Electric vehicle charger standards may require contactless payments

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Public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations installed using funds provided by the federal government’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL) could be required to include contactless payment methods if proposed standards announced Thursday June 9 are adopted.

This is one of the proposed requirements published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Department of Transportation (DOT) in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

Other proposed standards for payment methods used at electric vehicle charging stations in the NPRM include contactless payment being accepted from all major debit and credit cards, access and service are not limited by membership or type of payment method, and that plug and charge payment capabilities are mandatory.

Ensuring the interoperability of charging stations for electric vehicles

“The proposed regulations would include requirements intended to ensure the interoperability of electric vehicle charging stations on the national grid by requiring payment methods to meet industry standards and also requiring that memberships are not required for use,” the FHWA said in the NPRM. “Charging station interoperability is key to ensuring electric vehicle drivers have a consistent payment experience across the country.”

In the NPRM, the FHWA seeks comments on the payment methods currently offered, whether contactless payment options should be required, and whether other payment methods should be required.

“The proposed rule also outlines several requirements aimed at ensuring that payment options are secure, fair and accessible, while ensuring that the rule will accommodate future innovations in payment methods.”

Advocacy for contactless payments

The inclusion of contactless payment methods has been applauded by the Electric Vehicle Charging Network Charging pointone of nine manufacturers, deployers and operators of electric vehicle charging networks that advocate contactless credit and debit card readers.

“We commend the federal government for working to increase access to electric vehicle charging by embracing contactless credit card payment technology and supporting roaming between charging networks,” the vice said. -President of Global Public Policy for ChargePoint. Anne Smart wrote in a statement provided to PYMNTS.

Prior to Thursday’s release of the NPRM, ChargePoint and other industry players were concerned that the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula program, which sets minimum standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed at the he funds provided by BIL did not specify a mode of payment – saying only that those offered must guarantee “safe, convenient and equal access”.

In an April 13 letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, nine companies involved in electric vehicle charging networks described the advantages of contactless payments and the disadvantages of card readers. credit cards that physically interact with the card when reading its Magstripe or EMV chip. .

Read more: Companies in the electric vehicle charging network seek contactless payments at charging stations

Build 500,000 EV chargers

The proposed standards are part of the federal government’s plan to build 500,000 EV chargers nationwide under BIL, according to a fact sheet published Thursday, June 9 by the White House.

“Without strict standards, chargers would be less reliable, might not work for all cars, or lack common payment methods,” the White House said in the fact sheet. “The new standards will ensure that anyone can use the network, no matter what car you drive or what state you charge in.”

In the statement provided to PYMNTS, ChargePoint’s Smart said, “ChargePoint has worked with the federal government, states and our partners to ensure the NEVI program is designed and implemented in a way that best meets the needs of drivers in electric vehicles. These draft minimum standards incorporate many of the best practices that we have developed over the past 15 years.

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