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Improving the Public Charging Experience with EV Roaming Networks

One of the cornerstones of a great EV experience is seamless and convenient charging. We explore how Mer uses EV roaming to support drivers.

Improving the Public Charging Experience with EV Roaming Networks

Electric vehicle (EV) charging has to be easy, accessible and convenient if we are to continue to see more drivers make the switch to electric. In this article, we explain why roaming capabilities are so integral to a great driving experience on the public network, including: 

  • How EV roaming works 
  • What benefits it brings to drivers 
  • How Mer is at the forefront of roaming partnerships  

EV charging is vital to the transport transition

Roads came to the UK with the Romans and were designed to help its legions move quickly to quell rebellions. While roads made travel easier, the ability to move as quickly as possible over long distances has also always been desirable, from swapping horses at coaching inns to the plethora of petrol stations for drivers of legacy technology vehicles.  

However, as we transition to EVs, our road network needs accessible charging infrastructure to ensure that drivers are not left frustrated or stranded. 

What is EV roaming?

Roaming is a term the EV industry has borrowed from the mobile phone sector and in essence it means the same thing – the ability to use another provider’s network. In phone terms this typically applies to when you travel abroad. Your UK provider has partners in other countries, meaning you can still make calls, send messages and even use data. All this adds up to a seamless service – you step off the plane and your phone still works as it did in the UK. 

Similarly, the UK has multiple EV charging networks, operated by a range of companies like Mer. The challenge here was that if you had an app or a charging card for Charge Point Operator A, you could not use it to charge on the network of Charge Point Operator B. Early EV drivers ended up having to carry multiple RFID cars or download an abundance of apps in order to access all the charging networks. This added unnecessary complexity, stress, and hassle to EV charging. 

To make the charging experience better for EV drivers, we created roaming partnerships with other companies. This means that our roaming partners’ customers can use Mer charge points through partner apps/RFID cards for hassle free charging. 

What are the benefits of EV roaming?

f the EV transition is going to be successful, we must ensure that the user experience is of the highest possible quality. EV charging across the UK should be as seamless, convenient and accessible as using your phone abroad.  

Initially, drivers had to set up individual accounts for each charge point network, which was a duplication of effort, required a lot of admin, and of course meant either having too many charging apps taking up room on their phone, or carrying around several RFID cards. 

Roaming removes all that hassle, as drivers know they can arrive at a Mer charging hub and refill their vehicle’s batteries quickly, conveniently and easily with partner apps/RFID cards. Drivers are no longer restricted to recharging their vehicles at charge points belonging to a specific network. Instead, they have access to a much higher number of chargers without having to worry about multiple memberships or subscriptions. 

Which charging networks have roaming partnerships with Mer?

Drivers choose Mer because we work hard to ensure excellence in their customer experience. We very quickly recognised this had to extend to roaming partnerships and have moved fast to develop one of the most comprehensive roaming programmes in the UK. 

Drivers now benefit from our roaming partnerships with Paua, Octopus Electroverse, Allstar, and Zap-Pay. Most recently we integrated with Tap Electric, which has an app designed to help drivers find chargers that are available, reliable and affordable. The collaboration enables seamless access for Tap Electric drivers to charge on Mer’s high-quality AC and DC charge points across a range of locations in the UK. 

We will continue to grow our roaming partner network, providing even more interoperability, convenience and accessibility for Mer customers. 


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