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Introducing Volo

Expanding a network through seamless roaming integration.

At Osprey, our ambition is to deliver the highest quality nationwide EV charging network for the future. To do this, we believe rapid charging should be simple, open and accessible and is why we have placed roaming and interoperability at the core of our customer-focused strategy.

A hand holds a British Gas RFID card over the card reader on an EV charging point

 

Introducing Volo

Volo is Osprey’s proprietary software platform, through which we not only operate our nationwide network of public chargepoints, but also integrate directly with roaming partners and fleets to provide instant access and billing solutions.

We chose to develop Volo ourselves so that we were in complete control of our charging network, but also of the development pathway so we can accelerate the delivery of sophisticated roaming integrations and bespoke functionality that enhances the customer experience. In addition, controlling the tools we use to monitor and communicate with our charge point network improves visibility and detail of feedback that we have, in turn improving customer service. It means that we’re able to do much more than what was offered by the software-as-a-service charger packages available on the open market and used by other CPOs.

Volo is an open protocol based software platform. It can connect to any chargepoint hardware, giving us more flexibility when it comes to choosing the right hardware for each site.  It also provides a full set of chargepoint network assurance tools to monitor, remotely diagnose and resolve errors. One of the biggest successes of our Volo platform is that it enables direct OCPI integrations with a range of partners for roaming – for example British Gas’s fleet, Zap-Pay, Octopus Electric Juice and the Hubject platform. We also have a consumer-facing app directly integrated with Volo, that is currently in use with Osprey customers, and this continues to be developed.

Having these direct integrations across different payment options, including our own app, gives EV drivers, both fleet and private, the flexibility to use our network in the way that is most convenient to them. It also allows both us and our partners to explore new and innovative pricing structures. Octopus Energy have recently announced an off-peak pricing trial across the Osprey network. This gives drivers a 20% discount on the Osprey network during the hours of 7pm and 11pm when charging through the Electric Juice Network. The direct integration between Octopus and Volo makes running this trial possible.

An Osprey charging hub with two vans and two vehicles plugged in charging

 

Simple rapid charging for fleets

Enabling market-leading solutions such as our partnership with British Gas is why Osprey took the strategic decision to build our own charger management platform.

British Gas fleet drivers such as engineers are now using a British Gas electric fuel card to start a charge at any Osprey charger. Many engineers don’t have home chargers so this innovative solution makes it easy for them to charge up without having to expense fuel. At the end of their charge the session is logged by Volo and Osprey bills British Gas directly for it. The charging session authorisation and billing is automated via communication between Volo and British Gas’s internal fleet management system.

One of the key reasons British Gas chose to partner with Osprey first for their fleet fuel card was because of the total control over the seamless technical integration with Volo.

What does this mean for the UK’s electric fleets?

Over 50% of all new vehicle registrations each year are to fleets. Software solutions like Osprey’s Volo give fleets, big or small, a way for their employees to charge easily, and removes the big public charging barrier to fleet electrification. While direct integrations, such as the partnership with British Gas might not work for everyone, Osprey also work directly with further fleet solutions such as Mina and Paua who help smaller businesses centrally bill for employee charging both at home and out and about.

If charging is simple and seamless, there is the confidence for businesses to switch their fleet vehicles to electric, driving down transport emissions and significantly contributing to the UK’s net-zero goal.