Electric car charging in America just got a little bit easier
At the risk of sounding like a stuck record (or perhaps a looped .mp3 file, since this is 2019), infrastructure matters when it comes to getting people to switch to an electric vehicle. The best electric vehicle in the world is still just a paperweight on wheels if you can't recharge it before you get to your destination, after all. It's something that Tesla has excelled at with its Supercharger network, both in geographical coverage and also ease of use.
Life with an EV from any other OEM is a bit more complicated when it comes to public chargers. There may be many more CCS and CHAdeMO DC fast-charging locations in the US than Tesla Supercharger stations (according to data from the US Department of Energy) but they're split across multiple different service providers. That usually means signing up for multiple accounts and carrying multiple RFID fobs, particularly if you're trying to drive long distance.
But on Tuesday, things got a little easier. ChargePoint and Electrify America, two of the leading US EV charging networks, just announced a roaming partnership. Starting later this year, if you're a ChargePoint member, you can use that account to charge at Electrify America chargers, and vice versa.
As you might expect, both companies are excited about this tie-up. "Partnerships like this make transitioning to electric drive easier than continuing to use fossil fuels. Our agreement is another example of cross-industry collaboration and underscores the importance of working together to support this transformation of mobility," said ChargePoint CEO and President Pat Romano.
"With the two largest EV charging service providers in the US reaching this agreement, we can help expedite electric vehicle adoption by creating a seamless and reliable charging experience for consumers," agreed President and CEO of Electrify America Giovanni Palazzo.
Earlier this month, Electrify America also revealed that it now has more than 120 DC fast charging stations operational at Walmarts across the country, located in 34 states.