ECOtality, maker of Blink charging systems, and ChargePoint (formerly Coulomb Technologies) are forming a joint-venture called Collaboratev LLC that will make it easier for plug-in vehicle drivers to charge up and pay for their electricity at either type of station. Collaboratev will provide single billing for customers and integrate the two companies' charging location data. In short, ECOtality and Blink are creating what it calls a "vendor agnostic" system for usage and payments.
Increased accessibility to charging stations and ease of use are among factors green-car advocates say are key to broader plug-in vehicle adoption. There are about 5,500 publicly accessible plug-in charging stations in the US, and that number is growing by about 180 units a month.
So, pass the peace pipe and read the Collaboratev press release below.
Collaboratev provides drivers access to EV charging stations on any affiliated network.
SAN FRANCISCO and CAMPBELL, Calif. March 7, 2013 – ChargePoint, Inc. and ECOtality, Inc.
(NASDAQ:ECTY) announced today the formation of Collaboratev, LLC. Collaboratev will enable charging network interoperability, exchange session data and allow financial billing reconciliation services among electric vehicle charging networks. The new company will actively encourage other charging network providers to join as affiliates and enable EV drivers throughout the United States to seamlessly charge among all affiliated charging networks. ChargePoint and ECOtality will connect the ChargePoint and Blink networks to Collaboratev later this year.
Collaboratev's objectives include:
- Provide EV drivers with easy access to participating charging stations using common authentication credentials
- Enable one bill for all charging usage
- Accurately provide aggregated EV charging station location data
- Utilize open national interoperability standards
"This is a clear sign of market maturation by establishing a seamless process for EV drivers to charge across networks," stated Ravi Brar, CEO of ECOtality. "As industry leaders, we want to ensure we are always putting the needs of our customers first. We are fostering an open ecosystem and invite others to join us in making it easy for EV drivers nationwide to get the charge they need whenever and wherever they are."
"The creation of a vendor agnostic payment processing and authentication system for EV charging would alleviate consumer concern of being tied to one charging network and would therefore make electric vehicles more attractive to mainstream vehicle buyers," said John Gartner, research director of smart transportation at Pike Research.
For more information regarding this joint venture, please visit www.collaboratev.com.
ChargePoint is the largest online network of independently owned EV charging stations operating in 14 countries. ChargePoint provides everything an EV station owner needs to deliver turnkey electric vehicle charging services in their parking lots. For drivers, ChargePoint provides state-of-the-art features including the ability to locate, reserve and navigate to unoccupied charging stations with online tools and mobile applications. ChargePoint locations may be found online and are included on the free ChargePoint mobile applications for iPhone and Android. The ChargePoint network is open to all charging station manufacturers.
About ECOtality, Inc.
ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), headquartered in San Francisco, California, is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Through innovation, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, ECOtality accelerates the market applicability of advanced electric technologies to replace carbon-based fuels. For more information about ECOtality, Inc., please visit www.ecotality.com.