A collection of European electric vehicle (EV) charging point providers have agreed to open up their networks across the UK in a roaming partnership.
Due to be established by the end of 2019, the partnership means EV drivers in the UK will require only a single subscription from any of nine operators to access their public charging stations.
The three companies that initially proposed the tie-up – Allego, EVBox and NewMotion - have been joined by Chargemap, ChargePoint, Charge4Europe, Engenie, Franklin Energy and Travelcard and are encouraging other operators to participate.
The agreement will also result in the operators sharing charging station information - such as electricity cost and charger status - to improve the charging experience for EV drivers.
The UK has been well behind the European curve for charger interoperability. Such agreements found in countries such as the Netherlands, France and Germany are credited with significant growth of EV sales there.
It's claimed that the new system will benefit business users as much as private users, allowing companies to manage all of their billing and reimbursement from their vehicle users in one account. That could, in theory, help EVs become a more mainstream selection for fleet managers.
Christopher Burghardt, managing director for Europe at ChargePoint, 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's also another example of how collaboration across the industry is key to a greener, more sustainable electric future.”
The partnership comes soon after one of the top makers of charging points, Swiss-based ABB, called the adoption of common charging and payment standards a vital step towards widespread EV take-up.