waikato region to thrive, while supporting New Zealand’s journey towards the net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal by 2050.

“The truth is, we’ve been using innovative technology for years to supply electricity – so we already have a team of dedicated experts in house who know this area well and have been working on major projects for years,” explains Craig Marshall, Head of We.EV.

"Businesses need to ensure that any capital investment is fit for purpose. For this they need a trusted and safe pair of hands to guide them through this fast-changing technology.”

Thus, WEL stepped up with We.EV to guide and help businesses find the best way to transition and save them time and money in the process.

The We.EV team are now actively pursuing more corporate organisations and focusing on the Waikato region to help businesses get ready for the future, with the possibility of going national in the long run.

“We know about energy, we've been supplying it for decades. That’s why we start by really digging deep into customer needs, vehicle driving behaviours, energy usage and existing electrical infrastructure. We won’t start any design work until all of that information has been analysed,” says Craig Marshall.

“We’ve learned a lot about efficiencies over the years, while keeping ourselves fascinated by the possibilities of new EV technology from vehicles to charging stations.”

Enlighten believes that by applying technology solutions such as this to the new challenges we face as people, business, and regions, they can reduce the impact and cost of changes needed to thrive going forward. They are applying smarter ways to manage the problems of the future so that they can continue to adapt at pace and avoid unnecessary cost or failures that will restrict their ability to succeed.

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