e-Mobility Service Providers (eMSP)
e-Mobility Service Providers (eMSP): What They are and Why They are Important for EV Drivers
EV charging relies on at least two different parts of the charging infrastructure. These are EV charging stations, run by charge point operators, and electro-mobility service providers. They provide drivers access to an EV charging service.
The present and future of the EV charging network relies on how well these two different businesses work together and serve EV drivers.
In this article, we'll show you what an eMSP is, the focus of these businesses, and what they could do to make the future brighter for EV charging.
What is an e-Mobility Service Provider?
An e-mobility service provider is a company offering customers access to charging stations by using a web or mobile app that connects their car to the charging network. The app shows available charging points and also manages payment for charging sessions.
These are the minimum services of eMSP companies. They could be doing other things as well, such as building customer loyalty through a rewards scheme, offering EV roaming to non-network charge points, and clarifying which charging stations use energy from renewable sources.
One quick note:
The EV industry is evolving rapidly, even at the level of spelling. We use a few terms and spellings here intentionally, such as e-mobility, electro-mobility, and eMSP. All of them point to the same thing: the business that connects drivers and their vehicles to the EV charging operator via an app.
What are the priorities of an e-Mobility Service Provider (eMSP)?
eMSPs work with charge point operators to connect EV drivers to chargers. As a business, they should be focusing on customer experience and providing the best EV charging possible to a large number of customers.
Let's look at some specific points about how their software can accomplish these things.
Self-Service User Management
The app must help the customer register, set up their account, and cover logging in and out. It should also be able to take care of password reset, T&Cs, and RFID grants.
Better Charging Experience
Beyond the basics of getting customers registered, the software must provide a satisfying charging solution. This includes an easy way to find a charge point operator, remote session stop and start features, and real-time monitoring of the charging progress.
Billing and Payments
The eMSP software should help EV drivers manage the cost of charging. This means more than just taking payments safely. They should also store the transaction history, keep track of taxes, and help drivers make smarter choices about which stations to use.
Convenient App to Use
Drivers want software that is easy to use. So, the eMSP should have an app that is easy to navigate and intuitive. Customer service should happen from within the app itself. If there are operational issues, then notifications can be sent out via the app.
Data and Reports for Charge Point Operators and Service Management
eMSP software should also be easy to use from the perspective of those managing the system. Clear reports about charge point usage, number and type of vehicles charges, and billing data are all necessary. The eMSP app should also deliver support notifications for bugs, equipment malfunctions, and other relevant business information.
Now that you understand what an eMSP is and does, let's quickly clarify what a charge point operator does so you understand the difference between the two.
What is a Charge Point Operator (CPO)?
A CPO is the company that maintains and operates the charging stations. A CPO could manage a single charging point or run an entire chain of them across an area. These companies are responsible for the management of the physical hardware that is part of the charging network. Their responsibilities include:
- Installing charging points
In addition to all these, the CPO is often the one responsible for setting the price for using the charging point.
No eMSP and CPO, no charging network
Hopefully, you can see how these two services work together to provide a comprehensive and flexible solution for EV drivers. The CPO provides a network of chargers while the eMSP runs the service that allows drivers to access that network. Both of them are necessary for a robust EV charging network.
Because separating these two functions actually helps with flexibility and competition. The system is flexible because drivers can choose any of the available eMSPs. Having chosen an eMSP, they can then choose whichever charging station suits them. If both functions were done by a single company, then the lack of flexibility and competition could create a system that drove up prices and reduced availability.
If you'd like to know more about eMSPs or have questions about other EV technology, please read more of our EV glossary pages.