Payment method requirements for publicly accessible charging stations
Frequently asked questions
What payment methods do ChargePoint stations accept?
ChargePoint stations intended for public use provide a wide range of payment options.
Drivers can always use the free ChargePoint app to pay using a ChargePoint account, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal, or pay via roaming agreements with other charging network apps and RFID cards.
Additionally, all station models intended for public use offer contactless payment technology that accepts major credit and debit cards and a toll-free telephone payments service. ChargePoint also offers EMV chip readers as optional in some models to enable customers to comply with specific legal requirements or grant opportunities.
What payment methods must publicly accessible charging stations in California accept?
Pursuant to the California Health and Safety Code, electric vehicle charging stations that require payment of a fee and are first installed or first made publicly available on or after July 10, 2023, must at least provide:
- a contactless payment method that accepts major credit and debit cards, and
- an automated toll-free telephone number or a short message system (SMS) that provides the option to initiate a charging session and submit payment.
Important note: Bear in mind that the new law moves authority to regulate charging stations from the California Air Resources Board over to the California Energy Commission, which now must establish rules regarding several important considerations for EV charging stations, including how to implement these payment methods. This process may take several months.
Does this requirement apply to Level 2 (AC) and Level 3 (DC) stations?
Yes. This requirement applies to all forms of publicly accessible EV charging stations.
What does publicly accessible mean?
If stations in California are visible to all drivers in the ChargePoint app and available for any driver to use, they are considered publicly accessible and must provide the payment methods described above. Stations that are limited to use by certain groups, such as customers, employees or residents, do not need to provide these payment options.
ChargePoint enables organizations to limit stations to certain users using access control and Connections in the ChargePoint app.
What is a contactless payment method?
In this context, a “contactless payment method” means a secure method for consumers to purchase services using a debit card, credit card, smartcard or another payment device, by using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology or near-field communication (NFC).
Was there ever a requirement for publicly accessible stations in California to also have EMV chip readers?
Yes, but the law in question was amended on July 2023, to, among others, eliminate the need for EMV chip readers. A new law is in the process of being implemented, and the California Energy Commission will issue regulations regarding various important considerations for publicly accessible EV charging stations, including how to implement payment methods.
I ordered a chip reader for a station intended for public access in California. What should I do?
If you are in California and no longer want an EMV chip reader, please reach out to your ChargePoint representative. Contactless payment technology may offer several benefits over EMV chip readers, including increased hygiene, reduced wear and tear, and increased reliability.
Are there other states that require EMV chip readers on publicly accessible charging stations?
Washington State is the only state where EMV chip readers may be required on publicly available charging stations that charge a fee and are installed on or after January 1, 2024. Some state or utility incentive programs and grant opportunities may also require EMV chip readers.
Regulations may change from time to time, so be sure to check with all regulatory bodies and seek counsel before installing an EV charging station for public use.
Where can I find more information?
Visit this resource for more details.
What should ChargePoint customers do if they have questions?
ChargePoint customers can contact our support team for assistance.