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Fortum: Paving the road to effortless EV mobility

The shift to electric vehicles is crucial for the environment – and because of its importance, it deserves to be as easy as possible for drivers. The Fortum Charge & Drive website helps consumers take the leap without breaking a sweat. With the vision of being the preferred digital companion for EV drivers, the service provides all the practical information that drivers need, and establishes a partner network for B2B collaboration in electric mobility.

The challenge

In the interest of driving the change towards a cleaner world, Fortum wants to make it as simple, smart and sustainable as possible to own and drive an electric vehicle. Due to the wide range of available options and new technologies as well as rapidly changing car and electricity markets today, making the leap to EVs is by no means an easy task.

To support the shift from fossil fuels to electric mobility, Fortum looked through the eyes of the drivers themselves: What kind of practical information would people really need as EV drivers and when – and what kind of assistance would they prefer to get from point A to point B without having to worry about range? The strategy was to help make the transition as smooth as possible for the drivers – but also for the companies and communities participating in Fortum’s service ecosystem.

Outcomes and impact

  • The first digital companion for e-mobility that solves the real needs of EV drivers.

  • Empowering sustainable mobility and all-new business collaboration through a partner network.

  • Transforming a traditional energy heavyweight into an industry-leading digital service provider.

  • A 35% increase in interest, a 31% drop in bounce rate, and a 27% drop in exit rate on the website – all in less than three weeks.

Our approach

The guiding principle in our approach was to eliminate all the complexity and the stress that EV drivers face, from the very beginning. The answer was to create Charge & Drive, an industry-leading service that provides drivers with the information they really need, in a clear and understandable format, and complemented with world-class design and UX.

The website is built around the Charge & Drive application, co-created by Fortum and Futurice, which gives drivers access to over 3,500 charging stations in the Nordic countries. It makes it easy for them to locate nearby charging stations, plan journeys, easily start and stop charging sessions, order a charging key, as well as access their charging session history and receipts.

To ensure that drivers enjoy a wide range of charging stations, the Charge & Drive platform includes partnerships with Recharge, Kople, and the City of Oslo. Recharge is one of the largest fast charging networks open to everyone in the Nordic countries, while Kople focuses purely on Norway. All of these charging stations within the network can be located on the Nordic station map in the app.

Additionally, the concept includes B2B partnership services for fleet owners as well as car rental and leasing companies.

What we did

The website concept was designed using the Futurice Lean Service Creation methodology, which ensured that we as a team were asking the right questions to solve real-world user pain points. First, to define what kind of content the website should offer, we interviewed existing Charge & Drive app users and carefully studied the information currently available for EV drivers. The research phase revealed, for example, that in addition to simply getting answers to frequently asked questions, EV drivers highlighted the importance of understandable language and plainly explained terminology.

Our findings were then used to define the right content approaches for the various user groups, from the drivers to the business partners within the ecosystem. We also ensured that the decisions supported Fortum’s strategic long-term market goals.

At the same time, we began designing the wireframes of the layout and gathered feedback on how it could be continuously improved. To make the Charge & Drive brand identity recognizable, its appearance was based on Fortum’s visual elements. The UI and front-end were then created in close cooperation between the development and design teams, by using the declarative and component-based React framework. On the backend side, our choice was Next.js, a framework that includes all the features needed for production, such as hybrid static and server rendering, TypeScript support, smart bundling, and route pre-fetching.

As the site is content-oriented, it was important for the editors to be able to update the site as easily as possible. With this need in mind, we decided to use the market-leading composable platform Contentful which offers quality editing, SEO and responsive CMS features for any device, as well as extensive multilingual support.

The entire service creation process was all about smoothly orchestrating the work of content creators, designers, developers, SEO specialists, and business stakeholders. We quickly proceeded from user interviews to wireframe exploration, and on to visual design, prototype testing, and beyond – tackling the needs feature by feature, while simultaneously paying close attention to the needs and ideas of Fortum’s team and the EV drivers. As the visuals, content and technology were developed side by side, we adhered to a strict schedule, using agile design sprints that enabled us to design and develop the service in just three months.

Why it matters

Fortum Charge & Drive is a step towards providing customers and societies with clean energy and sustainable solutions, by facilitating and supporting the use of electric vehicles. The service is the first of its kind to answer the needs of EV drivers uncovered through user interviews and insights from market research. It’s an educational and practical digital companion for EV mobility, and it clearly demonstrates that EVs can be a functioning solution for the constantly growing number of people who care about their overall impact on the environment.

In addition to setting the bar high for multichannel customer experience in the energy and mobility industry, Charge & Drive exemplifies how the future of e-mobility is built with climate-focused business partnerships and rapid co-creation.

The B2B service dimension helps expand the ecosystem by enabling all-new partnerships:

  • The employees of EV fleet owners now have access to well over 3,500 EV charging stations all over the Nordic countries
  • Car rental companies can lower their overall operating costs, gain the ability to charge all types of EVs, and meet their sustainability targets
  • Leasing companies can set up charging and support services, and gain access to a large network of public chargers.

Aligned with the EU’s ambition and the goals of the Paris Agreement, Charge & Drive supports Fortum’s strategy in both securing a fast transition to the carbon-neutral economy and being an industry-leading partner with a real impact on the lives of drivers. For the city of Oslo, the concept is a concrete step forward in their ambitious plans to cut emissions by 95% by 2030 despite being one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, as well as a way to set a practical example for others to follow.

The website was launched on 19 December 2022. Since then:

  • The service has seen a 35% increase in interest compared to its previous version, part of which can be attributed to the general public’s growing desire to learn more about Fortum’s EV service offering.
  • Our informative content has helped the public learn more about the user experience of EV mobility. This is evidenced by a 31% drop in bounce rate on the website, demonstrating that users are more engaged with the content of the website as they choose to navigate to its other sections more actively than before.
  • The wide range of topics on EV mobility featured on Fortum Charge & Drive has encouraged users to venture deeper into the funnel than earlier as they learn about EV mobility. This is indicated by a 27% drop in exit rate.
In the words of Helen Keller: alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.
Andreas Bränd
Business Manager, e-mobility Nordics, Fortum

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