I love the name of this company so much, that I just skipped creating a real title. Highlighting another one of the excellent speakers, panelists, and working group members who will be at our coming EV charging conference* in Warsaw, Poland, below is an interview with Quentin Ducreux Lerebours, Plugsurfing’s Business Development Manager.
ZS: Much of the challenge of quicker EV adoption these days comes from psychological barriers and inertia. How does Plugsurfing work to break down those barriers and inertia?
QDL: We enable roaming and work towards a more open network. We try to make charging as simple as possible. We can ensure seamless access to any charging station in any location.
ZS: If I understand it correctly, Plugsurfing integrated numerous EV charging networks into one app for German EV drivers — making it seamless, quick, and simple for an EV driver to charge on various networks via just one app.
QDL: You are right, however our app is not for German EV drivers only. Plugsurfing is available in English, German, Dutch, and French. We are planning to add other languages in the coming months.
Moreover, Plugsurfing operates independently of countries and languages and is available currently to any EV driver in Europe.
ZS: It seems like an obvious and critical solution, but I haven’t seen this done elsewhere. Are there similar examples in other regions?
QDL: Some operators (CPO) have been successful with their access cards. Plugsurfing’s specificity is that we do not own the infrastructure. This means that we are independant and we do not compete with any operator and thus can negotiate the charging price for our users more easily.
ZS: The problem I find is that … Plugsurfing isn’t everywhere. Can you say a bit about your plans for expansion?
QDL: Our aim is to integrate all operators in Europe at first. We are now the largest charging network, with 53,000 charging points available and payable via the Plugsurfing app and RFID charging key. We are now focusing on Eastern Europe, notably.
ZS: There are other systems of a sort that combine charging networks in the US and Europe — ROEV in the US and Hubject in Europe. Do such efforts threaten your business plan? Or do you just see them as side-by-side or even complementary approaches?
QDL: These platforms are not competing with Plugsurfing. They offer a way to access some networks. In most of the case we do have a direct connection to the operator. In some other cases we access stations through Hubject.
ZS: What is the hardest part of what Plugsurfing does?
QDL: Getting everyone in the industry working on IT implementations as fast and efficient as possible, and explaining to players from different industries what impact and opportunity EVs will have on and for their business. As a pioneer in EV, we consider that our role.
*In case you’ve somehow missed it, CleanTechnica and GreenWay are co-hosting a Central & Eastern Europe EV charging conference in Warsaw November 6–8. We have EV charging leaders coming in from the Netherlands, Norway, Costa Rica, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and the USA to discuss ways of advancing EV charging and EV adoption both in the region and globally. We’ve also convened a working group to create a white paper on EV charging guidelines for cities. Join us in Warsaw! (Jump straight to the tickets here.)