How Enode is helping Northe simplify route planning and become an EV superapp
Northe is a platform for electric vehicles (EV) drivers. It was created when co-founder – and early EV adopter – Tamas Hess noticed a problem. Charging EVs was complex.
Tamas, and his co-founder Stefano, decided to make it easier. They built Northe, a platform designed to simplify payments and administration for EVs. Their goal? Stop customers swapping between EV, charging and route planning apps, and make Northe the single source of truth for managing EVs.
Today, Tamas and Stefano have made major progress towards that goal. Northe partners with an extensive network of public, semi-public, and private chargers, and unifies them all inside their app. But to add more functionality – and more value for customers – Northe wanted to access to EV data.
Accessing real-time EV data is an engineering challenge
Tamas and Stefano wanted to add a new use case to the Northe app: route planning. It would look at customers’ location, destination and state of charge, and suggest the optimal route, including charge points customers could use along the way.
This would require accurate, real-time data on the EVs' state-of-charge (SoC) – and this was hard to get hold of. First, the Northe team tried the Swedish vehicle registry. While they were able to provide some battery information, it wasn’t real-time, and wouldn’t help with route planning.
Next, Tamas and Stefano considered building integrations with EVs to gather the data themselves. But this presented another challenge. There were scores of new EV brands and models launching, and every one of them would need to be supported if Northe was to become the go-to EV management app. There was no way the Northe team could build an integration for every single EV model, or keep up with the regular changes to their APIs. It was a huge engineering job, and one that would distract the Northe team from scaling their core business. Tamas and Stefano knew they needed a partner to take on the technical load.
Enode enables a seamless route planning experience
They considered several options to get EV data into the Northe app. One was a German company used by several other route planning providers, but Tamas and Stefao quickly ruled them out. Their workflow made it more complicated for customers to get started, and required them to set up two separate accounts. It wasn’t a seamless enough user experience.
Then, the Northe team found Enode. With a single API, Enode could connect the Northe app to over 300+ EVs and energy devices, so they could surface vehicle data in real time. What made Enode attractive was its simplicity; even as a non-developer, Tamas was able to make API calls in the test environment and understand the workflow. The integration was very straightforward, too. Enode’s APIs, sandbox and production environment were easy to get started with, and the clear documentation meant Tamas and Stefano needed barely any customer support. All the Northe team had to do was design its own UX flow.
Enode unlocks new use cases and helps build customer loyalty
After a month and a half in the market, Northe’s route planning product is already used by 1,500 customers. They can now use the Northe app for both planning trips and charging their EVs, and no longer have to switch between apps to do so. For customers, it's more convenient, and for Tamas and Stefano, it’s helping build loyalty within their app.
Next, Tamas and Stefano plan to roll out the route planning functionality to more users, and add to its feature set. And they’re looking for new ways to leverage Enode, too. In particular, the Northe team is interested in adding new use cases for its fleet customers, including mileage and leasing calculators. They’re also looking into integrations with charge boxes, to see what data can be pulled to support access management, as well as reimbursement and split invoicing for home charging.
Northe is well on the way to becoming the one stop shop for all individual and fleet EV charging needs – and the team at Enode is helping accelerate that journey.