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The EV industry is growing with 2.7 million public charging points globally by the end of 2022, a surge of 55% from 2021, matching the robust growth seen between 2015 and 2019. Central to this momentum are Charge Point Operators (CPOs). They manage these stations, ensuring reliable and user-friendly charging, paving the way for an electric-driven future.

What is a Charge Point Operator?

A Charge Point Operator (CPO) is a company or entity responsible for setting up and managing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Their primary role encompasses both public and private charging stations, and they deal with the necessary hardware and software required to manage these stations efficiently.

What do Charge Point Operators do?

CPOs wear many hats in their operations:

  • Infrastructure setup: They identify suitable locations, negotiate contracts, and secure spots for new charging stations.
  • Operational responsibilities: This includes the procurement of charging points, preparing sites for installation, ensuring a reliable power supply, and managing the ongoing maintenance of the charging points.
  • Charging services: Ensuring a seamless experience for EV drivers by maintaining optimal charging stations, integrating new technologies, and setting up pricing mechanisms.
  • Software management: Using charging management software (CMS) to monitor and manage stations, track charging sessions, handle payments, and generate reports.
  • Futureproofing: CPOs anticipate future demands and are prepared to integrate newer, faster-charging technologies as they become available.

How can CPOs best optimise their business?

CPOs can heighten their business efficiency and profitability through various means:

  • Operational excellence: Ensuring that all equipment and infrastructure are maintained and functional.
  • Smart energy management: Balancing energy demand during peak hours and integrating renewable energy sources and battery storage.
  • Real-time monitoring: Using software platforms to gather real-time data for effective decision-making.
  • Scalability: Anticipating the growth of the EV market and ensuring the infrastructure can handle increased demands.
  • Interoperability: Ensuring compatibility with industry standards  and protocols such as OCPP, OCPI, and ISO 15118 for smooth operations.

Difference between Charge Point Operator and Charge Point Owner

At the core, the Charge Point Operator handles the operational aspect of EV charging stations. In contrast, the Charge Point Owner may own the physical charging infrastructure but might not be involved in its day-to-day operations. In some cases, the CPO and the owner can be the same entity, but in others, a CPO might manage and operate charging stations owned by a different party.


Do CPOs set the pricing for charging?

Yes, CPOs typically decide the pricing structure for using their charging stations, though it may vary based on agreements with property owners or other stakeholders.

Can a business become both a CPO and an eMobility Service Provider (EMSP)?

Yes, as the EV charging industry matures, many businesses are offering a mix of CPO and EMSP services to cater to broader needs.

How do CPOs handle technical issues with charging stations?

Advanced CPO platforms notify operators about any arising issues, enabling them to address problems quickly. Some systems even have self-healing features to automatically rectify certain issues.

What is the future of CPOs with the rise of EVs?

The demand for CPOs will likely grow as EV adoption increases, making their role even more vital in the transition to sustainable transportation.

Can CPOs integrate with renewable energy sources?

Yes, many CPOs are now looking to integrate renewable energy sources like solar and wind to power their charging stations, making the charging process even more environmentally friendly.