Fast charging an electric vehicle is not always so easy. There are many different players that require you to download and use their apps or chips in order to charge. There is a lot to keep track of here.
This has also been criticized from several quarters, among those who have been most enthusiastic here are NAF and the Electric Vehicle Association.
Now Vipps is also joining the discussion. Vipps CEO Rune Garborg wrote a factual account of the case. You can read it below, after the log there is also a comment from NAF:
On Thursday, the government presented its new charging strategy for fast charging of electric vehicles. Central to the strategy is that all new charging stations must require card payment for electric vehicles from 2023. The proposal will now be put out for consultation.
We hope that the government will use this time to assess the role that digital payment solutions can play in the new strategy, which are simpler, cheaper and more climate- and consumer-friendly solutions than building several thousand new carpet towers.
The main objective of the strategy is to establish clear frameworks that ensure easy-to-use fast charging for electric drivers in Norway. You need at least 10 to 15 apps on your phone to avoid worrying about whether you can charge your car battery at the next charging station.
Everyone knows that this is difficult in practice. At the same time, there are more digital solutions that will simplify the daily lives of electric vehicle drivers than the carpet alternative the government wants to look for.
A little environmentally friendly climate
Today, there is express shipping in more than 5,300 charging points in Norway. Only 100 of them offer card payment. There is another reason for this. The required infrastructure is very expensive to develop, install and maintain.
Nor is it climate-friendly to put thousands of new carpet towers made of metal and concrete into the country’s freight stations. If one nevertheless decides to build carpet towers, there is little to suggest that the payment will be contactless. The carpet limit is NOK 500. With today’s electricity prices, most people have to rely on entering their PIN code to charge the battery up to 80 percent. The requirement to pay by card will also delay the planned and future development of charging stations.
One could also ask whether it is fair that shipping companies that were early on in introducing fast freight, in line with the desires of current and previous governments to increase freight capacity, should be penalized for sitting on outdated infrastructure that now needs to be modernized.
An equally important argument against the introduction of carpets as standard in freight stations must be what people believe. A new NAF survey shows that most Norwegians They prefer to pay with their mobile phones. Almost one in three prefers to scan a QR code and pay with Vipps.
Shipping companies Mer and Eviny opened to pay Vipps before the summer. This means that the driver no longer needs to be a customer of the shipping company that owns the charging station. Simply scan the QR code on the sticker at the charging point, insert the charging cable into the car, pay with Vipps, and start charging. The number of customers dropping off at these charging stations has skyrocketed. In half a year, Vipps express charge payments have become a reality.
Clear forests in the application forest
4.3 million Norwegians have Vipps, and it is by far the most used payment app in the country. So Vipps can and should be part of the solution to the problem. On the other hand, large carpet towers are neither the simplest, cheapest, most climate-friendly and consumer-friendly nor the payment solution most Norwegians want.
The feedback from Norwegian electric car drivers is unambiguous. The application forest must be removed. We welcome multiple payment methods such as blankets. But the solution should not be to build thousands of new carpet towers, as proposed in the new freight strategy. Especially when Norway already has a well-functioning, cheap and climate-friendly solution that only requires you to stick orange stickers with QR codes on existing charging points.
– It should be easier
Nils Soudal is a Senior Communications Consultant at NAF. He has this comment on Garborg’s history:
Requiring card readers to be modified on existing chargers will delay the necessary development of fast chargers down the road. Most older chargers must be replaced if such a requirement arises, and this will take several years. It is critical to use time and resources to develop more and faster chargers.
Paying to charge an electric vehicle should be easier when you’re on the road. This problem can be easily fixed, companies that offer fast and light shipping should open up their systems, so people can use an app for everyone, Soudal says.
Used to pay digitally
This fall, the European Union Parliament decided to introduce open digital charging from 2027. This means that all charging operators must open up their computer systems so that car owners can choose an app to pay their charging fees. This is a better solution than cards for two reasons in particular: First, shipping will be very easy not only in Norway, but all over Europe.
Secondly, it is the first step on the road for motorists who do not need an app or card to charge. Open digital charging is the key to what is called “plug and charge”. When it comes, the car and charging station will even out the financial balance between them. All you have to do is connect the charger. Without open systems, it wouldn’t be “delivery and ship”. So politicians should instead adopt a requirement that freight operators must open their systems rather than forcing card payments.
Sødal believes customers have simply become accustomed to paying digitally:
Politicians should also ensure that simple digital payment solutions are in place for charging electric vehicles. We don’t have to wait until 2027 like the European Union. We can do that now. If there is a need to unlock computer systems, this can be done with a few keystrokes on all shipping operators.
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