Thought Leadership

CPOs, eMSPs, and CSPs


Welcome to the world of eMobility, just like any other industry we have our own set of abbreviations. These shortcuts are designed to express a lot, with just a few characters. However, with simplification comes misinformation – the lines aren’t always clear. In this article we’re going to look at 3 abbreviations, CPO, eMSP and CSP. We’re going to explain what they mean by definition, what that means practically and where they blend from one to another.

CPO – Charge Point Operator

A CPO is a company that operates a network of charging stations. They distribute and manage physical stations that can be used to charge EVs. These are not exclusively station (hardware) creators such as EVBox but also popular locations that manage public stations. For example, Vattenfall, who manages charging stations for the city of Amsterdam, is a CPO. However, having a private charging station at home does not make you a CPO.

As the EV charging market develops, we’re seeing CPO’s evolve and expand their offering – they’re adding electric mobility services.

eMSP – Electric mobility service provider

An eMSP is a company that enables the charging network. They provide EV drivers with access to the network of charging stations. The “e” is important since not all MSP’s are electric solutions. The goal of an eMSP is to facilitate a CPO and to help them run a successful charging business. Everon is an eMSP, we’ve built a software platform designed to help CPO’s as well as other eMSP’s manage their companies. These two types of businesses can be referred to as charging service providers (CSP).

CSP – Charging service provider

A CSP is a company that contributes to the electric vehicle charging industry. They can be a CPO, eMSP or both. As the market grows we’re seeing increased collaboration but also convergence and therefore new service lines. Defining a company as CPO or eMSP is getting harder, so often they're grouped together.

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If you’re interested in learning more abbreviations, we will be sharing a list of 100 EV related terms. Until then, check out the other articles in this blog or visit Academy, to see our learning platform.