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How Does the EV Fast Charger Network Function?


With the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program set to provide $5 billion towards building out the nation’s EV charger infrastructure, many businesses are looking to capitalize on this funding. Access to these NEVI funds requires the recipient to include a minimum of four 150 kw DC fast chargers (also referred to as Level 3 chargers) in their charging stations. Delivering the enormous amount of energy and physical infrastructure required to power these chargers, along with the technology to access and use these chargers, takes a complex network of various providers. Understanding how this network functions is the first step to getting involved with the EV charger infrastructure rollout.

Let’s take a look at the network of providers that L3 fast charging stations require.

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Regional Transmission Organization/Independent System Operator

The Regional Transmission Organization (RTO), or sometimes referred to as the Independent System Operator (ISO), operates the high-voltage transmission grid within specific regions of the country. RTOs manage access to power transmission, maintain the fairness of the wholesale power market, provide transmission reliability planning, and forecast and schedule power generation to meet demand. An RTO is usually responsible for managing a multi-state region, while an ISO manages a region within a single state.

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Distribution System Operator

The Distribution System Operator (DSO), operates, maintains, and develops the power distribution grid within a local geographical region. DSOs provide local real-time distribution of power to end-users.

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Charge Point Operator

The Charge Point Operator (CPO) installs, operates, and maintains a network of EV charging stations. CPOs manage not only the physical EV chargers and on-site supporting electrical infrastructure, they also handle the back-end technologies required to connect an EV and its driver to the charging services they provide. A CPO’s top priority is ensuring uptime and availably of its charging stations.

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Chargers & Infrastructure

The Charging Station is the physical location where charging occurs. The location, often owned by the CPO, includes the chargers and all power infrastructure required to facilitate end-user EV charging. This infrastructure will typically include switchgear to receive and distribute incoming utility power to on-site equipment as well as provide fault protection for the equipment. See how Charging Stations work.

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e-Mobility Service Provider

The e-Mobility Service Provider (EMSP) provides EV drivers with the digital platform that gives them access to an EV charging network within their local geographical region. An EMSP will work closely with multiple CPOs to gain access to the network of charging stations within an expanded geographical region. EMSPs are ultimately responsible for facilitating the digital interaction required to locate in-network charging stations and enabling payment for charging services.

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Centralized Information Exchange

A Roaming Platform provides the information exchange required between local and regional geographical regions to facilitate a cross-border charging network. The Roaming Platform essentially connects various EMSP providers together to facilitate a seamless digital experience to EV drivers as they driver longer distances across various charging station networks.

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The EV Driver utilizes an e-Mobility Service Provider's self-service tools and Roaming Platform to locate, use, and pay for EV charging accross their local and regiongal networks and beyond. 


As you can see, providing EV drivers with a reliable L3 charging network across the United States requires a great deal of connection between these various entities. The better connected each entity is to other providers, as well as their on-site equipment, the better the experience for the EV driver. As the backbone of this network, the electrical infrastructure providing power to EV chargers needs to be just as connected as the chargers themselves.




The NexPhase™ Smart EV Switchgear provides the entire electrical switchgear infrastructure needed to support up to four 150 kW DC fast chargers in a single enclosure. NexPhase™ eliminates the lengthy design process of traditional post-and-frame systems, which require additional costs to design and source a mixed-manufacturer panel system. Compared to traditional switchgear, NexPhase™ requires minimal onsite connections for only the incoming power and outgoing charger connections. This drastically reduces the on-site installation time required for a certified EV electrical contractor.


Unlike any switchgear of its kind, NexPhase™ features cutting-edge grid intelligence for switchgear and EV charger remote monitoring and control. An embedded monitoring system provides remote access to real-time health data with remote power cycling capabilities and automated alarms to facilitate condition-based maintenance planning.

NexPhase™ securely communicates with the UNITE™ user interface, providing user-friendly access to monitoring information including transaction analysis, energy consumption, charge duration, EV charger state, utility power monitoring, and more. Armed with these capabilities, CPOs can increase the resiliency of their chargers and help achieve greater uptimes (another requirement for NEVI funding is 97% uptime).

If you are a CPO, DSO, or EMSP looking to fast-track your DC fast charger rollout initiatives, learn more about how NexPhase™ can help you mitigate up-front design and installation costs, facilitate condition-based maintenance planning, and well as bolster charger uptime.


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We are a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of systems to support the management and monitoring of critical assets. As an expert in both vehicle refueling and utility asset monitoring, we are committed to supporting the emerging EV charging market. Our turnkey solutions enable rapid deployment with intelligent monitoring to maximize charger operational uptime.