Dive Brief:

  • Electrify America and ChargePoint announced a “roaming partnership” on Tuesday to allow customers of each electric vehicle (EV) charging network to charge on either network with a single account and no additional fees.
  • The companies say the partnership will connect more than 30,000 Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers across the United States, and that roaming agreements are essential to expanding access to chargers as EV adoption rises.
  • ChargePoint announced a similar partnership with Canadian network Flo last year, expanding customer access on both sides of the border. Electrify America has similar arrangements with EV ConnectSemaConnect and Greenlots.

Dive Insight:

Charging companies say they are helping make it easier for consumers to go electric by integrating their networks and “adding significant public access.” At the same time, the agreements can help boost station utilization and project economics.

Roaming agreements “are key to expanding access to electric vehicle charging nationwide, as a wave of new electric vehicles are expected to hit the market in the coming years,” Electrify America and ChargePoint said in a statement. 

While EVs remain a small fraction of cars in the United States, adoption rates are expected to grow rapidly as charging infrastructure spreads and battery prices fall. The Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, last year projected 7 million of the zero-emissions vehicles will be on U.S. roads by 2025. 

Globally, Bloomberg New Energy Finance says EVs will represent 28% of light-duty vehicle sales sometime shortly after 2025.

“With the two largest EV charging service providers in the U.S. reaching this agreement, we can help expedite electric vehicle adoption by creating a seamless and reliable charging experience for consumers,” Electrify America President and CEO Giovanni Palazzo said in a statement.

Analysts at IHS Markit echoed those sentiments, saying charging roaming **can we delete ‘roaming’ here?** interoperability will “play a major role in pushing EV adoption.”

“As much as these partnerships prove beneficial for EV users, interoperability brings about a lot of dividends for operators themselves,” the firm said in a May blog post. “With more users ― compared to captive customer base using the charger ― there is increased charger utilization leading to better economics and faster return on investments for charging point operators.”