Thought Leadership

How should the EU roll out 1 million public charging stations?


Written by Koen Noyens

Over the next 5 years the EU aims to roll out 1 million public charging stations. An ambitious yet necessary goal for a growing sector. Beyond the number of stations lies a hidden challenge. How do we achieve this scale as a harmonized EV infrastructure market?

The EV charging landscape is largely fractured but businesses need to look beyond national borders the same way drivers do. The goal must be to give every EV driver the same access to 1 million charging stations across the continent.

Naturally, this comes with challenges, local, national and international charging networks need to work together. The situation today is not future proof – the interoperability is not in place.

The industry needs policymakers to protect consumer interests and therefore enable the establishment of an open EV infrastructure market. This can be achieved by promoting interoperability and ensuring that the operation and access to publicly accessible charging stations are supported by open standards and protocols.


How do we ensure that EV drivers get smooth access?

1. Enable roaming

EV Roaming relies on commercial agreements between MSPs and CPOs enabled via an EV charging management platform. It allows drivers to move from one network to another and receive the same level of service. The Open ChargePoint Interface (OCPI) protocol supports connections between Mobility Service Providers and Charge Point Operators. Its aims to accelerate the market for EV drivers and improve mobility services. The goals of OCPI are to simplify, standardize and harmonize.

Through a harmonious open roaming network, drivers will benefit from a higher level of independence, at the lowest possible cost. Today, the large majority of charging service providers already use this protocol and provide access to over 200,000 publicly available charging points.

2. Interoperability between hardware and software

Publicly accessible charging infrastructure should never be locked into an equipment or network provider, commercially or technically. Interoperability should therefore be at the core of any hardware or software requirement for public stations.

The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) underpinsinteroperability between charging stations and charging network software used by operators. Being OCPP certified encourages charging station manufacturers and network providers to compete on price, service, product features, and innovation. The end result brings significant benefits to EV drivers as charging infrastructure expands across Europe.


Customer centricity is key

Most importantly, the EV driver shouldn’t be worried about interoperabiltiy. It is the industry and policymaker’s responsibility to solve this. The EV driver just needs to be safe in the knowledge that they can travel, and can charge anywhere.

By adopting the right interoperability framework, EU policymakers can contribute to an expansion of networks and allow CPOs and EMSPs to exchange infrastructure data, whilst reducing technical barriers for new entrants.

All in all, by setting up open and connected networks it will not only be possible for EVs to charge at over 1 million stations, but it will also accelerate sustainable, customer-centric investment across landowners and fleet operators.

Everon is working with EU policymakers to ensure we get right interoperability framework in place so the policy focus can quickly move to elevating new solutions that solve our pressing clean mobility and energy challenges. If you’d like to learn more about this topic reach out to our team via our contact page.

Together we can help Europe roll out 1 million stations.