ChargePoint, Ecotality Form EV Interoperability Company

by | Mar 11, 2013

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Electric vehicle charging companies ChargePoint and Ecotality have formed a new company, Collaboratev, that they say will make it easier for drivers to access EV charging stations on any network.

Collaboratev will enable charging network interoperability, exchange session data and allow financial billing reconciliation services among EV charging networks.

The new company will actively encourage other charging network providers to join as affiliates and enable EV drivers throughout the US to seamlessly charge at all affiliated charging networks, the firms said. ChargePoint and Ecotality will connect their ChargePoint and Blink networks to Collaboratev later this year.

Collaboratev’s objectives include:

  • Provide EV drivers with easy access to participating charging stations using common authentication credentials.
  • Enable one bill for all charging usage.
  • Accurately provide aggregated EV charging station location data.
  • Utilize open national interoperability standards.

John Gartner, research director of smart transportation at Pike Research, says a vendor agnostic payment processing and authentication system for EV charging would make electric vehicles more attractive to mainstream buyers.

A Pike Research report published in late 2012 said DBT and ChargePoint lead the EV supply equipment market. The report named Ecotality as a contender, meaning it had not yet captured a significant market share, but scored well in strategy because it has the resources to invest in product development. ChargePoint and DBT partnered in January to offer joint charging stations.

ChargePoint and Ecotality partnered with Kohl’s Department Stores and Duke Energy to expand Kohl’s EV charging station initiative with 30 new stations across 15 additional locations by the end of fall 2012.

Also in 2012, Ecotality surpassed 1 million EV residential charge events at its Blink chargers and began offering its Blink smart charging stations free to commercial host sites and residents of Chicago, Atlanta and the greater Philadelphia area as part of the company’s expansion of The EV Project, a Department of Energy public-private research initiative aimed at developing a national EV infrastructure.

ChargePoint entered the Atlanta market with the installation of networked EV charging stations last month.

The global EV supply equipment market will increase from fewer than 200,000 units sold in 2012 to almost 2.4 million in 2020, according to a report from Pike Research, which says 2011 and 2012 saw the plug-in EV transition into full commercialization, resulting in major growth in EV supply equipment.

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