The initiative, called Agora, is a joint effort led by ChargeHub, The Electric Circuit and BC Hydro, targeting an issue critical to greater EV adoption
Imagine being able to charge an electric vehicle at any public charger in Canada using a single account. That’s the goal of a new industry-led initiative, called Agora.
Launched this week, Agora (Greek for market or open meeting space) is a national campaign jointly led by three founders — ChargeHub, BC Hydro and Circuit Electric — and 12 other industry partners ranging from charging networks to automakers.
The vision for Agora is to enable roaming across EV charging networks through a single, secure account. Adopting a single platform to manage all charging would be beneficial to the industry and drivers, says the Agora team.
“With the growth of public charging networks, we as an industry must always aim to offer the best charging experience for end users. The Agora initiative ensures that the industry shares this vision and scales up EV roaming,” said Simon Ouellette, CEO of ChargeHub, in the announcement press release.
Agora is supported by $184,369 in funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative to Mogile Technologies Inc. (ChargeHub’s parent company).
Simplifying and streamlining
There are over 44 charging networks in Canada and nearly 28,000 public charging stations.
In a perfect charging world drivers would pull up to any station, plug in, charge and drive away. There would be no fumbling with RFID cards, failed sessions and just one app to choose from.
Today, while some EV charger roaming agreements exist, the industry is still a long ways off this electrified utopia. But Agora provides some tools to help nudge things in that direction.
To start, there is a website with resources including answers and information about roaming. There is also a search tool to identify the networks compatible with certain apps and statistics on “interoperability in Canada.”
“EV roaming is a significant asset for the electrification of transportation, and Agora will enable its effective promotion. Facilitating access to interoperable networks through a single account is a priority for the Electric Circuit,” said France Lampron, director of development of energy and mobility offers at Hydro-Québec.
Other industry partners
In order to succeed, Agora requires the full spectrum of industry participation from automakers to utilities to consumer advocacy groups.
To date, the other named industry partners for Agora are: Nissan, VinFast, Ivy Charging Network, Hypercharge, SWTCH, ATCO, NB Power, Chargelab, Bectrol, Electric Vehicle Society, Running Electric campaign, Propulsion Québec and Quebec Electric Vehicle Association (AVEQ).
The EV charger roaming awareness program is open to other potential industry partners. Information on how to join is available here.