Currently, there are several different EV charging network companies that have charging stations all around the US and Europe. These charging companies all require EV drivers to have accounts with them and carry the company cards around in their wallets so they can pay for their EV juice. This becomes tedious, annoying and even quite difficult. It can be problematic for EV drivers who need a charge to pull up to a charging station that they don’t have an account with. Well, BMW, as well as others, are aiming to fix this.
BMW is a founding member of the newly formed ROEV (Roaming EV) which plans “EV adoption by facilitating public charging network interoperability.” The whole idea of this is to create a charging network that is conveniently available to all owners of EVs, regardless of which kind. “Driving an EV will be easier thanks to ROEV,” said Simon Lonsdale, chairman of ROEV. “The EV driver’s ability to find, and charge at, any member public station, using an EV charging network account of their choice, is paramount to a simple driving and charging experience,”
Other members of ROEV include Nissan, Audi, Honda and General Electric, as well as others. The main goal is to make charging easier and more convenient for current EV drivers, which will then bring in more future EV drivers, as the idea of charging will be more attractive. The only real monkey wrench in this whole scheme is Tesla, of course.
Tesla Model S owners can go about 200 miles between charges. This means that the majority of Tesla owners just charge at home, as there’s rarely a need to stop off at a charging station. And if they do have to stop, Tesla has a network of Supercharger stations all across the US and Europe. The problem with the Superchargers is that other EVs can’t use its 120 kW charging capabilities. Tesla has given other automakers the opportunity to share its charging network, so long as they cover their end of the costs. But no automaker has taken Tesla up on the offer as of yet.
The ROEV’s goal is to create an interconnected network of charging stations that any and all EV owners can use to charge their vehicles quickly and conveniently. It’s absolutely possible for such things to happen, there just needs to be a bit more support from the rest of the world. Many companies are jumping in on this idea, so hopefully the ROEV’s vision will become a reality quite soon.