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User feedback as the key to success: Charging solution for electric company car drivers at home

The ongoing electrification of company cars presents companies with new challenges, especially when it comes to billing charging processes in employees’ homes. The heterogeneous wallbox concept in home environments makes it difficult to find a standardized solution that complies with calibration law. The various wallbox models have different interfaces and communication protocols and have not yet been able to be billed via a holistic solution.

The Charge Repay Service from Phoenix Contact Smart Business solves this problem. By integrating retrofit hardware, existing wallboxes can be retrofitted and enabled for billing in compliance with calibration law. By connecting to the service, users can differentiate between business and private charging processes in the web app and view their charging processes and the expected reimbursement.   

User feedback as the key to success: Charging solution for electric company car drivers at home

Step-by-step automation and process optimization 

The internal pilot phase with Phoenix Contact employees, which was carried out with around 20 users over a period of several months, was crucial for the development of the service. The service was continuously scrutinized and improved on the basis of iterative cycles. Parts of the process were gradually automated and tested by pilot users. Installation and test loads were initially carried out through on-site visits. In the next step, an automated onboarding process was introduced in which users could select their wallbox model and place the hardware order. User interviews and observations were used to further optimize sub-processes. Today, the entire process from the invitation to the booking of the first charge is fully automated. 

Success factors of the pilot phase: testing and diversity of wallboxes 

Our colleagues, who use the service on a daily basis, covered numerous test cases and not only demonstrated patience in troubleshooting, but also took a close look at the service, usability and user-friendliness. The colleagues checked logic chains, processes and identified potential sources of error. The variety of wallbox models used by our colleagues enabled intensive testing of a wide range of models. This ensured that the service can be used flexibly and is effectively tailored to the needs of all users.   

Feedback as the key to integrating service providers and developing new features 

Due to the installation in a private environment, for example, we were dependent on user feedback on our installation service providers. Despite initial manual processes, sometimes involving several coordination emails and phone calls, our colleagues were always willing to provide feedback on the process. In addition to feedback on our service providers, some users also agreed to test new features that were still in the development phase. The combination of technical feedback on the functionality of the feature and user feedback on the usefulness of the innovation gave us a good orientation for the further development of our service.   


Alessandro Alberani

The installation went completely smooth. I had prepared the gateway according to the simple instructions provided. The technician spent about 45 – 60 minutes on the installation. The service runs flawlessly and is very user-friendly.

Alessandro Alberani – Phoenix Contact, Senior Director Development/Quality Laboratory
Hans-Jürgen Koch – Phoenix Contact, Executive Vice President of Industry Management & Automation

It’s a great solution for the user. I don’t have to worry about anything anymore. Now I plug the vehicle charging connector into my car, a window opens in the web app, I say whether it’s a business or private charging process and that’s it. It’s all very easy.

Hans-Jürgen Koch – Phoenix Contact, Executive Vice President of Industry Management & Automation
Michael Sterz

The Phoenix Contact Smart Business solution is easy to use and gives me the option of assigning different loads according to my needs. The company accepts feedback and continues to develop the Smart Service based on it.

Michael Sterz – Phoenix Contact, Head of Corporate Purchase Governance

Service receives positive market feedback in addition to internal development 

In addition to the development of the service, the application for two patents, which ensure the uniqueness of the service, was also part of the development. The Charge Repay Service has also attracted external interest, partly due to the patents. Initial pilot phases with external customers have already been successfully completed. The market launch with a major mobility service provider is planned for the second quarter of 2024.   

Conclusion: Success through user feedback and innovation 

The combination of an innovative idea, customer-centric iterative processes and methods as well as continuous user engagement made it possible to develop a new business model that generates added value both internally and meets with external market demand.   

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Hi, we are Anton Schönenberg and Cedric Culkowski and we are looking forward to your inquiry

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