“Treaty of Vaals” enables electric car charging in 7 European countries

July 20, 2012 03:17 PM
Treaty of Vaals representatives.
© Photo courtesy of E-clearing.

The “Treaty of Vaals” was signed on March 30, 2012, in the town of Vaals in the Netherlands by seven organizations managing a public charging infrastructure for electric cars in their respective countries in Europe. Partners are collaborating on the first open European Clearing House for electric driving.
The “Treaty of Vaals” is a collaboration agreement on “e-roaming” between the Dutch foundation e-laad, the German cooperation, the Belgium provider Blue Corner, the Luxembourg company Estonteco, the Austrian company Vlotte, the Portuguese Mobi.E and the Irish company ESB eCars.

Founded and developed by the three partners—, e-laad and Blue Corner— is an open clearing and settlement platform which enables the mutual and international exchange of electric car charging data between the organizations. Because of this agreement, a customer of any one of the member organizations now can use their local user card to access electric car charging in any of the other seven countries, because costs can easily be settled between the partners. EV drivers can now drive across borders and access a reliable charging network that should alleviate any range anxiety. This collaboration establishes a European standard that makes international charging as easy as local charging for EV drivers.

The information technology (IT) system is based on an open standard, the Open Clearing House Protocol (OCHP), which facilitates automatic data exchange. Additionally, other countries and organizations can easily join the collaboration.

Contributed by Alison Mize

Public charging infrastructure providers are ready to make charging stations available for customers of other service providers (interoperability), and EV drivers can charge wherever they are. Drivers can charge in their own country as well as beyond country borders.

Charging at public charging stations is currently free in the different countries, but this will change in the future. Access to each other's charging stations will then not be sufficient. Data exchange about usage will become necessary, so that payments can be settled. This is similar to international calling and payment by debit card. Payments will be based on charging transactions, for instance time duration, used kilowatt-hours, users (by means of a card), etc. This data should be exchanged easily and automatically.