EV charging operators urged to improve interoperability
Matt Western MP, Chair of the APPG on Electric Vehicles has called upon the UK’s largest public charge points to prioritise consumer experience through interoperability.
Current EV drivers face managing multiple apps, cards and accounts in order to navigate the UK’s public EV charging ecosystem and there is an urgent need for industry-led collaboration to simplify this experience.
Matt Western MP highlights how Ecotricity, POD Point and BP Chargemaster are “leaders in the field” by being first-movers in the deployment of public charging infrastructure in the UK, but currently their networks all need separate means of access, while payments and the driver’s information about their charging event cannot be seen in one place. He is therefore calling on them to build on this reputation by introducing interoperability.
This letter comes eight months after the REA published its report on The Interoperability of Public Charging Infrastructure in the UK, which has spurred multiple operators to sign up to roaming hubs or make direct agreements between each other so as to make payments and information about charging history more seamless for drivers. Despite the report advocating for the industry to be able to coordinate public charging regulation themselves, the Government has made it clear that they will intervene if the market does not deliver a ‘a good deal for consumers’.
Commenting on the letter, Matt Western MP said: “The move from fossil fuel to electric vehicles (EV) has given us a historic opportunity to decarbonise our transport system and improve air quality. As we face increasingly rapid take-up of these vehicles in the 2020’s, it is imperative that the groundwork to facilitate a seamless driving experience is laid today.
“Introducing interoperability is a prime example of committing to a small change now that will encourage EV adoption and significantly improve the day to day life of EV drivers going forward. I commend these operators for their leadership to date in deploying charging infrastructure and would welcome any decision by them to take action on this issue.”