The UK utility Octopus Energy launched a new roaming charging service, which will allow EV drivers to access multiple charging networks with one account. Unaffiliated customers can also use the Electric Juice Network scheme.
Electric Juice was born last year as an effort to improve tariff systems and provide smart analytics and has grown to the point that Octopus now supplies a third of the markets charge point networks, according to the company’s statements. Octopus Energy at the moment enables access through the Char.gy network but says other roaming agreements are soon to follow. These plans include expansion into Europe. International expansion will begin with Germany, where operations have already started on a small scale, as well as an app under development to cement the userbase.
Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy, is convinced the charging market is ready for overhaul: “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.” The consolidation of costs and payment structures is also an argument for third-party users who do not wish to sign up for Octopus Energy.
The company offers billing through one bill and “adds them to your Octopus Energy bill if you’re an existing customer. For non-Octopus customers, you can still use the service to ensure you’re able to track (and pay) in one simple way,” explains Jackson.
For Octopus it is the first foray into B2C business in a way but not the first step into the charging market. The green energy provider also works with Ionity to supply power to the JV’s high power charging stations in the UK. For the cooperation with Char.gy, the young company specialises in on-street charging such as lamp posts. They claim to have installed 250 such sites across the country to date with the latest roll-out having started in London as reported.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.
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