Bosch launches pan-European, 150,000-spot charging network
Drive an electric vehicle (EV), and you’re faced with a bewildering variety of charging providers and tariffs. Tier-1 automotive supplier is launching one app to rule them all. ‘Charge My EV’ already provides fuss-free access to 150,000 charge points from Andalucia to the Arctic Circle.
That makes Bosch’s EV recharging network one of the biggest around – and it will continue growing: the target for the end of this year is 200,000 charging spots.
However, the aim is not just size, also simplicity. Bosch wants to tackle the complications EV drivers across Europe are faced with today:
- EV drivers have an average of six recharging apps on their smartphones.
- 45% of EV drivers use up to four recharging access cards, 15% use at least five different ones.
- The various providers offer a confusing range of tariffs – especially now that many are switching from flat rates to payment per kWh.
- On top of that, the variety of payment methods further complicates the practice of charging EVs from different providers.
Case study: Germany. At the end of March this year, Europe’s main automotive market boasted just under 28,000 public and semi-public charge spots. However, these are managed by nearly 200 providers and operators, and their charging formulas often don’t work at certain other charge spots. Adding to the complexity, in May there were 288 different EV charging tariffs in operation across Germany.
End the muddle
Bosch has set itself the goal of putting an end to this recharging muddle. Bosch’s pan-European charging network delivers all-inclusive, fuss-free recharging: EV drivers can quickly find a vacant spot, access it without the hassle of authorisation and passwords, pay with cost transparency – and also make good use of their time while recharging their vehicle.
Bosch’s app provides centralised access to a growing network of 150,000 charge spots across 16 countries in Europe – 27,500 in Germany alone. The network consists of contracts with local operators and is managed via roaming technology to select the most appropriate locations. The formula is available to both corporate and private customers.
The Bosch app enables customers to recharge at previously unused charging providers without additional registrations or sign-ins. The credit card registered with the app takes care of payment, whichever the formula – but not without providing a clear breakdown of the cost prior to recharging, and a transparent overview on the monthly bill. So, no unpleasant surprises. And no need for half a dozen apps or cards.
“(This) universal key to one of the biggest pan-European recharging networks (will make) electromobility even more viable,” says Elmar Pritsch, president of Connected Mobility Solutions at Bosch.
And this not just through the size and simplicity of the network – also by the personalised convenience it offers. ‘Convenience charging’ is Bosch’s term for the integrated navigation and recharging solution it’s developing, which unites the capabilities of the vehicle’s infotainment system and its electrical powertrain. Some elements:
- If an originally scheduled recharging spot is unavailable, a new spot is automatically programmed.
- Routes and recharging spots can be adapted to driver preferences, for example, close to restaurants or free wifi spots.
- Purchases can be delivered to the recharging spot.
- Coupons can be redeemed in nearby shopping malls and eateries.
- The system will get increasingly better thanks to machine learning.
Bosch’s recharging solution can be white-labelled for branded use by OEMs, fleet operators and mobility service providers.