It's been nearly a year since we spoke with EVPassport, a startup EV charging app that had promised network interoperability as well as unlimited public EV charging for only $39 per month.
At the time, it sounded too good to be true to us, and we also heard that sentiment from our readers in the comment section of the article. Well, EVPassport was never able to deliver on its original promise, but the company didn't just go away.
Instead, it reinvented itself and is now providing the hardware and an open software platform, creating an open public charging network for EV drivers. So we reached out to EVPassport CEO and co-founder Aaron Fisher to learn more about the new EVPassport network.
Some networks were not very happy about us offering a service on top of their existing networks. Another part was during testing, we realized the reliability of the chargers on some networks was not good enough. - Aaron Fisher, CEO and Co-founder, EVPassport on why the company moved away from its original business model
Open for business
EVPassport's new business model is an interoperable network with open REST API sets for location information, real-time availability, billing rates, and more. The API-driven platform enables developers to integrate live EVPassport chargers directly into their applications, electric vehicle dashboards, services, and more, to control the user experience and drive brand engagement.
EVPassport leverages API integrations to enable charging on any network without having to have a pre-established network account. Users aren't required to download an app or use an RFID card in order to pay to charge their vehicles.
Another attractive aspect of EVPassport is the hardware is extremely simple and that has kept the cost down. Every charger is internet-connected and extremely affordable. Fisher compared his level 2 chargers to those on the ChargePoint network explaining that ChargePoint's single-head level 2 charging station costs about $4,000, and EVPassport's comparable solution costs only $1,000.
So we regrouped and took underlying parts of our technology and said Ok, what's something better that we could build that is beneficial to EV drivers, that still solves these core problems. - Aaron Fisher, CEO and Co-founder, EVPassport
Plug&Charge on Steriods
Using an EVPassport charging station couldn't be easier. You simply scan the QR code on the station and pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay.
EVPassport has its own software layer that works across all electric vehicles and identifies the vehicle upon plugging in. The vehicle doesn't even need to be Plug&Charge compatible. Once you've used the network you can request that it remembers your vehicle and your chosen payment method.
If you do so, the next time you plug into another EVPassport charger - any of them, the software will remember you and automatically begin charging the vehicle and billing your pre-selected payment method.
EVPassport also integrates ISO 15118 Plug&Charge so customers that have Plug&Charge equipped EVs can choose to utilize that authentication and payment process if they prefer.
A core belief of EVPassport is open access. We believe drivers should be able to access paid EV chargers without downloading apps and establishing accounts.
We also believe developers should be able to build charging solutions right on top of a live EV charging network.
EVPassport also sounds like a pretty good deal for site operators. In addition to offering the 32-amp (7.7 kW) Ezra charger for a very reasonable $999.00, the ongoing fees are also less than what most other networks charge.
The company charges a $99.00 annual network for the management software, integration with Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Plugshare, as well as the LTE connectivity on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. They then charge a 15% cut of the revenue the station generates. Fisher also told me that the company also plans to introduce a 19.2 kW unit in the near future.
EVPassport chargers are all equipped with LTE and are payment-enabled, making them out-of-the-box ready for use in commercial applications. Site operators have the option of getting custom branded hardware with API-powered software that easily integrates with their existing infrastructure.
We're working on getting an Ezra charger to review and check out how simple or hard it is to set up and use. Until then, let us know what questions you have about EVPassort in the comment section below and we'll try to get answers to all of your questions.