EV charging network Electrify Canada has just announced the start of a new payment technology meant to make it even easier for users to plug in their EV and get that battery filled up. Plug&Charge allows drivers to do just that. Plugging in and charging without any extra steps or the need to get out their smartphone or their wallet.
The feature lets the electric vehicle communicate with the charger (and the EV charger’s network) for more than just the flow of electrons. Currently, connecting at a fast-charge station requires setting up an account with each individual network and then initiating the charging session through your smartphone or the station. Some networks allow you to tap a credit card.
With Plug&Charge, instead of starting a session with an app, or even tapping the credit card, the car and charger identify your vehicle and your account, and then bill directly for the charging system. Users will need to set up a billing account with their automaker before their first charge session; but after that, you just plug in and charge.
“Besides the obvious environmental reasons to make the switch to an electric vehicle, innovative technologies like Plug&Charge make it even more compelling to drive electric,” said Rob Barrosa, senior director of sales, business development and marketing for Electrify Canada. “With a Plug&Charge account, you simply plug in your EV and the charger handles the financial transaction for an easy and seamless experience, which makes it even more seamless than filling up at the pump.”
Electrify Canada will launch the service with the 2021 Porsche Taycan EV. Other vehicles that are Plug&Charge capable will need to add the payment feature on the automaker side before it can work, with Electrify Canada expecting that to happen later this year.
Plug&Charge is not meant to be charge network specific, so as more networks come onboard, eventually, EV owners will only ever need one charging account. Any current non-Tesla EV owner likely has multiple accounts with multiple providers, which is often a requirement even with no-fee L2 charging. The system works much like Tesla’s Supercharger system, but with support for multiple vehicle makes and charging network systems.
Plug&Charge operates through ISO 15118, ensuring standardisation across the industry. While the Taycan currently supports the Plug&Charge protocol, so does the new Ford Mustang Mach-E. Compatibility is expected to be added through a software update to the Volkswagen ID.4 and Plug&Charge is expected to be added to other upcoming electric vehicles over the next few years.