The US wants EV charging to be like filling up for gas. Will we get there?
Could charging at EV stations ever be comparable to filling up at a gas station? That’s what the current US administration is betting on as they release a new blueprint for EV charging infrastructure to be “user-friendly, reliable, and accessible to all Americans”.
Following ambitious spending on EV charging within the US through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, the focus on better minimum standards is a welcome sight for wider EV adoption and sustainability goals. If the program is successful, fairness and wider access in EV charging could now be within reach in the US.
The Department of Transportation also stated that new proposals should be geared towards interoperability between different charging companies. Known as roaming for EVs, interoperability has been a key plank of our work at eDRV. In short, our charging stations shouldn’t judge what cars we drive. For this to happen our systems and operating tools need to be as open and as accessible as possible to ensure that cars can choose any network that drivers want.
Making sure all players have a seat at the table, both big and small, will be the difference between realizing the ambitions of fairplay and wide access for EV charging or whether the dream remains a bridge too far.
Though the new announcement shows the right intention, what’s less clear is whether the US administration can get all the players within EV charging to play nicely. Major networks like Tesla had initially been lukewarm on the Government’s desire to open up their EV charging for non-Tesla cars. Tesla has since opened up their network for trials in Europe and it remains to be seen if the same pilot might be run in the US.
We’ve previously spoken about how a successful interoperability strategy needs to coordinate among the business, government and tech sectors. Making sure all players have a seat at the table, both big and small, will be the difference between realizing the ambitions of fairplay and wide access for EV charging or whether the dream remains a bridge too far.
This applies to payment systems and pricing information as well as customers will be looking for greater transparency and choices when it comes replicating the “gas station experience”.
Transparency has been an important component of the eDRV platform as network operators can easily determine rates, payment and voucher options to keep their client’s cars filled (as well as their wallet).
With openness and transparency being key principles to follow on the road to wider EV adoption, eDRV is committed to both when building our EV charging platform. Our open APIs provide customers with a number of features like webhooks and the use of widely used apps like Google Maps to transparently share information on their networks with other providers. Customers are also free to choose different payment methods and even entire payment gateways to provide the best customer experience for EV drivers.