In a world where having easy access to an electric car charge point is becoming increasingly more important, to a current or a potential plug-in car driver, the news that a major player in the UK has terminated a roaming agreement with a rival has left drivers distinctly confused.
The Charge Your Car (CYC) Network had an arrangement with Dutch business NewMotion, a new entrant to the UK market. This arrangement allowed NewMotion card holders seamless access to another providers network, thus providing peace of mind and less cards to carry around. In January CYC was purchased by the larger Chargemaster group as the BMW backed outfit sweeps up smaller providers.
In an email to customers NewMotion laid out the facts, making it quite clear to the reader it is not happy about this move…
Charge Your Car has terminated its roaming agreement with NewMotion. This termination will affect approximately 1500 charging points in the UK.
Following a cooperation that lasted slightly over two years, Chargemaster, which now owns the Charge Your Car network, has revoked its existing roaming agreement with NewMotion. The result of this decision is that EV drivers with a NewMotion charge card can no longer charge their vehicle at any Charge Your Car/Chargemaster operated charge points.
NewMotion’s UK Country Manager, Sander van der Veen said:
“NewMotion believes that for EV to become truly successful in the UK it is necessary to create an open charging network where drivers can charge their vehicle at any charge point with a single card or app. The priority should be on creating a seamless charging experience for all EV drivers that allows them to have a convenient journey. We, therefore, regret Chargemaster’s decision to revoke our roaming agreement and the inconvenience this may bring.”
NewMotion operates a charging model in which EV drivers do not need to take a subscription to use the network, but rather only pay for use, with a simple connection fee of 35p each time a driver charges their car. NewMotion is working with other network operators in the UK to establish new roaming agreements that will help create a more practical and convenient network for EV drivers and welcome any opportunity to re-establish roaming with Charge Your Car/Chargemaster.
This news comes in the same week CYC announced it is to apply a connection fee to all public charge points. From 1st May those sited in England and Wales that do not have a tariff applied to them, will now carry a £1 fee. This fee is almost 3 times greater than that levied by NewMotion.
With the UK Government recently tabling a bill to make charge point providers co-operate with each other, with the aim to have one simple method of access to charging, this news does not bode well for a co-ordinated, joined up network the EV driver needs.