Charging station data on Chargemap: real-time operation

The core issue at Chargemap has always been to provide electric vehicle drivers with reliable data about charging stations. Still today, our mission is to offer the Chargemap community the very best charging experience possible. But how is this Chargemap data processed? Did you know that some of our data is updated in real time, i.e. every minute? Let us review everything you need to know about this data and the notion of real time.


How does Chargemap collect data from charging stations?

As our first-generation users know, Chargemap has been a 100% collaborative platform from the outset 🤝 In fact, when it was founded in 2011, the data came exclusively from contributions made by our users. Today, the mutual help EV drivers give each other is still essential to Chargemap’s DNA. 

This dynamic developed further when the Chargemap Pass charging card was launched in 2017. Little by little, we have linked our services up to various charging networks. It is through these connections that you can use your Chargemap card to charge your EV on over 800 networks throughout Europe!

Charging on a public station with the Chargemap Pass

Today, our data stems from two different sources:

  • Our partner charging networks: when a new network is connected up to our service, they send us all available data about the charging stations in question. 

How does the notion of real time work at Chargemap?

What information is updated in real time?

Firstly, the real-time process only concerns data coming from networks linked up to Chargemap, and therefore compatible with the Chargemap Pass. 

Displaying the status and condition of stations and connectors on Chargemap
Connectors’ tab of a charging station in the Chargemap app

More precisely, it involves data about the availability and status of charging stations and connectors. In other words, the statuses “Available”, “Busy”, “In service”, and “Out of service” represent the data displayed in real time at Chargemap. 

The availability and status of the connectors can be consulted in the “Connectors” tab on the screen dedicated to the charging pool. 

Display of charging station icons on Chargemap
Charging station icons on Chargemap

On the map, availability is represented by a green dot when at least one connector at the charging pool is available, and red when all the connectors are occupied.

Grey icons crossed with a red stripe correspond to charging pools where all the connectors are out of order.

What does real time mean?

In simple terms, real-time data is updated every minute. This implies a time lapse of about 1 to 2 minutes before the status change is displayed on Chargemap. For example, a short time lapse occurs between the moment you unplug your EV and the moment the connector reverts back to its available status on Chargemap.

This is notably due to the path the data travels before getting to us. It should be noted that when operators like EVBox, Total Energies and GreenFlux are directly connected to Chargemap, this time lapse is much shorter and the quality of the data is enhanced.


Limitations of real time 

There are some cases when data cannot be uploaded in real time. 

Chargemap is dependent on:

  • data sent by the charging networks. If this data is wrong, late or does not arrive at all, this has an impact on the reliability of the information posted on Chargemap. 
  • any communication problems at the charging station (e.g.: no signal). In these instances, it is impossible for the charging station to transmit the data to the operator, or at least not in real time.

Latest improvements

New display of the connectors’ availability!

Display of the availability of connectors from a charging station’s preview

To make the app evolve according to your needs, our team has redesigned the look of the details sheet to bring the availability of connectors to the forefront.

  • Check the availability of connectors directly from the preview screen (including lists of favourites and nearby stations) and the details sheet of compatible charging stations.
  • No need to refresh the page, enjoy live availability updates.

New Chargemap’s real-time system

In late 2021, our team completely overhauled the real-time system. And the result? Enhanced management in terms of processing the data transmitted by our partner networks: 

  1. Beforehand, all the data received (in real time or not) was processed at the same time. We have now set up a dedicated technical infrastructure for real-time management.
  1. Instead of processing each data item one at a time, we now group the data together and process sets of data coming from our partner networks every minute. In concrete terms, we can now process 50 times more data per minute thanks to this new system.
  1. Finally, we have reinforced the checking process for the system to ensure that data processing operates smoothly and give us a faster turnaround time should a problem arise.

💡 We hope this article has shed some light on the complex question of real time. We are continuing to work on the performance of our overall service to provide you with ever more reliable data and make charging easier ⚡️

Go to the Chargemap app

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18 February 2022 17 h 20 min

Why have you removed the charging stations at Wishaw sport centre from you maps, can you not show them as inoperable till further notice? Or do you not expect them to get repaired

18 February 2022 20 h 42 min

I’m not really convinced about Chargemap’s real-time data system. I found several charging stations with obviously obsolete data, some of them from big players like Ionity. It would be great if Chargemap could improve this, good real-time data is crucial for long distance EV travelling. And it would upvalue the app which is really good appart from the reatlime issue.

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