ChargeShare for Consumers Energy
UX Project • Design System
Project Brief
The current landscape for EV information and adoption is rapidly changing, filled with disparate and often inconsistent information, unnecessarily complicated, and lacking in customer experience and services. We hope to address this, creating consistency and clarity for new customers while highlighting the value of moving to electric vehicles. Working with 2 other students, the project will be developed from start to finish through the entire creative process. Along the semester, the team will present 3 times and stay in contact with the Consumers Energy team.
Goals
We aim to create a system of tools to address EV adoption issues in multi-dwelling units. The system offers functions for managing charger payment, installation, and scheduling. ChargeShare includes a messaging system, bulletin board, and utility bill payment connection. These tools aim to help this underrepresented audience adopt EVs and facilitate the transition to electric transportation.
role
Designer
Researcher

Annamalis Sharp a fellow designer in Communication Design at CCS.

Wenqi Yan a graduate student in Interaction Design at CCS.

Much of the research was split among the 3 of us. The system design was seperated into smaller tasks. Those under me were the landlord dashboard, bullitin board, Charge card, smart watch, among other details. The 3 day in the lifes were animated by me as well.

UX Project • Design System
Sep 15, 2022
Dec 15, 2022
In the ever-changing landscape of Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption, our team of three students, including myself, successfully simplified the process for residents in multi-dwelling units through our project, "ChargeShare." This user-friendly system streamlined charger management and fostered community interaction, ultimately promoting EV adoption and sustainability.

The Problem

Research has shown that multi-dwelling unit residents and landlords are an overlooked audience in the transition to electric vehicles.

Preliminary Research

Challenges

Consumers exhibit hesitation in embracing Electric Vehicles (EVs), primarily due to the phenomenon known as 'range anxiety,' stemming from a lack of familiarity with the EV ownership experience. Moreover, as the adoption of EVs continues to rise, the electric grid faces increased stress, necessitating strategies to encourage EV owners to charge during off-peak hours.

Opportunities

Addressing consumer concerns related to EVs can be achieved by reshaping the perception of EV charging. Many consumers operate under the assumption that echarging EVs is analogous to refueling Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles. Opportunities also exist in the domains of battery storage, solar panels, and the potential to either sell surplus energy back to the grid or store it for emergency use. Furthermore, there is room for innovation in designing charging infrastructure tailored to Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs) and businesses contemplating the adoption of an all-electric fleet.

Insights

Firsthand experiences with EVs represent a powerful avenue for altering consumer attitudes towards them. While EVs may entail a higher initial purchase cost, their advantages in terms of reduced maintenance and fuel expenses render them a more cost-effective choice over traditional ICE vehicles. Incentives in the form of energy rebates and tax credits further sweeten the deal. Additionally, there are options available for consumers seeking initial charger installations and incentives for those who already possess their own charging infrastructure.

Areas of Interest

Mitigating EV travel range anxiety is a key focus, with strategies aimed at reducing energy spikes and optimizing energy usage, including the incorporation of solar panels and energy surplus resale to the grid. The domain of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in EV Accessibility programs also presents intriguing possibilities, particularly in the logistics and planning aspects for Multi-Dwelling Units.

Interviews

The interviews with 6 various individuals provide insights into different aspects of electric vehicle (EV) ownership and charging experiences:

Charging Convenience and Subscription:

Justin Burt enjoys the convenience of owning an EV in a dense urban area, thanks to the availability of chargers and his Electrify America subscription. He highlights the importance of charger infrastructure for encouraging more people to switch to EVs.

Fleet Vehicle Charging:

Joey Doyon, who drives a fleet vehicle, uses a WEX card for refueling. He suggests streamlining the process for both card and non-card refueling situations to enhance convenience.

User-Friendly Charging Solutions:

Nate Bush, an EV owner, has a user-friendly charging system at a local ski hill using a key fob and an app. This system minimizes complexity and is a one-time setup.

Challenges in Multi-Unit Dwelling (MDU):

Jie Li faces challenges in her MDU as she cannot install a private charger. She relies on her father's company parking lot charger and occasionally uses public charging stations, which require multiple apps. Slow charging times due to her older EV are also noted.

MDU Charging Infrastructure Considerations:

Jacob Lentz, an MDU resident, lacks charging infrastructure and depends on nearby EV charging hubs. He considers charging speed and has experience using profiles for payment.

Concerns of Potential EV Owners in MDUs:

Yizhuo Li, a multi-unit apartment dweller without an EV, has concerns about range anxiety, safety, and charging. The inability to install a private charger in her apartment discourages her from owning an EV.

Concept Statement

ChargeShare allows property owners to easily set up a shared charging network and allows residents to access more cost-effective home charging for their EV.

Personas

Values

Is economical, punctual and timely.

Challenges

Owns and EV but doesn’t want to have to rely solely on public charging.

Opportunities

Making home charging available and accessible for her.

Implementing a system where parking spots can be shared.

VALUES

Effective at management.

Good at delegating.

CHALLENGES

Frequently not able to be on-site for developments made to his properties

Manages several buildings so has limited time to devote to any given property

OPPORTUNITIES

Remote access to a home charging network, easy mobile management

Give him an opportunity to add additional revenue stream by adding a monthly service fee for charger users

Design Guidelines

Day in The Life's

ChargeShare isn't one dimensional.
To explain to our client, 3 different days were animated to explore how Larissa is immersed into the system.

Day One

On her first day, Larissa explored how she could join her local ChargeShare network.

  • She got to setup her personal ChargeShare card.
  • Everything automatically connected to her billing information from Consumers Energy.
  • She was introduced to Spark! Her ChargeShare assistant

Day Two

On her second day, Larissa got to use ChargeShare for her first scheduled charge.

  • She used the schedule to know her next charge
  • We got to see how ChargeShare works to resolve a tenant that stayed plugged in past their charge time.

Day Three

On the last day we got to see Incentives at work, fulfilling some of our clients concerns and problems to address.

  • Incentives helped motivate Larissa to remember to unplug her car when her schedule is over
  • It also helped her save money on her charge, and will prevent a charging peak on our clients network by encouraging night-time charging.

Finale

The end of this project ended with a successful presentation from our team to our clients and department heads to summate our work.

Bulletin Board

The Bulletin Board was created from client feedback. The client felt there was a lack of connection between their own messages and media and consumers.
A announcement board placed on the primary view helps bring attention of important news and helpful information.
Spark is also featured on the main page as your assistant for your most important information.

Scheduler

Another primary use of the app is the shared schedule, thats designed to help separate limited chargers for multiple tenants, which is the primary issue facing Multi Dwelling Units.

Analytics

The analytics page, analyzed by your virtual assistance Spark, was designed to help tenants understanding their charging habits, and figure out what improvements could be made.

Landlord Dashboard

The dashboard serves as the primary way for the landlord to manage charges and tenants in their ChargeShare system.

Other Projects: