Think of how your phone can ‘roam’ when abroad, working with a different network without needing a different account. That’s how EV interoperability would work, along with clear, standard labelling allowing you to clearly see the price of using any given charging point.
It would be a huge boost to EV owners and would massively simplify the process of recharging – which remains a barrier to buying an EV for many.
Will it happen? Technically, it’s quite simple, as bosses from ABB, a major EV charging point producer, told me earlier this year. The challenges lie in agreeing a standard and persuading companies to share the data necessary to make the process work.
That’s a harder task; in the modern world, data is a hugely valuable commodity, while charging firms that have exclusive rights to key locations will be reluctant to, in effect, allow rival firms to use them.
And that’s where this report will surely help. It may have no legislative power, but it is a series of 21 common-sense proposals (it also covers areas such as smart charging and promoting EVs) made with the backing of governments, regulators, energy companies and car firms.
The solution is simple and obvious, but getting there will require the impetus and commitment of all those bodies to agree and implement a set of common standards. Doing so, though, will make charging an EV simpler and easier for drivers.
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