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REA launches new service to help facilitate EV roaming

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

A new service supporting communication between chargepoint operators with roaming agreements has been launched by Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL) and the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA).

EV Roam works by registering unique identification codes to be used by chargepoint operators and e-mobility service providers, something that the REA said is “crucial” for those using the open protocol OCPI to communicate.

This communication occurs due to the nature of roaming being chargepoint operators signing agreements to allow electric vehicle (EV) drivers that have a membership with one to charge on any network using that membership.

EV Roam will act as the UK’s ID Registration Organisation, operating in line with the EU’s IDACS 2019 agreement.

Octopus Energy, Drivenergy and Zap-Map have already signed up the service, with the latter using it to facilitate its Zap-Pay service.

Zap-Pay was launched last month, allowing EV drivers to use a single app to pay for charging across different networks.

Other interoperability platforms have also been recently launched, including one launched under Octopus’ Electric Juice umbrella.

This follows a number of roaming agreements being signed by chargepoint operators, with industry and regulation placing more emphasis on the concept. In January, the EV Energy Taskforce highlighted the need for increased interoperability, proposing that roaming should be enabled by the end of 2021 to deliver a “seamless” EV charging experience.

Virginia Graham, chief executive of REAL, said the company is in "an ideal position to provide this important service", with any profits from EV Roam to be recycled back into the organisation "so we can grow other schemes crucial to the growth of the sector".

The REA and REAL launched the Electric Vehicle Consumer Code together earlier this year, which Graham said "sets and enforces high standards for domestic charge point installers."

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive at the REA, said: "The REA’s EV Forum has campaigned for greater uptake of roaming for the past eighteen months. We welcome the emergence of this service and hope to see widespread industry engagement with it.”

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