It's definitely time to move to an open network for EV charging.
It's not fun or convenient to register for multiple accounts, carry around a bunch of different cards, or incur a handful of access fees. A seamless electric vehicle charging experience is just another step forward that will work to push EV adoption. Now, we have two of North America's leaders in electric car charging -- ChargePoint and FLO -- entering into the first ever partnership for the area.
Beginning today, October 16, 2018, EV drivers in North America will be able to access ChargePoint and FLO public chargers as if they're one in the same. The companies explain that this is similar to roaming between different cell phone carriers. Users won't have to register separately for both services, nor will they have to pay additional fees. This will give them combined access to some 33,000 public charging stations, making travel across the continent more hassle-free.
This latest announcement is a huge advancement for electric vehicle owners and those considering going electric. We can only hope that it lights a fire among other companies and similar deals will be made in the near future.
We've included that entire press release below:
ChargePoint and FLO Make Driving Electric Across North America More Accessible Than Ever
North America’s Two Leaders in Electric Vehicle Charging Enter into the Region’s First Ever Roaming Agreement
Campbell, Calif/Quebec City, Canada – October 16, 2018 – ChargePoint and FLO, today announced a landmark roaming partnership that provides electric vehicle (EV) drivers across North America a seamless charging experience. Much like roaming between cell phone networks, ChargePoint and FLO members can now effortlessly access public chargers on both networks while travelling in the US and Canada, without the need to register for multiple accounts or incur additional fees.
ChargePoint, the leading EV charging network in the US and FLO, the EV charging leader in Canada, collectively have a significant presence across North America. The partnership not only simplifies EV driving for ChargePoint and FLO drivers, but demonstrates what is possible when industry leaders share a commitment to make it easier for drivers to charge wherever they go. This partnership is the first agreement of its kind in North America and creates a benchmark for future collaboration among players in the electric mobility sphere.
“For more than a decade ChargePoint has been committed to developing charging solutions that make it easy for EV drivers to charge, and this agreement builds on that and other solutions and services we've offered to help enable the mass adoption of EVs,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with FLO and invite other networks to participate in similar initiatives that support our philosophy of helping to get every driver behind the wheel of an EV. These experiences are good for EV drivers and simultaneously benefit station owners by increasing utilization of charging spots and opening up opportunities for businesses of all kinds to participate in the new fueling network.”
“As electric mobility continues to gain traction, it is essential that industry leaders work together to optimize the charging experience for the benefit of all EV drivers and stakeholders. FLO has always been at the forefront of innovation, and we take pride in leading the way to make EV charging more accessible and more convenient with this unique roaming service,” said Louis Tremblay, President and CEO of FLO. “This collaboration furthers our engagement to offer the best experience in the EV charging ecosystem, and will ultimately convince more people to choose electric mobility.”
Roaming between the networks is fully operational today through the ChargePoint or FLO mobile apps. To start a session, drivers can simply use their existing network account to locate a charging station, start a session via the app and charge. The participating networks have currently agreed to levy no additional fees for using a visited network's station and all transactions and taxes are handled on the backend according to the respective country’s tax laws, so drivers who roam will have a familiar experience to that of their primary network. At launch, more than 33,000 publicly available charging spots will be available on both networks allowing for more seamless travel throughout North America.
This roaming agreement is based on the Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI) protocol. OCPI is an open protocol that enables network operators to exchange key information needed to provide roaming services, such as charging station location, status and rate. OCPI also streamlines billing settlement, while ensuring the privacy of driver account information.