Charging operators plan roaming agreement in the UK
A group of Europe’s leading smart charging providers have signed a letter of intent pledging to open their networks for EV drivers in the UK through a roaming partnership.
When implemented by the end of the year, the agreement will mean EV drivers in the UK only require a single subscription to access public charging stations operated by any of the signatories, which which include Allego, EVBox and NewMotion, together with Chargemap, ChargePoint, Charge4Europe, Engenie, Franklin Energy and Travelcard.
In addition to accepting each other’s subscribers, the operators will share charging station information, making it easier for users to see where and if a charge point is available and what a charging session will cost at the specific charge point.
The agreements between charge point operators are based on the Open Charge Point Interface, a standardised and open-source protocol that is commonly used in the charging industry in Europe. Other interested charge point operators and mobility service providers will be welcomed to participate in this initiative.
The UK's EV charging infrastructure currently trails behind other European markets in terms of interoperability agreements. At present, EV drivers need memberships to multiple different operators. Agreements in markets such as the Netherlands, France and Germany have been credited with fuelling the switch over to EVs.
It is estimated that by 2025 there will need to be at least 1.2 million public charging stations in Europe to meet the growing demand.
Speaking on the announcement, Matt Western, MP for Warwick & Leamington, stated:
“As Chair of the APPG on Electric Vehicles, I support this move – which will make it easier for drivers to charge up their electric vehicles, and therefore, make the purchase and maintenance of them more accessible to consumers and the wider public.
"The climate emergency is a global issue – and cutting our emissions is a vital solution to this pressing problem. It is a positive step that companies in different countries are working together to create a better charging experience for everybody.
"I have long believed that the country needs a National Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy to deal with issues around accessibility. This announcement from the collaborating parties in e-mobility is absolutely a step in the right direction.”
Christopher Burghardt, Managing Director, Europe at ChargePoint, Inc., said:
“This agreement is a significant step in the expansion of access to public charging, improving the driver experience, and helping to make the switch to e-mobility more seamless for UK drivers. Roaming agreements not only allow us to expand our global footprint, it is also another example of how collaboration across the industry is key to a greener, more sustainable electric future.”