New EV charging service bids to create single payment system for all networks

By Matt Allan
Monday, 7th September 2020, 2:30 pm
Updated Monday, 7th September 2020, 2:32 pm

A new payment system that aims to create a seamless process across multiple EV charging networks has been launched, claiming to take the stress out of recharging an electric car.

There are currently more than 40 public charging networks around the UK, most of which have their own subscription or card-based payment system. This means EV owners often have to set up multiple accounts or use several different cards or apps.

Zap-Pay aims to simplify the process and offer a single app that will allow drivers to access and pay for charging from a range of networks.

A recent study found that almost seven in 10 drivers has “charger anxiety” about being able to access the correct charger when needed. Zap-Pay’s creators say integrating multiple networks into its tool will remove this anxiety and help pave the way for broader EV adoption.

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Zap-Pay’s creators say integrating multiple networks into its tool will remove this anxiety and help pave the way for broader EV adoption.

Ben Lane, CTO and joint managing director at EV mapping service Zap-Map which is behind Zap-Pay, said: “More people than ever are buying an EV, but providing a seamless charging experience is essential to accelerate this shift, cut carbon emissions and clean our air.

“We already buy much of our shopping with the tap of a finger – Zap-Pay means that EV charging is now the same. No one should need dozens of accounts, apps and cards to charge their car. With one simple app, drivers can now simply plug in and the app manages the rest.”

The Government has previously called on public charging networks to make the services more accessible by allowing payment via credit or debit card rather than requiring drivers to create an account or sign up to a particular app.

There are more than 40 different public charging networks around the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “It should be as easy for drivers to charge their vehicles at public charge points as it is to pay for petrol or diesel. This is why I have made services, such as the one launched today, a personal priority as we transition to zero emission vehicles.

“As the EV market continues to go from strength to strength, journey planning and paying with one app or membership card must also follow – Zap-Pay will help do just that, propelling us towards cleaner towns and cities and a zero emission future.”

Engenie, which has more than 150 rapid charger locations around the country is the first network to join the system, with Zap-Pay’s founders claiming to have a “wave of network partners” ready to join in the autumn and the system rolling out across the UK in 2021.

Ian Johnston, CEO of Engenie said: ”Charging accessibility is critical to accelerating the UK’s transition to electric vehicles. Zap-Pay complements our commitment to this by adding another convenient choice for customers using our open-access network, which already accepts simple contactless card payment.”