What is EV Roaming?
The concept of EV roaming, or eRoaming, is simple; it delivers the true “charge anywhere” experience. EV owners can charge on the road, across regions and borders on any eMobility service provider’s EV charging network. Similar to the use of a mobile phone service that you can connect to when you cannot connect to the one that you normally use, for example if you are in another country.
Although appearing seamless to consumers, delivering electric vehicle roaming services is profoundly complex, requiring negotiated service and clearing agreements among eMobility providers and charge point operators, comprehensive communications standards, various protocols, and support of multiple languages, currencies, tax rates, and regulations.
eRoaming for EV Drivers
Ideally, with eRoaming, consumers needing on-the-road charging can go to any eMobility service provider’s charging station and charge without hassle. Using an EV charging self-service mobile app, EV drivers can plan their routes based on the availability of EV charging stations, set their reservations, and pay with a single customer account.
The only visible change in the customer experience is that instead of going to their “home” eMobility provider, they charge at an “away” charging site in a location their “home” provider doesn’t cover. The charging transaction is then seamlessly integrated into their monthly invoice by their EMSP.
What’s in it for Electric Vehicle Charging Providers?
eRoaming enables EV charging industry players to directly benefit from the EV market’s exponential growth. CPOs can maximize the number of EV drivers charging at their charge points, when using 3rd party EMSP apps and cards.
EMSPs will optimize their own customers’ charging experiences by enabling seamless and hassle-free charging on multiple charging networks, using their branded mobile app or RFID card.
How to Make EV Roaming Work?
Comprehensive EV roaming capabilities open customer access to an almost unlimited number of charging networks. Making it happen smoothly is exceptionally complex. Customer-facing technology must address the eRoaming experience, with seamless delivery of charging points availability and locations, as well as tariffs and pricing.
There are two technical options when it comes to enabling eRoaming. EV charging providers can leverage general a roaming hub, such as Hubject, GIREVE, or e-clearing.net, or use a peer-to-peer Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI) protocol (OCPI 2.2.1 supports both network-to-network/peer-to-peer communications).
On the back end, eRoaming involves authorizing charging sessions, sharing charge point data, reconciliation of transactions between CPOs and EMSPs, smart charging, and more.
Taking It on the Road
Participating in the eRoaming ecosystem creates a win-win for EV charging service providers and their customers. Each player can leverage its competitive advantages to appeal to an even broader client base, while EV charging customers get the peace of mind with the complete elimination of range anxiety, knowing they can charge anywhere they travel.