It’s time to cover an important topic in the eMobility space: EV Roaming.
What does roaming actually mean for you as a driver? How does it impact your charging? And how does roaming pricing really work?
Don’t worry; it’s all pretty simple stuff once you unpack it. Let’s take a quick tour through some of the most frequently asked questions to uncover those all-important answers.
What is EV roaming?
You’re probably already familiar with the term ‘roaming’ from your phone operator.
When you’re traveling to another country, roaming lets you use that region’s networks without the need to buy a new SIM card.
‘Roaming’ for EVs is a similar concept; you can charge your EV using different charge networks, and in different countries, using one app that connects you with a range of operators.
So whenever a charging app offers roaming, there are a bunch of obvious benefits:
- More flexibility, with many more locations at which to charge
- More pricing options, thanks to a variety of networks to choose from
- Ease of mind that you can charge all around Europe
How does the eMobility roaming market work?
The eMobility roaming market consists of three key players:
- Charge point operators (CPOs) that own and/or operate a charging network
- eMobility service providers (EMSPs) offering network access via an app or charge key
- Roaming platforms, which enable roaming agreements between the CPOs and EMSPs
A CPO often also acts as an EMSP, in that they can also provide access to charging and payment via their own app, charge key or credit card terminal.
EMSPs (like a roaming app provider), however, don’t necessarily own or operate a charging network – they simply offer access to charging and payment.
How does charging network access work?
As an EV driver, your access to various charging networks will depend on your network provider.
You might have an agreement with them, for example, that that you can access their charging network at a specific price. But that charging network might also be part of a larger charging one made up of a group of others, operated by one overarching operator – as with the Spirii network.
Whatever the case, you’ll have a customer account that gives you access to that entire network, with a designated charge key or charging app – as with the Spirii Go app.
When it comes to roaming, though, your network provider can also allow you to access external charging networks, which are operated by other, third-party CPOs.
Access to these external networks requires one of two things:
1. Multiple customer accounts, charging keys and/or apps for each external network
2. A roaming app like Spirii Go that gives you seamless access to external networks
Are all networks part of the roaming market?
Not all charging networks participate in roaming. A charge point owner/operator can decide to make their network exclusive to their customers only.
How much does it cost to charge while roaming?
The price you pay to charge while roaming is shaped by a couple of key decisions:
Firstly, the CPO decides on a price offer to all EMSPs on the roaming network. The EMSPs then decide whether to offer that price to customers as is, or to increase or lower it for you as the end user.
So the final price you’ll pay as an EV driver = the offer made by the CPO, plus or minus the margin or discounts made by your app provider. That’s why different app providers may have different prices for roaming at the same charging stations.
Spirii Go: Your go-to app for roaming
With Spirii Go, you’ll enjoy frictionless access to an extensive network of charging locations in 17 countries around Europe. Our app helps you find a station, charge easily, and pay in one place – without the need to switch between a bunch of different apps, accounts, or payment methods. Simple!