If you drive an electric car, you are probably aware of the hassles that occur when using public charging stations. You need to be a member of the charging network that owns the equipment. You need to link your credit card first. You need to use a dedicated app. You need to have a special ID card to unlock the charger. It’s frustrating and time consuming and it is just enough of a pain in the neck to convince some people to stick with a gasoline or diesel powered car for a while longer.
Electrify America and ChargePoint announced this week they have agreed to a roaming agreement that will let customers of each company to use the charging equipment of the other seamlessly with no membership or payment hassles. In an e-mail to CleanTechnica, a spokesperson for Electrify America says, “This agreement will further expand access to public EV charging across the U.S., a goal for both companies.”
In a joint press release, the companies explain, “Beginning later this year, drivers will be able to access public chargers on either the ChargePoint or Electrify America networks without having to create new memberships, registrations, or payment configurations. The plan will connect more than 30,000 Level 2 and DC fast chargers from Electrify America and ChargePoint across the U.S., adding significant public access as the number of EVs on the road significantly increases in the coming years.”
Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO of Electrify America, says, “With the two largest EV charging service providers in the U.S. reaching this agreement, we can help expedite electric vehicle adoption by creating a seamless and reliable charging experience for consumers. By connecting our public charging networks, we increase the convenience and accessibility EV drivers need to travel where they want, when they want.”
Pasquale Romano, president and CEO of ChargePoint, adds, “This roaming agreement further accelerates the seamless integration of individual EV fueling networks and brings us even closer to the day when the movement of all goods and people will be powered by electricity. Partnerships like this make transitioning to electric drive easier than continuing to use fossil fuels. Our agreement is another example of cross-industry collaboration and underscores the importance of working together to support this transformation of mobility.”
It wasn’t that long ago that people with cell phones were whacked with outrageous roaming charges when they could not access their local network. The smartphone didn’t really take off until those issues were resolved in favor of more customer access. A similar analogy applies to EV charging networks. Easier access will promote greater usage by EV drivers and a faster transition to all-electric vehicles.
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