What is a CPO (Charge Point Operator)?

In the context of EV charging, CPO stands for “Charge Point Operator.” A Charge Point Operator is an entity responsible for building, operating, and maintaining electric vehicle charging infrastructure. A CPO may operate their own EV charging stations or install and maintain them for a third party. 

Who can become a CPO?

A wide range of entities can serve as Charge Point Operators in the EV charging industry.


Electric utilities may serve as CPOs by deploying and managing EV charging infrastructure as part of their service offerings. Utilities have access to the necessary electrical infrastructure and expertise to install and operate charging stations, and they may offer EV charging services to their customers as an additional service.

Charging network operators

Companies specializing in operating charging networks can act as CPOs by deploying and managing charging infrastructure across multiple locations or regions. These charging network operators may offer membership-based access to their charging network, allowing EV drivers to access charging stations at various locations using a single account or payment method.


Automotive manufacturers may serve as CPOs by deploying charging infrastructure to support their electric vehicle models. Automakers may install charging stations at dealership locations, corporate offices, or other strategic locations to provide charging services to their customers and promote the adoption of electric vehicles.

Commercial property owners

Owners of commercial properties such as shopping centers, office buildings, and parking facilities can act as CPOs by installing and managing EV charging infrastructure on their premises. Commercial property owners may offer charging services to tenants, employees, or visitors as an amenity and value-added service.

Municipalities and government agencies

Local governments and municipal authorities may serve as CPOs by deploying public EV charging infrastructure in their communities. Municipalities may install charging stations in public parking lots, city centers, or other municipal facilities to support the transition to electric vehicles and promote sustainable transportation options.

Responsibilities of the CPO

Depending on the breadth of their offering, CPOs’ responsibilities can include site selection, gathering permits, selecting and installing charging point hardware, implementing a Charging Point Management System (CPMS),  launching and promoting services, billing and payment processing, and ongoing support and maintenance.

CPOs can collaborate with: 

a) other network operators to form roaming partnerships to expand coverage; 

b) utility companies to leverage existing electrical infrastructure; 

c) government agencies and regulators to access permits and incentives; 

d) property owners and developers at strategic locations to expand their network.

CPO’s use of a CPMS

CPO companies often utilize Charge Point Management Systems (CPMS) as a business critical solution to monitor and manage their charging stations remotely.

A Charging Point Management System (CPMS) provides various levels of visibility into the operation, performance, and usage of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Using a CPMS, CPOS can obtain real-time monitoring, charging session data, user activity and authentication logs,  billing and financial data, historical data and reporting.

Overall, CPMS serves as a centralized platform for managing and controlling charging infrastructure, providing operators with the tools and capabilities to ensure the reliable and efficient operation of electric vehicle charging networks.

Importance of CPO in eMobility

CPOs play a vital role in enhancing the accessibility, reliability, convenience, and sustainability of charging infrastructure for EV drivers, supporting the widespread adoption and acceptance of electric vehicles as a viable transportation option.

CPOs maintain charging infrastructure at various locations, including public spaces, workplaces, shopping centers, and highways, making it more convenient for EV drivers to access charging facilities wherever they go.

By operating and maintaining charging infrastructure, CPOs ensure that charging stations are reliable, well-maintained, and operational. EV drivers can rely on CPOs to provide consistent access to charging services, reducing the risk of encountering out-of-service or malfunctioning charging stations.

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