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North America’s EV Charging Revolution and the Payments Challenge

Across North America, eco and cost-conscious drivers are switching to the benefits of owning electric vehicles (EVs).

Powering Up: North America’s EV Charging Revolution and the Payments Challenge

Across North America, eco and cost-conscious drivers are switching to the benefits of owning electric vehicles (EVs). As public EV charging scales up to meet demand, integrators and networks must ensure payments also conform to the latest NEVIS requirements.

The adoption of electric vehicles is accelerating as consumers prioritize sustainability and governments incentivize the transition to zero-emission driving. In the US, Federal tax credits ranging from $3,700 to $7,500 are available for many all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, with additional incentives provided by various states to further encourage adoption.

As a result, North America’s EV market is booming.  In the US, EV sales have quadrupled in the last 3 years, and there are now over 4.5 million EVs on the road.

Whether they own an eco-friendly compact, a luxury SUVs or a pickup, at some point EV drivers need to access and pay for public charging services. 

There are already many public EV charging points in the US and Canada, including in parks, community centers, and roadside locations, reflecting efforts to improve accessibility and convenience for EV owners.  Networks like EVgo, ChargePoint, and Electrify America now manage large EV charging networks across the US, and fuel distributors and retailers such as Parkland Corporation are deploying EV charging infrastructure.

Current estimates, however, suggest 2.3 million public chargers will be needed by 2030 — roughly 15 times more than exists today.

With the enactment of new laws and initiatives, the US will hit its target to deploy 500,000 public chargers four years ahead of schedule, by 2026.

The US Department of Energy is also funding electric vehicle projects across 24 states and the District of Columbia to help communities prepare for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Meanwhile in Canada, Federal investments are helping to deploy over 47,000 EV chargers across the country funded by its Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

With accelerated investment, North America’s electric vehicle charging station market will surge from US$2.48 billion in 2023 to US$17.06 billion by 2030. 

And it’s not just charging technology that’s having to keep up with demand.  While some municipalities offer limited free charging, most public charging requires payment technology too. 

In 2023, the US government announced that Federally funded EV charging projects must comply with the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Standards (NEVIS). 

One of the requirements of NEVIS is that all charging stations must provide a contactless payment method. It also states these must:

  • accepts major credit and debit cards
  • accept payment through either an automated toll-free phone number or a short message/messaging system (SMS).
  • be accessible to people with disabilities, not require a membership, not affect the power flow to vehicles
  • provide access for those with limited English proficiency
  • be compliant with appropriate Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)

EV Charging station manufacturers, integrators, installers, charge point operators and owners seek robust and reliable payment solutions that comply with NEVIS requirements and facilitate advanced contactless transactions within legacy EV infrastructure.

The race is now on to source easy-to-integrate payment acceptance devices that can be rolled out at scale to meet the diverse needs of EV users and charging locations – from the smallest of rural installations to large state-wide networks and major cities.

For those involved in building out EV infrastructure, Castles Technology provides ideal solutions. As a major manufacturer of world-leading point-of-sale technology, our unattended payments devices are globally proven in extreme self-service environments. With security, durability, functionality, and value, they’re perfect for US-regulated EV applications. 

7 ways it pays to power up payments with Castles Technology

  1. Advanced Contactless Payment: Supports a variety of contactless payment methods, from mobile wallets to contactless cards, including closed loop cards, aligning with the new mandate for simplified payment options.
  2. Superior Android-based Terminals: Featuring a high-resolution frontal camera, these enable QR code scanning and image capture, making payment processes smoother and compliant with regulatory standards for accessibility.
  3. Durability: The terminals are designed with durability in mind, featuring dust and water resistance, crucial for long-term outdoor usability.
  4. All-in-one Design: This user-centric approach reduces the need for multiple devices, simplifying the operation and maintenance of EV charging stations, which is in line with the US government’s vision for an integrated, accessible charging network.
  5. Swift and Efficient Decision-making: Castles Technology stands out for its quick, informed decision-making capabilities, ensuring flexibility and responsiveness to regulatory changes.
  6. Enabling Kiosk Payments: Castles Technology has developed a 5-inch touchscreen terminal suitable for single charging point payments or kiosk applications, allowing users to select their charging point and use contactless payment cards.
  7. Multiple communications support LAN, WAN, WWAN, MDB, RS232, USB, WLAN, Bluetooth, to adapt to any EV charging and payment architectures.

As a final point: EV charging networks that aren’t reliant on government funding should still make payment accessibility a priority

Restricting access to those who carry an exclusive network payment card or account may be advantageous for brand and loyalty programs.  However, these ‘closed loop’ methods pose challenges for drivers who may need to charge at different networks and end up carrying multiple network cards. 

By offering open loop payments – including credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay – EV networks can help more EV users access charging locations (though this may incur fees based on the card issuer/network).

Until North America can match EV charging provision with EV vehicle demand, drivers may find it challenging tracking down compatible EV chargers for closed-loop cards.  Providing open loop payment options may help to alleviate customer anxiety, improve accessibility and enhance customer satisfaction – which makes for a much better EV charging experience and less stressful EV driving.

As a global leader in the payments industry, Castles Technology has already integrated and deployed with some of the top EV Charger manufacturers in the world and deployed payment solutions like the Android based S1U2 in the market.  Its sleek design and rugged outdoor capabilities make it a first choice for integration into existing chargers or new designs. Discover how Castles Technology’s cutting-edge unattended payment solutions can enhance EV business by contacting us today. Let’s shape the future of payments with Castles Technology—where innovation meets convenience.

Learn more about Castles Technology unattended payment solutions here:
Or swing by and meet the team at the EV Charging Summit and Expo in Las Vegas on March 20-22 on Booth 1305.

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