techAU first to try new Chargefox RFID card “roaming” trial at NRMA Picton charger

    What if you could start and end a charge at NRMA electric car chargers across Australia without having to open the MyNRMA app, find your charger location on screen, plug in the car in and go back to the app to swipe and start a charge?

    If you’re like me you’re thinking that would be awesome especially for EV drivers who have phones with lower coverage Vodafone/Optus SIM’s, have old phones or don’t like using smartphones.

    Chargefox thinks it would be a great idea as well so they’re currently doing a small trial with a small group of regular customers, to test starting and ending an NRMA charging session using OCPI and an RFID card that’s already registered in the Chargefox app.

    If you’re in the trial tester group you’ll know already as you’ll have received an email like this, look in your email inbox for the title “You’re invited to trial NRMA Electric Fast Chargers with Chargefox “.

    Important: if you did not get a trial tester group invite then RFID tapping at NRMA chargers will not work for you right now.

    Since I received the email invite I drove from Marrickville to Picton today in the Ford Mustang Mach-E Select that I have for media loan review test driving this week.

    For readers interested in driving stats the Mach-E travelled 76km South from Sydney, mostly at motorway speeds of 80-110km/hr with external temperature of 29C, aircon on @ 21.5C, in Whisper driving mode with OPD on and the result was it used 17% of the battery at an efficiency rate of 17kWh/100km.

    I reached Picton and found a BYD Seal there already charging. Thankfully the driver was punctual and returned in 20min, exactly when their Plugshare comment said they would.

    I parked the Mach-E in the charging bay, plugged in the CCS 2 cable and used my RFID card to authorise the charge so I could press the start button.

    Then I went for a walk to see what shops were at Picton Mall, keeping an eye on charge progress via the FordPass app on my phone.

    When I returned I used my RFID card to allow stopping the charge and pressed the Stop button.

    The trial worked perfectly, I didn’t need the MyNRMA app at all 🙂

    Hopefully if most of the other people in the trial tester group have no problems, that data will convince NRMA to enable Chargefox registered RFID cards to start/stop charging at all current and future NRMA chargers.

    My own personal opinion is that it would be really great for EV driver customer experience if all of Australia’s EV charging networks that support RFID tapping (eg Evie, Exploren, Everty and Elanga) would contact Chargefox and make a “roaming” agreement to display their charging stations in the Chargefox app and allow an RFID card registered with Chargefox to start/end charging sessions at their locations without needing an app.

    If you’re confused why the photos above show an Evie RFID card. It’s because any MiFare compatible RFID card will work with RFID compatible Australian EV chargers, as long as it is pre-registered. So you only need to carry one RFID card, not a Chargefox card, Evie card, Exploren card etc. Follow my instructions to see the details.

    Neerav Bhatt
    Neerav Bhatt
    Thanks to his broad general knowledge, research skills and ability to explain complex issues Neerav Bhatt has appeared in the online, print, radio and TV media including: ABC (Online, TV, Radio), SBS (Online, Radio), BBC World Service (Radio), 10 News TV, Sky News TV, Australian IT, Technology Spectator, Ausdroid, iTnews, APCMAG, IDG CSO and a variety of other publications. In 2023 he joined the techAU team and represents them at Sydney events.


    1. Hopefully NRMA drops their poor app altogether, and just uses Chargefox.

      Did you get the discount btw?

      Used the new Mittagong chargers today. Didn’t appear to even scan a Chargefox card.
      But agree with the comments on Plugshare that the cables are way too heavy and the cable securing mechanism is plain dumb

    2. Trial test participants aren’t being charged for test site charges during the several week test period because the trial is only at 4 chargers and EV drivers helping with testing like me are driving there to do the test, not because they needed to drive to Picton.

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