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Alliance Urges ‘Roaming’ Standards For Electric-Car Charging Payments

Electric-car charging stations at Target in Fremont, CA [photo by Wilson F. via ChargePoint Network]
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Electric car charging stations are cropping up in many public places, but accessing them can be difficult.

That’s because most charging stations are operated by proprietary networks, which often require drivers to set up an account beforehand, and validate each charging session with a card or other proof of membership.

The newly-formed Open Charge Alliance hopes to change that.

The Alliance is a partnership of charging infrastructure companies; it replaces the similar Open Charge Point Protocol Forum. As the name implies, the organization’s goal is to create open electric car charging networks.

The open network concept, also known as “roaming,” would allow electric car drivers to join one network, but access the charging stations of other networks. It’s similar to the way cell phone users roam from their native networks to others depending on available coverage.

The Alliance says this type of network will give electric car drivers the same freedom normal drivers enjoy at the gas pump. They would be able to pull up to any station, regardless of which network operates it, and charge.
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