Corethree Ltd. has developed a mobile wallet that allows drivers of electric vehicles in the U.K. to locate charging stations and pay through their smartphones.
Corethree's CoreEngine app allows motorists to make payments throughout the national Charge Your Car network of electric car charging stations, the Watford, U.K.-based mobile pay developer announced today.
"This is a new concept and idea for Corethree, incorporating the existing technology used in our CoreEngine mobile wallet app for navigation and mapping," says Richard Stevenson, product specialist for Corethree, in an interview.
Corethree has spent the past few years developing the CoreEngine mobile wallet platform, which also allows U.K. consumers to use smartphones to pay for train or bus rides, Stevenson says.
The company developed the electric vehicle charging app because of current and potential growth in that market, Stevenson says.
"Electric cars and the Charge Your Car network are becoming more popular in the U.K.," Stevenson says. "The network has 1,500 to 2,000 charging stations at the moment and forecasts 10,000 by the year 2020."
When the U.K. government provided funding and incentives to increase use of electric cars in the past year, Charge Your Car announced it would expand to become a national network, Stevenson says. At that time, Corethree felt its mobile wallet could serve a growing industry, Stevenson says.
CoreEngine offers real-time geo-located information on the availability of charging stations and navigation tools to find those locations. After charging a vehicle, the consumer can pay through the mobile app, Stevenson says.
The consumer can link any debit or credit card account to the app, which works on Apple and Google Android handsets, Stevenson says.
The company will likely advance its mobile wallet to address public parking in the near future, Stevenson says.
"A full end-to-end mobile pay app for parking would be beneficial for consumers, letting them know how full a parking garage is and where open spots are located," he says.
It has always been difficult for electric vehicle owners in the U.K. to find a charging station, says Matt Simester, a London-based consultant with Auriemma Consulting Group and managing director of its Payments Insights.
"This may seem like a small innovation, but the bigger message here is that if a mobile wallet provider can really make life easier for consumers, that provider will succeed," Simester says.
An app that helps a consumer find charging stations or parking spaces in addition to providing easy payments would "become my prime wallet" because of its everyday uses, Simester adds.