Whether you own an electric vehicle or not, there’s still a good chance that you’ve heard countless diatribes about how much charging it sucks. Now, though, charging networks ChargePoint and Electrify America are merging together, enabling members of one network to charge with another network, TechCrunch reports. EV drivers won’t have to mess around with any new memberships or fees. They’ll just have access to more charging networks.
More from TechCrunch:
The plan, which begins later this year, will connect more than 30,000 Level 2 and DC fast chargers from Electrify America and ChargePoint across the United States. Electrify America, the entity set up by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with U.S. regulators over its diesel emissions cheating scandal, has said it will invest $2 billion over 10 years in clean energy infrastructure and education. The VW unit expects to have 484 electric vehicle charging stations with more than 2,000 charging dispensers installed or under construction by July 1.
ChargePoint and Electrify America two of the biggest EV charging service providers in the United States, so this is a pretty huge deal. This news comes after ChargePoint has already settled partnerships with FLO, EVBox and Greenlots.
This is pretty damn important when it comes to encouraging people to start turning to EVs. The little inconveniences really add up—so being able to reduce charge time, knowing you’ll be guaranteed a charging port, having longer ranges, and actually being able to use a ton of different charging stations instead of attempting to navigate a very confusing network of different companies all make EV ownership more accessible for the average folks who expect an EV to be as convenient as their ICE.
The charging infrastructure for EVs has been pretty willy-nilly so far—something we’ve talked about before here on Jalopnik. EV manufacturers decide for themselves how their charging systems will work, and charging service providers have been popping up as those technologies are developed. A more cohesive system is key, and it looks like we’re finally starting to get it.