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Easee Scales for Rapid IoT Device Growth using AWS

2021

Norway-based Easee is a company with a clear vision: to shape the future of electricity through developing a smart and user-friendly ecosystem for energy distribution. Its first key product is the Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Robot. With two models, one for home users and one for business users, the EV Charging Robot has already made Easee one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe. In just 3 years, the company has grown to 200 employees and operates in several markets, including Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK.

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Our device connectivity issues have been resolved using AWS. We’re now seeing far more positive comments about our EV chargers in online forums. Our vision is to shape the future of electricity, so it’s essential for our customers to remain happy. It is absolutely the foundation for our future growth.”

Martin Langeland
Chief Marketing Officer, Easee

Electrification is a big priority for car manufacturers, and the Norwegian government offers strong incentives to choose an electric vehicle (EV) over a gasoline- or diesel-powered model. So Easee saw an opportunity to embrace an ambitious goal: to produce the world’s smartest EV charging robot. Easee’s EV charger business has grown rapidly, with hundreds of thousands of devices now connected to its cloud, which supports remote management and regular product updates. Each week, another 4,500 chargers are added to the system, with each one transmitting multiple messages per hour. 

As an early-stage startup, Easee focused more on product-market fit than scalability. So as the company rapidly expanded, it started to encounter platform instability, and the team struggled to keep up. Then, in December 2020, the system went down, leaving many customers unable to charge their vehicles. Easee realized its current cloud platform architecture had reached its limit. So it turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help it build a scalable and stable solution to protect its business and keep its valuable customers on board.

Keeping Everything Stable

Choosing AWS was an easy decision: staying with its existing architecture would have meant drastic increases in Easee’s development and hosting costs. With a competitive job market for IT engineers in Norway, finding enough skilled operatives to manage an expanded customer platform was also a challenge.

While running its original system concurrently, Easee began building on AWS to first solve its data connectivity issues. It’s using AWS IoT Core to handle its real-time messaging data, which has been key in providing platform stability. “Thanks to AWS managed services, we keep a firm eye on our main mission,” says Arne Eirik Nielsen, team lead for cloud at Easee. “We have confidence that our system is now robust enough to support future growth.”

Peace of Mind Over Performance Issues

The company’s small and highly skilled team carried out implementation, migrating Easee’s devices to AWS in just 6 weeks, with the system ready to go after 3 months. Trust in the system extends from the IT team to chief executive officer (CEO) Jonas Helmikstøl, who previously had to monitor system performance on a daily basis. “Our CEO no longer has to track performance issues because he knows we can rely on AWS to keep everything going smoothly,” says Nielsen.

Easee is also using Amazon Kinesis for message streaming and AWS Lambda for message forwarding between its previous system and the new one built on AWS, to help further guarantee stability. The company now has faith that it can reliably serve its customers and partners. 

AWS Managed Services offers key support for Easee’s 20-strong team of developers, enabling it to speed development and to scale more easily. This means the company can maximize its team’s skills with a reduced need to hire more staff, which gives Easee the ability to stay firmly on its rapid growth path. “We are a relatively small and agile team, working with AWS has provided terrific support in helping us find a reliable technology solution. We’re now able to get back to our strategic development initiatives,” says Nielsen.

Focus on European Expansion

The company can now concentrate on European expansion and further develop key markets in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. Using AWS also helped free up time to solve its EV robot charging issues. Now, should the cloud connection fail for any reason, Easee’s robots will still charge. 

“We have much tighter control over our platform, thanks to AWS, giving us the time to refine our overall system to limit bottlenecks and meet growth targets,” says Nielsen. “We are adding 4,500 new devices a week now, and we want to grow the total number to 5 million in the next 3 years.”

With the data connectivity element of Easee’s operations no longer a problem, the next phase is to replace core components of the current Internet of Things (IoT) architecture and integrate deeper with AWS, which the company hopes to achieve over the next 10–12 months. “As well as reducing the need to hire extra engineers, we expect to slash costs by up to a quarter just on hosting,” says Nielsen. “When we make the full switch to AWS, we think we’ll be able to achieve the same rate of cost savings too.”  

“Our device connectivity issues have been resolved using AWS. We’re now seeing far more positive comments about our EV chargers in online forums,” says Martin Langeland, Easee’s chief marketing officer. “Our vision is to shape the future of electricity, so it’s essential for our customers to remain happy. It is absolutely the foundation for our future growth.”


About Easee

Easee designs and produces smart electric vehicle charging robots for both commercial and home use. The Norway-based company aims to provide its customers with products that deliver the best experience without compromising on price, quality, and functionality. Its products are designed for the power grid of the future, a grid that distributes power efficiently and uses capacity effectively.

Benefits of AWS

  • Easee deployed AWS IoT Core to allow for a much more stable platform that can support its large volumes of real-time streaming data.
  • With a highly scalable platform, Easee can easily support its growth aims and millions of EV charging devices.
  • Hosting costs cut by a quarter compared to Easee’s previous cloud architecture.
 

AWS Services Used

AWS IoT Core

Connect, manage, and scale your device fleets easily and reliably without provisioning or managing servers.

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Amazon Kinesis

Amazon Kinesis makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze real-time, streaming data so you can get timely insights and react quickly to new information.

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AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets you run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers. 

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