Capgemini is helping Smartly, a company that provides a range of applications that support digital home services, to deliver an innovative way for Norwegians to use and pay for electric car charging stations.
In just six weeks Capgemini built for Smartly, a multi-platform, cloud-native mobile app that allows subscribers to have access to and pay for the usage of a network of electric car chargers in co-ops across Norway.
According to the recent World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) report, new registration of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) reached a record high in 2016 with more than 750,000 sales worldwide, representing a 10% increase compared to 2015. Norway is the country with the highest market share of electric cars worldwide (29% of new car sales), up 5% compared to 2015.
However, among the main barriers to mass-market adoption are the availability of charging stations, battery autonomy, and charging time. Cities are becoming more involved in supporting the adoption of low carbon transportation solutions, in particular electric vehicles.
As a global leader in renewable energy, the Norwegian government launched an initiative in 2016 for all new cars sold in Norway to be powered with renewable energy by 2025. As part of this goal, the country wants to provide electric car owners with easy access to charging stations by installing them through Norway's housing co-operations.
From proof of concept to reality in just six weeks
As a result of the government directive, housing co-ops and apartment buildings quickly faced a challenge to identify the different users and accurately bill households for their vehicle energy consumption. Smartly recognized an opportunity to create a mobile application that answered this need and selected Capgemini for its expertise in cloud-native technology and commitment to create measurable digital customer experiences. Time was of the essence: Capgemini needed to move from a proof-of-concept to a working app in six weeks. Capgemini, and its subsidiary Sogeti, worked with Microsoft to build Smartly a multi-platform mobile app that allows only those who are subscribed to have access to the electric car chargers in the co-op.
"Capgemini made it easy to transfer complex technology into one user-friendly app. We are very excited to be the first company to offer this transparent charging service to our customers," says Ketil Granbakken, Director of Sales and Marketing, Smartly AS.
The interdisciplinary team created cloud-connected, native Android and iOS apps using the power of Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin to build them more quickly. Customers can now download the Smartly app to keep track of their electricity consumption and pay as per their usage. The app includes an organized way to measure the consumption of energy, provides hassle-free charging and billing for customers and smooth billing functions for the co-ops. It has set a benchmark for future green technology initiatives.
"We brought together our expertise in cloud native apps, digital innovation and customer experience with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to help Smartly create an innovative app that not only provides a great user experience for Smartly's customers, but also contributes to a greener future for Norway," says Jens Middborg, VP at Capgemini in Norway. "We're honoured that Smartly entrusted us with this challenge and are delighted to see it in action already."
"Customers today expect their apps to look and feel intuitive on any device they use," said Greg Urquhart, Microsoft Senior Director for Intelligent Cloud. "With Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin, Capgemini was able to use a shared codebase to quickly deliver Smartly's innovative app across multiple form factors and then bring it to scale with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform."
 Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin allows users to build native mobile apps for Android, iOS, and UWP (unified windows platform)