From: Brad Berman, Clean Techies, More from this Affiliate
Published October 12, 2013 07:34 AM

Time to standardize EV charging in America

Hard data collected from plug-in vehicle owners shows that the majority of EV charging takes place at home. Still, the ability to charge an electric car along the road—even if infrequent—can extend the distance each car can travel over the course of a day.


Unfortunately, the public charging landscape is littered with complications and inconveniences brought on by multiple standards and incompatibilities between different vehicles and charge providers. Imagine if each brand of gas station required its own subscription, and each brand of car was compatible only with a certain type of gas nozzle.

It can be a major headache for plug-in owners. It's also one of the main challenges that needs to be solved before public charging stations can provide drivers with the same convenience offered today by gas stations.

There are a number of ways to pay for public charging. Some services offer subscriptions while others allow users to pay for individual charges with a credit card. Most of these services are incompatible with one another, meaning that many EV drivers are forced to carry a pocketful of subscription cards.

Thankfully, a group called the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) is looking to change that—by pressuring charge providers to adopt a single open standard for networks. In Europe, most public chargers employ the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), which has been put into use at more than 10,000 stations in nearly 50 countries. So far, the United States has rejected such a standard.

Photo credit R. Greenway, ENN.

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