Charged: 15 questions with... Fuuse
In May 2023, Octopus Electroverse partnered with Fuuse - the flexible back office system for EV chargers, powering hardware to cater for the evolving needs of organisations and their EV drivers.
With over 2,500 chargers on their database, Fuuse helps both private and public sectors to get what they need from their EV charging infrastructure, breaking down barriers to EV transition.
To learn more about Fuuse (and to chat all things EV and charging), we sat down with Will Maden, COO and co-founder of Fuuse.
Let's get plugged in...
Give us a bit of background -– how did Fuuse start?
Fuuse was born from an innovation project conducted by our formerly named Miralis Data company – Miralis was a data engineering and software company focused on reducing emissions in transport. One of our innovation projects at the time was seeking a way to make EV transition more accessible by providing EV charging solutions to those without access to private EV chargers. Working with Charge My Street, a CPO and community benefit society, Miralis developed Fuuse.
Fuuse grew in popularity and after its official launch in 2021, fast became one of the go-to charge point management systems in the UK. Growth continues following investment and success across sectors from Local Authorities, educational settings, healthcare facilities, sporting venues, hotels, destinations and many more industries.
On the Fuuse website, it's mentioned that you are 'the flexible back office for EV chargers' - what does that mean?
Simply put, we provide intuitive software to power and get the most from EV chargers. The platform offers fully flexible features for CPOs to configure their chargers in a way that best suits their use case and needs. From comprehensive access controls to multi-tariff management, energy monitoring and smart charging, Fuuse is a powerful system that enables CPOs to make their chargers behave how they need to whether for different driver groups, different days of the week or across different geographical settings. Being built to open standards, Fuuse can be used to power multi-hardware networks, across locations, with controls, insights and reports all managed from one back office system.
How does Fuuse partner with Charge Point Operators?
Fuuse works with CPOs to deliver an uncompromised EV charging experience for drivers. Fuuse back-office software empowers CPOs to provide a robust and reliable EV charging network, helping to attract more drivers, maximise the availability and uptime of their chargers, and easily track utilisation and revenue growth.
But Fuuse is more than simply a software provider. Fuuse champions independent CPOs, empowering them to make their chargers more discoverable and accessible on popular location services and through charge card integrations like that with Octopus Electroverse.
We also empower our partners with white-labelled solutions and driver support packages.
Leading on from the above – how many Charge Point Operators are currently partnered with Fuuse (and what does the future look like)?
We partner with over 300 large and small CPOs across the UK and are heavily invested in continuing our rapid growth bringing on board more partners and championing interoperable systems.
Fuuse offers lots of innovative software to Charge Point Operators to ensure the maintenance of charging stations is up-to-date – can you explain how the ‘click-to-fix remote maintenance’ works?
We want to make EV charging as seamless as possible both for the driver and for our CPOs as well. This means building tools that will streamline things like maintenance and charger upkeep to fully maximise the availability of your charging network.
Our click-to-fix remote maintenance is just one of the ways we do this, and it really does what it says on the tin. Operators can proactively undertake maintenance or react to a number of common charging issues with a simple click of a button, without the need to deploy an engineer on-site. Actions that can be performed through a simple drop-down menu on each charger in the back office include: remotely starting and ending charging sessions; performing soft and hard resets; updating firmware; manually changing the status of chargers; and (everyone’s favourite) remotely unlocking connectors.
Click-to-fix remote maintenance features are a real game changer when it comes to providing a reliable and accessible charging experience.
It’s been very interesting reading about the Fuuse innovation project to combat bay hogging with East Lothian Council - can you explain a little more about this project?
East Lothian Council have big ambitions to provide attractive charging solutions for people without driveways or a safe place to charge EVs at home. This project was about ensuring the maximum availability of chargers for those who need them, specifically targeting the emerging habit of bay hogging or ICE-ing.
Typically a back office system could only report the status of a charger that is plugged in. The system can see the charger is still in use (whether actively charging or remaining plugged in after a session has ended), however, there was no way to tell if the charger was actually accessible if nothing was connected to the charger.
As part of this project parking sensors were installed in several locations to detect the presence of a vehicle (or other object) obstructing the charging bay. The sensors would then communicate with the Fuuse platform. An alert would then be sent to the Council’s parking management team, whilst the status of chargers would be updated to ‘unavailable’ to drivers searching for available chargers.
The project highlighted how innovations in charging technology could be used to better utilise existing infrastructure.
This innovation project was funded by Transport Scotland and managed by Scottish Enterprise, through the Can Do Innovation Low Carbon Challenge.
As transport accounts for almost a third of CO2 emissions in the UK, decarbonising road travel via EVs is essential. Can you tell us more about the Fuuse commitment to net zero?
Since our inception, in our earliest years as Miralis Data, our entire mission has been focused on reducing emissions in transport. Thus, with Fuuse, our aim is to make the EV transition as easy and smooth as possible to encourage more businesses to go electric.
Our net zero strategy focuses on innovation that will facilitate an entire industry to reduce their emissions - whilst measuring, reporting, acting and educating internally.
As members of Tech Zero, REA, the SME Climate hub, Tech Nation’s Net Zero 2.0 program, Zemo Partnership and as CGI Digital Climate Technology partners, we have a very real passion and very real platform to play our part in realising a greener future.
In your opinion, what’s the future looking like for faster public charging speeds?
The UK infrastructure will split in 2 ways fast (7-22 kW) and rapid (150 kW+). More fast chargers will appear around homes and workplaces, whilst rapid chargers will dominate locations where quick charging is essential, such as major trunk roads.
With organisations like Charge UK, promising the acceleration of public EV chargepoints by 2023 - what’s the vision for Fuuse in 5 years?
Become the leading independent charge point management system in UK, Ireland and beyond; focusing on the best driver experience and being the best platform for giving insightful data to CPOs.
Why are partnerships like Fuuse and Octopus Electroverse crucial to the public charging infrastructure?
There are entire networks of independent CPOs across the UK, with chargers ready and available to use. We must begin to better utilise existing infrastructure and challenge the common perception that UK public charging infrastructure is not yet ready to handle mass EV adoption.
Aggregating these pockets of independent CPOs and enabling them to become discoverable and accessible by more drivers, like through our partnership with Octopus Electroverse, will begin to open up a much better-utilised infrastructure and show drivers that the UK is indeed ready to confidently transition to more EVs.
Will Maden, COO and co-founder of Fuuse
What’s your dream electric vehicle?
Lucid Air – because it looks amazing! From the original concept car, it looks to be a quality practical vehicle with a usable range and stylish looks to match.
What’s the longest journey you’ve completed in an EV - and can you share the total mileage?
Lancaster to Farnborough – (Fully Charged of course!) – 520 miles round trip. We charged twice.
Do you have an EV life hack to share with the EV community?
If possible, leave a gap between yourself and the next plugged-in EV to increase charging rates.
What advice would you give someone looking to use a Fuuse charging location for the first time?
Check the real-time status of the charger before you get there, or better yet, utilise any booking functionality that may be applied to that charger to ensure the charger is ready when you want to use it.
And finally - an EV etiquette question - what would you say is the golden rule to using a public charger?
Be considerate to other drivers. Be prompt to disconnect and vacate the charging bay when your charging session is over to ensure chargers can be utilised to their full potential.
Feeling enlightened or do you think something was missing? Let us know by sharing your feedback.
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