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Greenlots & ChargePoint Announce ‘Roaming Partnership' For Access to EV Charging

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【Summary】Two of North America’s biggest EV charging site operators, Greenlots and ChargePoint, announced a “roaming partnership” that will enable charging between networks. The deal, which is set to begin in mid-2019, opens up access to thousands of additional EV charging locations throughout North America at no additional cost to drivers.

FutureCar Staff    Dec 26, 2018 4:58 PM PT
Greenlots & ChargePoint Announce ‘Roaming Partnership' For Access to EV Charging

Finding a convenient place to plug-in and charge is a common concern among drivers of electric vehicles. To address this need, two of North America's biggest EV charging site operators, Greenlots and ChargePoint, announced they are partnering to provide customers of either company access to each other's EV charging infrastructure.

The two companies announced a "roaming partnership" that will enable charging between networks. The deal, which is set to begin in mid-2019, opens up access to thousands of additional EV charging locations throughout North America at no additional cost to drivers. In addition, the partnership gives EV drivers much more convenient options for charging their EVs.

As part of the deal, drivers will be able to charge on either ChargePoint or Greenlots networks without paying additional fees or having to create separate accounts or having two apps installed on their smartphones. The partnership enables ChargePoint and Greenlots the ability to provide a more seamless customer experience, as the adoption of electric vehicles accelerates.

Drivers will be able to use the Greenlots or ChargePoint mobile app to locate a nearby charging station, activate a session and pay for it—a familiar experience for users of either network.

Greenlots, which is based in San Francisco, provides businesses a turn-key based EV charging network. The company offers everything from deployment to software that manages the entire EV charging station network.

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"The EV charging industry is experiencing a period of critical growth and evolution," said Lin-Zhuang Khoo, Senior Vice President, Greenlots. "This once-fragmented industry is building momentum towards true driver interoperability thanks to adoption of standards like the Open Charge Point Interface that are beneficial to drivers, automakers, grid operators and charging infrastructure providers. What's particularly encouraging about this positive trend is that it is happening in advance of major policy changes or other external forces—a sign that the EV charging market is maturing in concert with surging customer demand for EVs. The most visible benefit from this advancement will be to drivers: members of both networks can roam in their EVs without the burden of managing multiple accounts or worrying about exorbitant surcharges for charging their vehicle, and more drivers will be enticed to go electric thanks to a new, seamless charging experience."

Silicon Valley-based ChargePoint operates one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) charging networks in the world, with more than 58,000 public and semi-public commercial charging spots.

"The electric mobility revolution is upon us and there is no turning back. For more than a decade, ChargePoint has worked to create an open and accessible network that enables drivers to enjoy an effortless charging experience everywhere they live, work and play," said Michael Hughes, Chief Commercial and Revenue Officer, ChargePoint.

"We are pleased to partner with Greenlots and others in our category to further support the growing EV driver community and help accelerate the mass adoption of electrified transportation on a global scale. We invite other networks to join us in similar partnerships as we seek to make EV charging ubiquitous and the transition to EV seamless as we move quickly to lay the foundation for the fueling network of the future."  

The agreement benefits drivers and businesses by increasing access to essential charging infrastructure. In addition, the more charging solutions that drivers have access to the easier it is to drive electric vehicles, which helps encourage more drivers to switch to EVs.

Industry collaboration is a key for ushering in the next generation of mobility, supporting EV drivers and paving the way for the electrification of transportation. As an added benefit, property owners who manage or install EV charging stations may see an increase in station utilization.

Electric automaker Tesla is taking the opposite approach, at least for now. Tesla's growing Supercharger network is reserved for owners of the company's vehicles, although Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted in a May 2018 earnings call that he might open Tesla's network to other electric automakers in the future.

Musk said that he's open to allowing rival EV manufacturers to configure their vehicles to be able to use Tesla's Superchargers. However, he stipulated that these manufacturers would have to pay their fair share of the costs and would have to either adopt Tesla's plug standard or include an adapter in their vehicles.

This roaming agreement between Greenlots and ChargePoint is based on the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). OCPP is an independent, open protocol that enables network operators to exchange key information needed to provide roaming services. The technology makes it easier to create a large-scale, visible EV charging networks using a range of different charging infrastructure—all powered by a single operating system.

Last month, ChargePoint announced it raised $240 million from Daimler, BMW and others to accelerate their EV charging station deployment.


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