Why open source matters for EV charging

3 min read

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt's famous words are a powerful reminder that our beliefs shape our future. At Pionix, we work hard to shape the future of emobility by providing a uniform software basis for the charging infrastructure. Of course, EV charging already works, but we can improve the quality and bring the next generation of EV chargers faster to our roads. But no one can and should do it alone.

Simply put, it’s teamwork that makes the dream work. Being able to develop solutions and services faster and in better quality than doing it alone is certainly a strength of an open source ecosystem. That applies to the EV charging industry, too. It was for this reason that PIONIX organized the conference “Open Source in Emobility”.

Around 150 people attended to discuss, learn and network with other open source and EV enthusiasts from all over the world. So time to outline some of the main learnings why open source can be a game changer for emobility. To win this game is crucial as emobility is key for a more sustainable mobility.

Why open source matters for EV charging?

First, the decision to use open source software is sustainable and future-fit. The reasons are obvious. Just imagine what could happen if you bind yourself to a specific software provider - and then suddenly the provider disappears! By embracing open-source software, organizations can avoid the risks of a vendor lock-in.

A further drawback of closed source solutions: troubleshooting can be a nightmare. This becomes even worse if you must deal with different solutions from multiple providers. The problems disappear when you use a standardized software basis that runs on various types of hardware.

Why open source matters for EV charging? One of our speakers just nailed it: Share commodity efforts. Concentrate on USPs.

It’s about collaboration, stupid!

When it comes to open source, there is a whole set of broader values connected to it. One of open source's core values is collaboration - which leads automatically to innovation. Why? Because people who do open source software have a desire to learn, want others to check the code, learn from it, improve it, and try out new ideas.

When tackled properly, an open source ecosystem becomes a magnet for experts and enthusiasts to meet and to join forces. In other words, a place for those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and ideas.

Learn from others: lessons learned

The conference “Open Source in Emobility” was a great opportunity to share experiences and hear from others what they have learned from starting an open source project and building a community. In short, the most important take-aways:

  1. A long breath is needed, but pays off.
  2. Build something that is actually used by someone.
  3. Don’t forget to think about a working business model.
  4. Make it as easy as possible to join your community. And invest into it.

Good old money. There are lots of examples of how open source projects respectively the companies that initiated them can generate revenue. What they all have in common is that they master the fine line of keeping developers happy while charging their customers for premium products and services.

To pick up on this point, a short note that Pionix offers a commercial version of EVerest.

In closing

The conference “Open Source in Emobility” was a fantastic day, packed with insights and great learnings about topics such as the role of open source software for energy and cybersecurity, and of course other open source projects, such as CitrineOS and MaEVe.

Have fun watching the recordings!

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