The uptake of EVs is not only changing the current mobility landscape, it also represents an important evolution in the way electricity is consumed. Based on this assessment, it is essential that consumers are given total freedom of choice in the EV ecosystem, including for their energy consumptions. This is why a movement dedicated to the promotion of electricity roaming for EV charging, called the Freedom of Choice Alliance, has been created by a consortium gathering a wide range of EV related stakeholders.
What is the roaming of electricity supply?
The roaming of electricity supply is an organisational model that allows EV drivers to sign up to an electricity supplier at the same time as they subscribe to an e-mobility contract.
Once this choice has been made, the EV driver is assured that his supply of electricity follows him wherever he charges.
The diagram left shows the sequence of actions of a typical user experience of roaming of electricity supply.
Roaming of electricity supply makes it possible to take into account the many expectations of EV users: simplicity, price, transparency, sustainability, fair competition …
If a consumer is explicitly requesting energy from a renewable source, energy suppliers should substantiate their energy supply with a reliable energy attribute certificate such as the Guarantee of Origin.
How does it work?
What are the advantages?
1) Roaming of electricity supply allows freedom of choice for EV users
EVs are expected to account for up to 50% of household electricity consumption. Therefore, freedom of choice and transparency regarding actual volumes and pricing of electricity supply of EVs seems a necessity as it will become a major part of the energy market. By offering end users the option to choose their preferred electricity provider, roaming of electricity supply allows them to simply choose, once and for all, the type supply that corresponds to their expectations regarding cost or sustainability.
2) Roaming of electricity contributes to transparent and comparable pricing for EV users
By unbundling the cost of the electricity from charging point locations and pairing it to e- mobility service providers, the roaming of electricity supply allows more transparent and comparable prices for EV-drivers. Today, EV drivers are not able to compare the price they pay per kWh when publicly charging with the cost they pay at home. Moreover, they do not know how much of the total cost is linked to the different parts of the charging session: access to the infrastructure, parking, electricity consumption, …
3) Roaming of electricity supply stimulates competition in the energy sector and prevents from lock in situations
By unbundling the energy part from the e-mobility contract, roaming of electricity supply allows both markets to become more transparent and competitive, thus increasing benefits for EV drivers and the civil society as a whole. As it is already the case for energy supply at home or for mobile phone operators, it would be technically straightforward to propose an easy method to switch electricity supplier on the basis of a simple standardized client reference.
4) Roaming of electricity contributes to improve the balancing of the power grid
The increase of EV vehicles in volumes will have a very profound impact on the global functioning of the power grid, particularly because of the increase of the electric peak it will generate. The growth of EVs in Europe, which may exceed 4 million vehicles in 2020, may have a considerable impact on the electric system. In order to reflect the system’s technical constraints at a time of an important demand, it is essential that a coherent price signal is sent directly to the end-consumer.