You decide on a European road trip for this year's summer holiday so you pack up the car and plan your route. Your previous trip in your diesel car was straight forward but since upgrading to an EV, there is a hint of anxiety in the back of your head. You must research charging infrastructure for all jurisdictions and subscribe to multiple operators to make sure you can easily access a charge point. Thankfully, inroads are being made on this issue.
An agreement signed by multiple EV charge point suppliers and operators is seeking to address the fractured nature of the present EV charging network by joining it up. Chargemap, Charge4Europe, Engenie, Franklin Energy and Travelcard are some of the companies involved in the agreement covering the UK, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The signatories will open their networks to roaming agreements, meaning that all an EV driver needs is a single subscription to access any of their charge points in this jurisdiction.
Ease of charging infrastructure use and accessibility is undoubtedly key to the continuing uptake of EV sales, both domestically and commercially. Industry is taking incremental steps to change fleet vehicles to EV and this agreement should further boost that market. A single subscription would benefit companies by reducing all EV charging billing and invoices to one account.
This landmark agreement has been welcomed by the UK Government. Matt Western MP & Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group said "It is a positive step that companies in different countries are working together to create a better charging experience for everybody. I have long believed that the country needs a National Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy to deal with issues around accessibility. This announcement from the collaborating parties in e-mobility is absolutely a step in the right direction."
Collaboration across the EV industry is essential in order to keep driving forward, both in the purchase of EV's and the development of a dependable, accessible and fast charging network. The entire range of Garo EV Chargers have been developed with this is mind and are OCCP (Open Charge Point Protocol) compliant. This means that all Garo chargers can be added to any network and connect to any back office that uses OCPP, giving the operator much more choice as to the back office software they use, and more flexibility to change to providers to reduce costs etc. if they wish.
Other advancements such as contactless payment via credit and debit cards at all public charging points would further offer ease of use for all EV drivers. The UK Government has announced that it wants industry to develop a solution across the charging network "allowing electric vehicle drivers to use any public charge point through a single payment method without needing multiple smartphone apps or membership cards".
Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive agrees: " We need the right conditions for car buyers to invest in these vehicles...with a long-term commitment to infrastructural and supply chain investment and consumer incentives."
Photo: LS4 Public Charging Stations - Garo Electric Ltd