[Today some big players announced some sort of cooperation to push for Plug & Charge](https://www.electrive.com/2021/04/21/partners-pledge-to-implement-plugcharge-across-europe/).
As someone working with software and hardware development on the emobility industry I’m skeptic of this solution overall. I can’t begin to describe how complex this is to be implemented all across Europe and how much coordination and investment are needed from several players in an ecosystem that lacks standardization and general cooperation.

In any case, even if this happens, is this what we really really want? Don’t we want just to pay as we pay for anything else, with a credit card?

As I see Plug & Charge is not plug & charge. It is actually: sign up for EMP contract, authenticate yourself, download the EMP app, authenticate your certificate in your car and app, find a compatible charger, cross your fingers that all certificates are up to date on the charger/backend/car and THEN… plug and charge. Arrived in the charger and noticed that there’s actually another EMP offering a better deal? Too bad, I guess no Plug & Charge for you today.

All and all for me this just adds more layers of complexity, points of failure and it comes from a very outdated perspective of replicating “the Tesla experience”.
In the end it doesn’t resolve the most basic issue of public charging which is paying in a much simpler way.

What are your thoughts?

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7 thoughts on “Is Plug & Charge really the technology we want for public charging in Europe?”
  1. > Don’t we want just to pay as we pay for anything else, with a credit card?

    The other day I used a CC for the first time in a couple years and came as a shock. Normally I just use google pay from my phone as it generated a new number and if stolen won’t work.

    > from a very outdated perspective of replicating “the Tesla experience”

    I love that outdated experience though. I would love that outdated experience on all CCS/MCS at least as an option.

  2. I don’t think the options are mutually exclusive. If Plug & Charge works, good. Otherwise go with a credit card.

  3. I come from the other side of the pond. Tesla user since 2017. 70K miles so far.

    Plug and charge allows cheaper chargers due to no credit card readers and screens. Peace of mind as those can break and credit card readers can be skimmed. This should be the case for any charger I choose, my car is my identification and my billing set up beforehand or via app.

    The layers of complexity you mention should be totally transparent to the users. The Tesla way is, in fact, much simpler. But there are more fingers in the pie in the EU. Hopefully the US will be spared that mess, but I doubt it. Too much money involved so too much lobbying.

  4. Also tech guy here and I agree with you. Many people don’t get why Tesla has had it so easy with the supercharger network and why it’s way more problematic to have an open, cross platform system.

    Of course, plug and charge would be nice if it ever works simply and reliably everywhere but I think that is quite a way off.

    In the meantime I would prefer a simple pay by CC system as the gas model. It’s not as if that was ever burdensome.

  5. Why does it have to be that complicated? All vehicles already have a unique identifier – the vehicle identification number (VIN). They would just need to send it to the charger when queried, and then the charger would check its network for a valid account associated with that VIN. Vehicle owners could sign up with all of the networks they want to use, and then charge at any of them at any time. Maybe add some sort of two factor authentication if fraud via VIN spoofing becomes a problem.

  6. As of now from what I read online plug and charge seems like a really good solution, but I’ve never tried it and I have no idea how it works in practice. I also never met anyone who tried it… it would be interesting to know to how it works in practice step by step so I could have and opinion about it to compare with CC.

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