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Virta to start Plug&Charge EV charging without card or app in France

Until now drivers of electric vehicles have needed an RFID card or smartphone to gain access to a public charging station. EV charging platform provider Virta, charge point provider Efacec, the Departmental Energy association of Yonne (SDEY) and Hubject have started a co-operation to offer Plug&Charge that relies on the ISO 15118 standard for communication between electric vehicles and the grid using digital certificates. Once the car is plugged in, the charger receives encrypted data from the car and the payment processing is handled in the background. The driver plugs in the car and it works – simple as that.

The pilot is planned to start at the beginning of 2020 with SDEY initially installing 6 Plug & Charge compatible charging stations of the manufacturer Efacec, model HV160, in the department of Yonne, France. Hubject will provide the Plug&Charge ecosystem and underlying Public Key Infrastructure. The charging stations will be connected to Hubject Intercharge network via Virta platform and will be European-wide interoperable like the rest of SDEY charging network. Virta, that is well-established in France, will be the first charging platform to implement the Plug&Charge technology in the French market.

“Efacec is very pleased to contribute to the development of Electric Mobility in France,” said Duarte Ferreira, Global Business Development Director, adding that “Projects like Plug&Charge allow us to continue providing our products and know-how to make sustainable mobility a reality in Europe.”

Christian Hahn, CEO of Hubject, said: “We are extremely pleased to be part of this end-to-end test, which aims at jointly boosting the future of electric mobility. France is a market where we have always been investing a lot and we are proud to be an innovation accelerator here with our Plug&Charge ecosystem.”

“In Yonne, we believe in innovation to promote sustainable mobility and in European cooperation. We are constantly looking for innovative, user-friendly and secure models that improve the use of electric vehicles. We are happy to collaborate once again with high class international partners and with this project we are upgrading our charging infrastructure to a new level,” said Jean-Noël Loury, President of SDEY.

Allan Ahlgren, Vice President of Sales at Virta, commented: “As Virta has a long tradition of doing business in France, we are especially delighted that this pilot project will take place in Yonne. Traditionally, Virta has been in the front line with new developments and also now we want to be among the first ones implementing new technologies into the user phase. Virta is very pleased to be able to start the pilot with a group where all participants are world leaders in the field of EV car charging.”

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