All Major Charging Networks In US Come Together With ROEV – Interoperability Now A Reality

NOV 19 2015 BY JAY COLE 59

The US public charging infrastructure is more than a little fractured.  There are several large charging networks in existence today as well as a few individual plug-in vehicle makers that are working feverishly to expand the charging infrastructure for their cars.

BMW i3 at EVgo DC fast charging station

BMW i3 at EVgo DC fast charging station

And while competition is always a good thing – more units, better pricing; having multiple access cards, and several usage protocols to jump through for each individual system was not.

Today in an announcement from the LA Auto Show, those days are being left behind for the US, with the creation of the ROEV association“a neutral collaboration of industry stakeholders designed to support EV adoption by facilitating public charging network interoperability”

In total about 17,500 of the 19,000 public charging stations in the US (~91%) will now give EV drivers easy access to stations across multiple networks using one network account.

The Founding Members are:

  • BMW of North America
  • Nissan
  • ChargePoint
  • NRG EVgo
  • CarCharging/Blink
Both Nissan And BMW Join ROEV As Founders, While Audi and Honda Signed On Too

Both Nissan And BMW Join ROEV As Founders, While Audi and Honda Signed On Too

Given the dominance of these players, and the vast footprint already in place, we assume more/if not all of the other smaller players will also come on board.

Additional players already committed to ROEV include:   Audi, Honda, Efacec, Portland General Electric, SemaConnect, and BTC Power

“Driving an EV will be easier thanks to ROEV. The EV driver’s ability to find, and charge at, any member public station, using an EV charging network account of their choice, is paramount to a simple driving and charging experience,” said Simon Lonsdale, Chair of the Board of ROEV. “The ROEV Association is working to streamline EV charging access across multiple charging networks in order to help bring EVs further into the mainstream.”


ROEV Press Release and Data:

US Charging Networks Get On Same Page

US Charging Networks Get On Same Page

One of ROEV’s primary goals is to provide easier access to all networked, public EV chargers by adopting and promoting interoperability standards, so that drivers can confidently charge anywhere public stations are found in the U.S., using a participating EV charging network account. Together, ROEV’s founding partners operate 91% – more than 17,500 – of public, networked EV charging ports in the U.S. (US DOE Alternative Fueling Station Locator) and the Association is encouraging all EV industry stakeholders to join their efforts to provide drivers with access to 100% of public charging stations.

Much like bank cards make it possible to withdraw funds from any ATM, drivers with a participating EV charging network account will be able to charge their EV at other participating charging stations. By improving the convenience of public EV charging, ROEV’s charging network interoperability will enhance the EV ownership experience for current and future drivers.

Currently, to access all 19,000 public, networked EV charging ports in the U.S. (US DOE Alternative Fueling Station Locator), drivers may have accounts with numerous EV charging networks, carry multiple access cards, and use a variety of mobile apps to find stations. Particularly for unplanned charging, this may mean additional time and inconvenience for the drivers of the more than 380,000 EVs sold in the United States to date (Inside EVs).

In order to maximize the public EV charging experience, ROEV is actively expanding its membership and commitment within the broader group of EV stakeholders. Beyond the founders, several new companies have already joined the Association, including Audi, Honda, Efacec, Portland General Electric, SemaConnect, and BTC Power. ROEV expects that charging network interoperability will increase the appeal of electric car ownership to an even larger number of drivers in the U.S and is currently recruiting additional members and associates from across the EV industry.

ROEV Founding Members

ROEV Founding Members

According to ROEV, the new system works as follows to access charging stations across the network:

  • Sign up for a new, or use an existing, participating EV charging network account
  • Access public chargers across participating networks using any participating charging network’s access card or mobile app
NRG EVgo - CHAdeMO and Combo chargers

NRG EVgo – CHAdeMO and Combo chargers

How it works:

  • EV automakers, charging networks, charging manufacturers, charging technology companies, and electric utilities are collaborating to provide charging network interoperability, to make public charging more accessible and convenient.
  • ROEV adopts and promotes standards to provide drivers with easy access to all participating charging networks and public charging stations.
  • ROEV will ensure that different networks can communicate with one another and share charging requests and details, for an easy and convenient consumer charging experience.
  • Participating EV charging networks will share charging station and session data with one another while keeping personal information private.
  • EV drivers can enjoy greater “range confidence,” or the confidence to take longer EV road trips more often, due to a more convenient public charging experience.


Categories: Audi, BMW, Charging, Honda, Nissan

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59 Comments on "All Major Charging Networks In US Come Together With ROEV – Interoperability Now A Reality"

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But why not go with phone app directly to pay per use, instead of membership and account that give nothing to the end user?

There are some people who do not use smart phone. Actually, I think I’m the only one among everyone I know.

I don’t trust this whole “smart phone” thing. Too many stuff that I don’t need (apps), and too many opportunities for it to be hacked / broken into (apps).

Or alternatively, call an automated voice system with any phone for those without a smart phone.
eg: “press #1 to charge to 80%, press #2 to set % SOC, … #0 to report a problem” … your phone number ID would be linked to your account, so just need to enter PIN to activate.

I don’t have one because of the $$. In the US the monthly cost of smartphones is basically a scam.

We have one, for my wife who uses it for business, and it’s very handy while driving on longer Leaf trips, to check out chargers on plugshare.

Monthly cost of a smartphone? Why don’t you just buy one?

Wouldn’t it be nice if GM would offer support in this movement?

Yet you use a computer? I cannot square that circle.

Don’t forget that fleet operators may need to use these stations and not all employees have company ‘smartphones’ to use.

EV Connect charge stations using a phone app to scan the barcode on the charger which turns on the charger. Funds are withdrawn through Paypal after each charge session. This works well for me. For all other stations, I use my Chargepoint, NRG and Blink cards. I like only having one card, or possibly only using one phone app.

Honestly I don’t care about central billing. I prefer them to compete on value and price. As long as they offer pay to go without monthly paid subscription with an RFID card to initiate charging and billing, everything is easy.

But I would want them to work together on minimizing different standards needed, and make sure they provide at least 50kW for those standards, say DC Chademo, DC CSS and AC SAE J1772 on all stations, i.e. northern california charge point yet has to live up to their promise of DC charging infrastructure, Blink only does Chademo, and so the only player for CSS left really is NRG Evgo, not because they had the right idea but because they were forced to as a penalty after the enron fallout over energy price fixing. Since they are the only player in town I pay them the $10/charge for my 20kWh of electricity fillup.

Why not just have a regular credit/debit card reader like every other place where you can buy something like a store or a gas station or whatever?

Off course app/rfid/whatever other solution could also be added but the base operation should just be like any other.

Por que no los dos?

Because cell phones are nowhere near reliable enough.

My favorite charging location in Santa Monica has 0 cell phone reception anywhere near the chargers. Before I got the card, I have to run outside real quick to fire up the phone app before I could charge.

Can you imagine not being able to charge your car because of some crappy cell network problem?

I’d love have charges added directly to my electric bill. The power comes from the utility anyway, the charge session is more of a “service charge” anyway.

Well, the electricity is probably the cheapest part of public charging. There are far more costs in the permits, installation, the charging equipment, the data network, the access to the charging location, the maintenance, billing, etc.

Depends how far you’ve driven your car.

So, when I drive from San Diego to Los Angeles, I pass through at least three electric utility regions. Which one would bill me, and at what rate?

In addition, since I actually own DC charging infrastructure, how would I get paid?

Of course, the utilities will love to handle your money. We need more monopolies in California.

Does your Cellphone roam?

Last time I looked it does.

So can your charging account.

It’s about time. Now if we only had one charging plug standard . . .

This is great news!

We badly need the same thing to happen in the UK, we’re badly fractured here.

I agree with sven. I hope ROEV can somehow unify the three major rapid charge plug standards. Or even standardize adaptors. I would love it if (eg) a LEAF could pay a fee to charge up at a Tesla station.

I didn’t see Tesla on the list of members.

Why would they even want to participate? They don’t charge for charger use. It’s “free-forever”.

This agreement has absolutely NOTHING to do with LEAFs freeloading off a Tesla Supercharger, or Tesla being interesting in charging for energy.

That’s for those “other guys”. If you want to get Tesla level of infrastructure and service, you might have to trade in that lesser car.

“All these peasants flying coach complaining about lack of leg room. If you simply upgraded to first class you wouldn’t have this problem!”

Until LEAFs have 70-90 kWh battery packs I would hate to see that happen.

It would have been a significant move to have included Plug-in America and Electric Auto Association as founding members.

Extending the partnership beyond just EVSE suppliers and network operator to include representation from EV drivers and owners (the users) would have been a great message to the EV community. After all without users, the ROEV partnership has no value, nor purpose.

Well, neither group has real skin in the game. Maybe as an advisory role?

How does ROEV relate to the NEMA card standard? Georgia Power just started shipping new GP-branded Chargepoint cards that are supposedly NEMA compliant.

ROEV … an acronym for “ROaming EV charging”.

I’m assuming pronounced Roe-V? Note: “roe” is a mass of eggs, hopefully not a reference to fragile nature of some charging docks.

The use of ‘roaming’ in the acronym brings back memories of ‘cellphone roaming’, something from the past that most users hated, and did everything they could to avoid. While the use of ‘roaming’ by the partnership has different context, the word does carry some prior meaning to modern life.

Ideally the focus of a joint partnership pf this caliber should be focused on providing and enabling ‘access’ to extended range driving. Cars don’t roam, they ‘travel’ to/from a ‘destination’.

How will this be paid for?

I’m glad someone is taking the initiative with this matter. But I think the easiest solution (from a customer standpoint) is to have ATM/credit card “pay at the pump” solution for charging stations. Although I will concede margins will be very low cosidering the low cost of electricity and the transaction fees charged by banks. A solution is needed but I don’t think any company stands a chance at profitability solely from charging for EV “fill ups”.

It is crazy to me that every single fee-based charger is not also a point of sale device. They’re all able to communicate if they use an RFID card anyway. Why not pay as you go via debit or credit card? This is not new technology.

Wonderful news!

This is exactly the sort of organization needed to establish an actual EV charging standard, instead of multiple competing formats.

The elephant in the room: Can they persuade Tesla to join?

“Can they persuade Tesla to join?”

This is exactly what I was asking myself…

From the technical viewpoint it is likely that a solution is possible. Plug adapter + app. Well we will see…

I really hope they join.

Everyone will benefit, if they do…

Well for me I don’t get this desire to have Tesla share their Supercharger network. It could be a good thing for Tesla to have their own network and the others have theirs. The benefit of buying a Tesla is access to this network. Keeping it for Tesla cars will help keep things simpler and keep chargers more available for Tesla owners.

“Keeping it for Tesla cars will help keep things simpler and keep chargers more available for Tesla owners.”

You are right, the benefit for the Tesla owners is not visible at first sight. However, I think that if Tesla joins they could charge non-Tesla drivers a certain amount for each charge (does not need to be much, just to cover electricity + very low margin) and earn some money, which in turn would allow them to expand the supercharger network. This way Tesla owners would also benefit. Of course there is some possibility of congestion, but looking at the supercharger map, I see that they already started building 20-stall-super-chargers. The more customers, the better.

Last but not least we should look at this from a general perspective and not only from the Tesla-owners-view 😉 From the general perspective there is no way to keep SC for Tesla owners, as that would be the least efficent solution…

…some more on this:

If Tesla would decide to put at least one stall at each location with an additional “standard”-plug (whatever this means), that would increase installation cost by a marginal amount. They have to set up the expensive stuff anyways. At those dual-use chargers there would regularly be non-Tesla customers looking at what they could have bought! This would be something like free advertising…

Too bad it doesnt keep these Teslas from often blocking the Chademo charger at the Camarillo Premium outlets. So rude. Im sure the LEAFs do occupy the Tesla stalls.

Good move, but will the branding fail be fixed?

The “RO” stands for “roaming”. Because everyone needs reminding of what they most hate about using a cellphone.

I don’t hate being able to use my cellphone outside my service providers network.

or about this anywhere pay with credits cards or debit card OR COINS so SIMPLE

You coin it!




Coins would be simple, but increase the cost for the upkeep. Those coins have to be removed by someone. A large amount of coins will increase the risk of someone destroying the coin-container to get cash. IMO no good.

Coins? 😛 I haven’t had a coin with me for a decade or two. Are there still people who have coins and use them for something?

Awesome news. Now just have the charging cable do the authentication and we have the right solution.

Whenever I was filling gas in my life I never needed any RFIDs, apps, smartphones, calls, accounts, authenticating gas hoses, monthly fees, submission of personal data or any other similar Silicon Valley crap. Swiping credit card in 2 seconds or just giving cash was always enough.

And you don’t need those things with EVSEs either IF you are ok with being billed via metering of electricity used (and it very well could be the “best” approach). Pay at the “pump” with your card–same as gas.

I will say many EV owners appreciate the built-in logging of energy use that you don’t get from any ICE cars.

This all sounds good, I just wonder what’s left to differentiate the networks from each other. I guess it’s the location and/or the prices, but the networks don’t always set prices themselves. If a network has access to “its” customers, and everyone else’s, then to get ahead, they need to put chargers at attractive locations with affordable prices before their competitors.

It’s also interesting to compare this new model with the existing gas model, where stations compete almost entirely on price, but also on the attractiveness of the attached convenience store. With charging, since it takes place on a longer time scale, the nearby pre-existing shopping mall or restaurant replaces the convenience store.

The thing that they did not address is how a driver will know how much they will have to pay when they come to a “roaming” charging station. Everyone knows that when you put your ATM card and PIN in a machine, it will give you money. The question is, how much will they skim off the top for the convenience of using the ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank or Credit Union. There are standards for how ATMs communicate the fee and you must agree. Will the charging stations all have the same?

Why not just use a credit card reader instead of an account with a middle man?

Credit cars are run by middle men.



So if I understand this right, I can now use my ChargePoint or Blink card with an EVgo or SemaCharge station.

Effective immediately? Can I use my Charge Point card in all the blink locations as of today? Will I be getting the ¢.39 kwh ” blink member” price (still a robbery but I’ll use it in emergencies) instead of the ¢.49 kwh rate? Will Blink charge my Charge Point card? When can I start using one card for all these member networks?

Noticeably absent: Tesla.

Can’t say I’m surprised. Tesla isn’t interested in supporting the growth of EVs; they are interested in supporting the growth of Tesla sales.

Spider-Dan: thats just plain wrong. Tesla is dedicated to the adoption of EVs, regardless of manufacturer. Why then do they standalone? When the SAE committee was meeting planning J1772, they were the only company that actually pushed for DCFC, and remain the only company that wanted AC and DC in one low profile, light connector. When they failed to get the committee to go in that direction, they did it themselves and have offered the tech to all competing co.s license-free.