Exciting news for California EV drivers tired of subscriptions and apps.

In the next couple of years, you should be able to use any public charger in the state with nothing more than a burner flip-phone and pre-paid Visa.

In two weeks, the California Air Resources Board will consider a new regulation (PDF) mandating that all public EV chargers have credit card readers, and also a toll-free phone number to initiate charging sessions and make payments. EV charging network operators like Chargepoint, Electrify America, and EVgo will also be banned from requiring any kind of subscription or membership before initiating a charge.

Network operators will also be required to facilitate ‘roaming’ between networks, as all stations will have to work with the California Open Charge Point Interface.

Implications for Tesla?

Tesla’s Supercharging network isn’t impacted, because chargers “provided by a manufacturer of electric vehicles for the exclusive use by vehicles it manufactures” are not considered public, so it is not covered by the regulation.

Still, this could be a deterrent for Tesla opening up its network to another manufacturer.

Electrek’s Take

Another excellent move by the Golden State. We should all resist a future where you need a smartphone even to get the basics like food or fuel. When people buy gas, they don’t have to care who’s running the station or have any affiliation with them. The same should be true of charging your EV.


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