EVPassport unveiled a tool that helps drivers find charger locations and click directly through to start a charging session without having to download an additional app or create a separate account.
An electric vehicle company has debuted the first open charging platform that will help address one of the industry’s thorniest problems: siloed systems. EVPassport announced a tool that would centralize electric vehicle charging networks into one single platform, making it easier for users to find charging locations, top up balances and manage accounts from one place.
“We founded EVPassport with two fundamental goals: provide the most seamless EV charging experience for drivers possible; and empower brands to control and enhance customer engagement,” said Aaron Fisher, CEO and co-founder of EVPassport.
“Our API driven approach significantly reduces the barriers to electric vehicle adoption and increases the incentive for retail, hospitality, CRE and consumer-facing brands to install EV chargers and advance the global sustainability movement.”
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Electric vehicle buyers often complain about the systems of chargers available in the United States, and studies have shown it is one of the most persistent issues keeping many people from buying an electric vehicle.
Each electric vehicle company has its own software, own platform, own brand of chargers and more, making it difficult to switch brands or locate chargers while you’re on the road. In an interview, Fisher said his company wanted to “significantly lower the barriers to EV adoption, and allow brands to control and strengthen customer engagement.”
Fisher said his idea for the company came when he was driving from his home in New York City to visit his grandmother in Hartford, Connecticut.
ChargePoint, Electrify America, Blink, Greenlots and other networks required Aaron to download their apps, create accounts, top-up balances, and use either apps or key fobs to unlock their chargers.
The frustrating experience turned a relatively short trip into a seven hour ordeal as Fisher dealt with multiple layers of hardware and software failures. Fisher, who has previously worked for Twitter, Square and in the administration of former President Barack Obama, wanted to create an interoperable network with open REST API sets for location information, real-time availability, billing rates and more.
He explained that through EVPassport’s Google Maps integration, drivers can see charger locations and click directly through to start a charging session without having to download an additional app or create a separate provider account.
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The platform, which leverages APIs, enables developers to integrate live EV chargers directly into their applications, electric vehicle dashboards, services, and more to control the user experience and drive brand engagement.
Fisher added that the platform involves both Level 2 and Level 3, with EVPassport selling and installing both Level 2 and Level 3 chargers. Its open API and integrations are across all speeds of chargers it installs, he said.
“EVPassport combines brandable charging hardware with an API-powered software platform that enables businesses to deliver a seamless paid charging experience to their customers. There are only a few variables when it comes to EV charging hardware: cost, charging speed and connectors,” Fisher explained.
“The real benefit of our product is our ability to couple affordable charging hardware with our unique open platform, which empowers purpose-driven organizations to establish themselves as leaders in EV charging.”
All electric vehicles utilize either the J1772 or Tesla connector for Level 2 EV chargers, he said, and EVPassport’s hardware is equipped with the standardized J1772 connector as well as an adapter that enables Tesla compatibility.
Fisher partnered with experts at Newlab, and the company has installed EVPassport chargers at its headquarters in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard.
In a statement, Newlab CEO Shaun Stewart said the platform has “increased brand engagement and generated revenue immediately, while providing a seamless experience to Newlab members.”
“When we were looking to deploy EV charging stations on our properties, EVPassport’s open APIs and universal availability made the company the obvious choice,” Stewart said.
“Additionally, the EVPassport team supported us through our NYSERDA rebate pre-approval process, which covers the cost of the hardware, software and installation. It enables us to increase brand engagement and generate revenue immediately, while providing a seamless experience to our members.”
Oleg Logvinov, CEO of electric vehicle smart charging technology provider IoTecha, said there are somewhat similar systems and ideas available or emerging right now, but that it was important for the future of the industry that more efforts be made to standardize the charging process.
“Standardized charging is well positioned to deliver the same impact as IBM PC platform had created for personal computing. Simplicity of the experience, lower costs, huge volumes,” he said.
Fisher said his goal is to facilitate the mass adoption of electric vehicles in a way that builds a better future, not a more complicated one.
“Every other EV charging network in the United States requires drivers to download different mobile apps, create separate accounts and maintain top-up balances for each. We hope our vision of easily accessible, app-less charging, becomes the norm,” he said.
“Open data and integrations play an important role in a more seamless future, and we believe open access leads to innovation that will help solve our climate crisis.”