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Tritium develops cardless EV plug-and-go solution
Australia’s Tritium the first to bring universal payment solution to charging an EV
21 May 2020
By NEIL DOWLING
IN A world first, one of the biggest bugbears of charging electric vehicles at public charging stations – how to make a secure payment to multiple providers – has been solved and the Australian remedy is ready to go international.
Brisbane-based EV charging technology company Tritium this week launched its “Plug and Charge” product after trialling it in Europe.
It is available immediately for charge point operators to deploy on Tritium’s PK350kW DC high-power chargers.
Tritium co-founder and chief technology officer James Kennedy said: “This firmly and irreversibly tips the convenience scales to the recharging experience over the refuelling experience.”
“It’s going to be as simple as how we charge our phones, but with the added benefit of charging our bank accounts at the same time.
“There is no more a need for a membership card or even to swipe a bank card at a terminal - this is the first and most secure iteration available to the market and, once deployed to critical mass, will render any former payment process as archaic.”
He said the technology is “ground breaking” and can securely, automatically and simultaneously charge the EV’s battery while authorising payment from the owner’s account without the use of a credit card.
Mr Kennedy told GoAuto that the product is ready to be rolled out and is awaiting EV vehicle manufacturers to fit the storage technology to allow communication between the vehicle and the charging station.
“It has taken Tritium a bit over a year to get to this stage, developing the entire communication system in house so we weren’t reliant on third-party suppliers and components that may not be able to talk to each other,” he said.
“Other companies are doing the same thing. We came to the market first because we have world expert engineers on this topic working for Tritium, so we understood the protocols.”
He also said that every charge point operator is looking at Tritium’s system because it offers a seamless experience that from a payments perspective, is no different to using a particular bank card at a competitor’s ATM.
“Both the car and the charger require a secure means for communicating with each other,” he said.
“The charger itself doesn’t have to know about billing details and the EV owner doesn’t have to hold a credit card. You just plug in and it starts charging.
“Each car needs the technology in the vehicle. That’s up to the OEM. The European OEMs, in particular, are pushing very strongly for this so they are likely to be the first to adopt it.”
Mr Kennedy said he wasn’t aware of when vehicles would be available with the technology but considered new models could be available this year.
“Other than vehicles on trial, there are no vehicles yet in production with this technology. However, some are close,” he said.
“I think this certainly helps push EV use in Australia. Anything that makes the experience more straightforward and more convenient for the owner, is where it has to be.
“It’s not about convenience for the network operator, that’s how many may have operated in the past, but it is about convenience for the owner.”
Tritium is one of the three biggest manufacturers of EV charging stations in the world with some 4500 units in operation in Europe, the US and Australia.
Tritium DC fast-chargers are used by the US-based ChargePoint network with about 600 Veefil-PK ultra-fast chargers in Europe as part of the IONITY network.
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