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New EZ Charge card gives electric car drivers access to multiple networks

But one of the biggest still isn’t included

Published: June 03, 2014 05:00 PM

A new agreement among electric-car charging networks promises the beginning of the end for the "charger wars" that have weighed down electric car drivers for several years. It’s still not possible for every electric-car driver to juice up at just any public charger, but it’s getting easier.

The latest development is a single “EZ Charge” card that will activate chargers on four networks: AeroVironment, Blink, Car Charging Group, and NRG eVgo. Unfortunately, the largest network of public Level 2 chargers, Chargepoint, declined to take part. Currently, Chargepoint has more than 17,000 public chargers in the United States and its inclusion would have brought significant conveniences for EV drivers.

This move narrows public charging options for most EV drivers down to two main platforms, not counting Tesla’s proprietary network of free Superchargers.

Until now, the various charging networks have left EV drivers’ keychains full of competing fobs to activate several different networks. Now, you only need two such fobs. Other chargers can be activated directly by credit cards.

You don’t have to join a network or carry a proximity card to operate a Supercharger. Just show up in your Tesla and plug in.

In a related announcement, Nissan revealed a sales promotion, “No Charge to Charge,” that will give Leaf buyers free charging on the EZ Charge network for two years. That could make an electric car a pretty compelling bargain for some drivers.

Eric Evarts

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