ChargePoint and Ecotality Pledge Common Access and Billing Process for EV Charging
EV drivers should be able to charge on any charging network nationwide. That’s the critical mission statement of a new collaboration between ChargePoint and Ecotality, the two largest car charging networks in the United States. The companies today announced the collaboration in a joint press release.
The news should be warmly received by electric car owners who currently have to carry a wallet full of charging network membership cards, and never have full confidence that the closest charging station can be easily used.
ChargePoint and Ecotality (which operates the Blink network) will form an entity called Collaboratev, LLC, that will enable charging network interoperability, exchange session data and allow financial billing reconciliation services among electric vehicle charging networks. The new company will actively encourage other charging network providers to join as affiliates and enable EV drivers throughout the United States to seamlessly charge among all affiliated charging networks. ChargePoint and ECOtality will connect the ChargePoint and Blink networks to Collaboratev later this year.
Collaboratev will create common authentication credentials for participating charging stations, and enable one bill for all charging usage. Data about charging station locations will be aggregated into a single source.
"The creation of a vendor-agnostic payment processing and authentication system for EV charging would alleviate consumer concern of being tied to one charging network and would therefore make electric vehicles more attractive to mainstream vehicle buyers," said John Gartner, research director of smart transportation at Pike Research and a contributor to PluginCars.com.
ChargePoint and ECOtality have committed to connecting their respective networks to Collaboratev before the end of 2013. When completed, it will form the single largest charging network in the country with approximately 14,000 charging spots across the United States and Canada.
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