Ali Lakrakbi was somewhere between Rabat and Marrakech when he needed to recharge his Renault Zoe. With his wife and two children in the car during the long journey, the Moroccan engineer and entrepreneur decided to pull up at the only charging station that was within range.
By this time it was already dark outside. Even worse, the charging station could only be operated with an access card, which was locked inside the station manager’s office. We spent the night at the charging station,” Ali recounts, “Luckily we had a 220 volt charger on us. After around 5 hours of charging we had enough to move on to the next charging station.”
I just logged in, created an account and configured a charging station.
It was at that moment that Ali realized that something had to change about the way Morocco charges its EVs. “I didn’t want others to have the same experience. We needed a way to give EV drivers a better experience.”
This was in 2020 and Morocco remains a small market for EVs. As Ali puts it, there are around 200 EVs in the entire country and that all the owners know each other by name. This makes for a very young charging infrastructure as well which had been given a small boost by the conference on climate change COP22 in 2016 (which was held in the North African country).
The conditions at the time were ripe for a young entrepreneur like Ali to start taking the lead in the electrification of Morocco. Soon enough Ali was asking for official access to the public infrastructure and became a central point of communication within the community.
Having access to the grid was one thing, managing it with a secure and efficient software solution was another. “I had initially checked for open source solutions,” Ali said, adding that “I found a basic version which didn’t work out. Other more sophisticated versions wanted to charge a premium to operate in Morocco. They said they had a white label solution but it turned out not to be the case despite the price tag.”
“eDRV is the secret to the way I’m working. It makes it easy for me to manage the charging stations from the moment I’m up in the morning.”
Under the business of Kilowatt Maroc, Ali installed eDRV’s APIs in 2021 and found that his stations could be online within minutes, not months. “I just logged in, created an account and configured a charging station. The app I built communicates magically with eDRV’S API.”
Today Kilowatt Maroc has over 20 (mostly public) charging stations around the country with the aim of adding even more. From being updated automatically about problems at stations to the ability to manage his stations remotely, Ali found that the eDRV dashboard had all of his needs covered at his fingertips.
Moreover, wherever he needed more from the product, what Ali found in eDRV was the ability to build it to his specifications. “If there’s something missing I can build it myself. Otherwise I’d have to pay others to get it done the way I want.”
More crucially, Ali felt that he could depend on eDRV’s APIs. “What’s important is that the charging stations that we manage are all working. In Morocco we had a problem of trust. Would you drive hundreds of kilometers with no support only to find out that the charging station isn’t working.”
To find out more about how our unique APIs can get your EV charging network off the ground, get in touch with us directly.