How to remotely read an electric vehicle’s state of charge

Charlotte Kosche

Sr. Content Writer

EV chargers are getting faster, more efficient, and smarter with every generation. Unlike Level 1 and level 2 chargers, the newer and faster DC fast chargers are capable of knowing an EV battery’s state of charge (SOC) as long as it is plugged in and charging. But even with the latest technology, EV charging networks are still facing one challenge: How can they read an electric vehicle’s SOC when it is currently neither charging nor plugged in at one of their stations?

The Smartcar EV battery API solves this problem in an easy and straightforward way. Companies like AmpUp and ReCharge use our product to remotely retrieve the SOC and remaining range from their customers’ electric cars. It doesn’t matter whether a vehicle is plugged in, charging, or neither, and it doesn’t matter which generation of EV chargers your network is using. Smartcar allows EV charging apps to read the state of charge directly from electric cars anytime and anywhere. Here’s how it works:

Retrieving an electric vehicle's SOC

  1. Your application launches the Smartcar Connect flow, which prompts your customer to link their electric car to your app.
  2. The vehicle owner logs in with their car’s username and password. They then allow your application to access their EV battery’s state of charge and remaining range.
  3. Your application can now make API requests to your customer’s vehicle. Here’s how to retrieve the SOC and remaining range using the Smartcar EV battery API with a Python back end:

The benefits

Apart from the ease of use of retrieving a vehicle’s SOC and range with a single API request, there are several other benefits to using the Smartcar EV battery API:

  • Useful: Smartcar allows you to know a car’s exact SOC even if the vehicle is not anywhere near one of your EV chargers. That way, you can tell your customers whether their range suffices to make it to their trip destination or to the nearest charging station. You can also tell your customers how long it will take them to charge at one of your stations before they even plug in their vehicle.
  • Versatile: Our solution is compatible with cars of 15 brands across the United States. It works on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as well as it does on plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).
  • Instant: Onboarding a new vehicle owner takes just a few clicks from your EV charging app. Once your customer has linked their car, you can immediately make API requests that return real-time information.
  • Reliable: Our API technology communicates directly with the 3G or 4G telematics modems that are already built into most electric vehicles. This means that the returned information is always accurate and 100% reliable. Our solution is completely hardware-free and doesn’t depend on the reliability of EV charging stations or third-party hardware devices.

This is how your EV charging application can quickly and easily retrieve the state of charge and the remaining range from your customers’ electric vehicles. To learn more about how your EV charging network can use Smartcar’s technology, check out our website and contact us for a product demo. We’re happy to chat!

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