A charging network connects EV chargers to allow a user to easily find and navigate to a charge point. EV charging networks can either be proprietary solutions or hardware-agnostic and rely on software to manage access, payment, and usage monitoring. Some EV charging networks also provide users with station information to help them locate chargers. EV owners can choose to register with multiple networks to take advantage of a broader range of locations.
EV charging networks can be publicly owned and operated or privately managed. The largest public networks are operated by major automakers and can be found in most cities and states. These networks offer a variety of slow, fast, and DC charging stations. Some of these networks are integrated with a smart grid and can communicate with the electric power grid to activate charging when prices are low, or to shut off charging during peak demand. Some networks can even supply energy back to the grid.
Privately-owned EV charging networks are also growing quickly. For example, the Electrify America charging network is installing 120 fast-charging stations in Walmart parking lots along major highways to support interstate EV travel. Porsche is also building a network of 500 rapid-charging stations in North America to support its new Taycan EV that can go from zero to 180 miles in nine minutes. Many of these privately-owned public EV charging networks use a mobile app to manage the process. The app allows drivers to pay for a charging session with their phone and to track how much energy they’ve charged. EV Charging Networks