Why we need to act now to shape the future of electric vehicle charging
According to Claas Bracklo, Chairman of the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN e.V.), we are reaching a tipping point for EV adoption and the need for a global standard to connect infrastructure and provide a seamless experience for electric vehicle (EV) drivers is more important than ever.
The number of EVs on the road in Europe is expected to grow 25% year-on-year until 20301. A report by the European Court of Auditors found that the required infrastructure to support that (a recommended minimum of one charge point for every ten EVs) is hampered by the varied availability of charging stations between countries, that payment systems are not harmonised with minimum requirements, and that there is inadequate information for users2
We believe the widespread adoption of EVs will play a role in Europe meeting its net zero targets, so it’s vital the EV charging infrastructure keeps pace with the growing uptake and meets consumer expectations. A lack of industry standards for payment acceptance at EV charging points creates barriers for consumers looking to transition to EVs, who are instead expected to install multiple apps for different charging points or simply cannot charge their vehicle at all in some charging points without a required subscription service. The answer? Open-loop and interoperable payments which do not exclude apps or subscription models but improve access for consumers who are able to use a safe and secure payment method which they are used to.
Consistency and simplicity in the consumer experience
Whether you’re taking the metro, hiring an e-scooter, or charging your EV, making payments to get around your city should be as easy as tapping to pay for groceries at the supermarket. Drawing on our experience improving the public transport payments experience in multiple European cities, we’re now taking steps to bring this experience to the EV industry. Visa has become the first organisation in the finance and payments community to become a member of CharIN, the non-profit international charging initiative working with all parts of the e-mobility value chain.
CharIN brings its members together to develop a single international standard, global infrastructure and a secure charging and payment protocol – all crucial elements to easing the transition to EV and encouraging greater adoption. By partnering with CharIN, we’re acknowledging the role we can play in creating payment standards across the European EV charging network.
We’re also launching a consultation among leading European EV charging point manufacturers to identify barriers and solutions to the widespread acceptance of interoperable contactless and digital payments.
Calling on the industry to have its say
Visa has been an active partner in the “traditional” fuel sector, providing payment solutions that deliver seamless and consistent consumer experience across borders. Building on our extensive experience of modernising transport payments across over 100 European urban mobility projects, we’re launching a consultation, asking EV charging point manufacturers and other industry leaders to have their say on the opportunities and challenges in EV charging payments. Not only are we aiming to identify barriers to rolling out fully interoperable payments across the European EV charging network, we also want to drive solutions to make payments at charging stations as simple, fast, and convenient as possible.
We know the demand is there. Consumer preference for contactless and digital payments continues to grow. We have seen open-loop payments systems transform the way people travel around cities by allowing the use of a single card across multiple modes of public transport; we believe harmonised payments can play a similarly vital role in the EV transition. Now is the time to act.
1IEA (2021), Global EV Data Explorer, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/articles/global-ev-data-explorer. All rights reserved.
2European Court of Auditors (2021), Infrastructure for charging electric vehicles: more charging stations but uneven deployment makes travel across the EU complicated, Luxembourg https://op.europa.eu/webpub/eca/special-reports/electrical-recharging-5-2021/en/#chapter11