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
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
- NRG EVgo
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
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
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
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.