Octopus Energy is expanding the services offered under its Electric Juice brand with the launch of a new roaming service.
The Electric Juice Network is to offer EV drivers a single way to pay for charging, spanning both home charging and public charging.
Drivers will pay through their Octopus account across multiple partner charging networks – the first of which to be announced is lamppost charging company Char.gy – with costs appearing on a single bill.
Octopus intends to add new partners to the network, which will be available to any electric car driver regardless of if they are an Octopus Energy customer.
The network is designed to address the issue of interoperability between public charging networks, a concern highlighted most recently in the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce’s report, which suggested that roaming should be enabled by the end of 2021 to deliver a “seamless” EV charging experience.
EV charging networks Pod Point, Ecotricity and BP Chargemaster came under fire last October over not enabling roaming on their networks, however Ecotricity and Pod Point argued that roaming agreements are “not really relevant” in light of contactless payments.
However, with the launch of this new service, Octopus is clearly championing roaming, with Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy stating that electric vehicle drivers have "rightly long-complained that public charge points can be a real hassle, and it’s hard to keep track of costs, as every network runs on a unique app or card basis".
Electric Juice was first launched in March 2019 to offer four green energy tariffs for transportation businesses, including fleets and charge point networks. It offered a non half-hourly starter tariff, a fixed three-tiered tariff, a half hourly custom-built tariff and the Agile tariff.
The company now supplies a third of the market’s charge point networks, it said.
Richard Stobart, Char.gy CEO, said the company is “delighted” to be working with Octopus to allow its customers to have one consolidated energy bill, adding that by "working closely with Octopus Energy we were able to rapidly prototype the solution".