An eMobility Service Provider (eMSP) is a company or organization that provides electric vehicle (EV) charging roaming services.
Using EV roaming, electric vehicle (EV) drivers can access charging services at various participating charging networks. Drivers can charge their vehicles in such networks without needing separate memberships or accounts with each individual network.
EV roaming is facilitated by using open protocols, such as the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and the Open Charging Point Interface (OCPI). These protocols enable communication and interoperability between different charging networks.
eMobility service provider (eMSP) vs. Charge Point Operator (CPO)
eMobility service provider (eMSP) and charging point operator (CPO) are terms that are often used to describe organizations that operate networks of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. However, these terms are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It is possible for an organization to be both an eMSP and a CPO.
An eMSP focuses on the driver and fleet side. They provide billing and payment services for EV charging, as well as technical support and customer service. Examples of eMSPs include Plugshare, Zap-Map, and Octopus Electric Universe in the UK and Cellocharge in Israel. Some large EV fleets even created their own eMSP to allow their drivers to charge at public networks.
A charging point operator (CPO) is an organization that operates a network of EV charging stations. A CPO is responsible for managing the operation of the charging stations, including maintenance and repairs, as well as handling billing and payment for EV charging services.
Types of organizations that act as EMSPs
Multiple types of organizations can act as EMSPs. The most common types include:
- Mobility app vendors: These companies already provide mobility services such as parking or EV station mapping services. They have a large audience of drivers and are adding charging roaming via an eMSP service to their customers.
- Leasing companies: Some leasing companies are adding EV charging via EMSPs as part of their service to their customers.
- Large commercial fleets: Those organizations need to manage a large group of drivers and help them charge at home, work, and on the go. An EMSPs roaming solution can facilitate on-the-go charging for company fleet vehicles.
- Vehicle OEMs: As more OEMs enter the RV space, they realize that one of the biggest barriers for drivers is range anxiety and the need for a solid charging network. Some OEMs are teaming up with existing CPOs to offer branded roaming services via OCPI to cope with that.
The main benefits of becoming an EMSP and providing EV roaming to your drivers
The benefits of EV roaming via OCPI include the following:
- Seamless access to charging stations: EV drivers can access charging stations from different service providers without signing up for multiple accounts or carrying multiple cards.
- Increased charging station availability: EV drivers can find and use charging stations more easily, as the availability and status of charging stations from different service providers are made visible through a single platform.
- Reduced costs: EV drivers can access charging stations from different service providers, reducing the need to pay multiple membership fees.
- Flexibility: EV drivers have more options for charging their vehicles, as they can access charging stations from different service providers and locations.
- Improved user experience: EV drivers can find, reserve, and pay for charging stations more easily through a single, unified platform.
- Better Data: OCPI allows for better data management for the EMSP owner. Data can be shared and collected in a standard format across all service providers, allowing for more accurate and useful data analytics.
- Interoperability: OCPI enables different service providers to communicate and share data with each other, allowing for more efficient and effective EV charging.
What does it take to become an EMSP?
To become an EMSP, an organization must consider business and technical aspects.
Business aspects include setting up bilateral agreements with CPOs, which include:
- Access to charging stations: Bilateral agreements give eMSPs access to the charging stations of multiple CPOs. This can help eMSPs expand their service offerings and increase their reach.
- Pricing and Revenue sharing: Bilateral agreements often include pricing and revenue-sharing arrangements. The EMSP and CPO have to agree on the price for EMSP drivers as revenue-sharing arrangements.
- Data sharing: Bilateral agreements may also include data-sharing arrangements related to the use of charging stations. This can help both parties gain valuable insights into the usage of their charging stations.
- Service level agreements: It’s also important to establish service level agreements that specify the responsibilities of each party.
Technical aspects include:
- Backoffice eMSP Platform: A system that allows users to locate and access charging stations, pay for charging services, and manage their vehicles and charge accounts. The platform must be interoperable, secure, and scalable.
- Mobile App: The mobile app is used to locate the charging stations, initiate a charging session and monitor its progress. They must also see a history of charging events and provide payment information. It’s important to ensure that the mobile app is user-friendly and secure.
- RFIDs: RFID tags often initiate a charging session with a participating CPO charge point. RFID tags and cards can be branded with the eMSP’s logo, colors, and other branding elements. The eMSP is responsible for RFID distribution to the drivers, while the back office eMSP software is responsible for maintaining those cards.
Wevo Energy is a leading provider of software solutions for smart EV charging. We provide a software platform for CPOs and eMSPs that supports every scenario: apartment complexes, workplaces, fleets, destination, and public charging.