Abbreviation galore! What do you know about MSP’s, CPO’s and EMSP’s?

15 Aug 2019

Driving electric brings you to a whole new world of abbreviations you probably never heard of before. Like MSP (Mobility Service Provider), CPO (Charge Point Operator) and EMSP (E-mobility Service Provider). It’s important to know what they mean, find all you need to know in this article.

There is a lot to driving electric, but the most important life hack is knowing which MSP works best for you. MSP’s vary in costs. A lot. There are no regulations yet and companies make up their own way of setting prices. So, it’s good to make an informed choice. But first things first.

CPO, MSP, EMSP and what’s what

The CPO, MSP and EMSP are the ones determining the price of your charging session. The CPO provides the charging point and maintains it. The CPO distributes the energy to its charging points. (E)MSP’s sell mobility products and services. A charging subscription, the charging card and/or an app to charge. The payment of your charging session will take place via the (E)MSP. Some CPO's also provide MSP products and services.

From least to most expensive

So, what influences costs? There are a few main reasons your costs can go up or down, depending on your charging behaviour and MSP. Main influences on your costs are:

MSP influence on the price
  • Purchase of the card itself
  • MSP’s business model
  • Service costs of the MSP
CPO influence on the price 
  • Pricing restrictions (Tender funded, subsidies, commercial)
  • Hardware costs of the chargers
  • Charging power
  • Grid connection and electricity supply cost
  • Pricing models:
    • Start tariff
    • Time tariff
    • Idle fee
    • kWh fees
    • session fee

Why your MSP card might not work

You might have experienced that your MSP card did not work on a certain charger. We have listed the most common reasons here:

  1. You forgot to activate your card. A beginner’s mistake, it has happened to the best of us. Don’t make the same mistakes we made and check with your MSP if your card is activated.
  2. The charging point doesn’t have a contract with your MSP.
  3. A new card that isn’t registered with the charging point yet. 

We advise you to contact your MSP about interoperability. Most CPO’s offer direct payment methods as well. At Allego operated chargers, you can pay with the Smoov app using your creditcard or direct debit. At Allego's fast and ultrafast chargers you can pay with your creditcard or debitcard. 

Going abroad

This is where the tricky part comes in. Be aware! Not every charge card works in all countries. So before you travel abroad, check if your charge card works with the charging points abroad. Ever wondered why this is the case? Roaming is the one to blame. Although interoperability is well established in Europe, it is still not at the level where you can use your card everywhere you go. Through roaming platforms, MSP's can connect with the CPO’s and enable their cards to work in various regions.

Important websites to help you find the MSP that suits your needs best:

Become a charging pro

At Allego we aim to make charging as seamless as possible. In our next Pro Charging articles, we will dive deeper into some of the apps you can use on your way.