A comparison of Autocharge and ISO 15118's Plug & Charge

Marc Mültin
Marc Mültin
June 11, 2019
• Updated
min read
A comparison of Autocharge and ISO 15118's Plug & Charge

Autocharge vs Plug and Charge. What's the difference?

The terms Autocharge and Plug & Charge are currently circulating in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. At first glance, both refer to the same user experience: offering a seamless and customer-friendly charging process that starts as soon as the EV driver plugs the charging cable into the EV — with no additional user steps required.

To simplify the charging experience, the e-mobility industry is working to eliminate the hassle of using an external device to authorise the EV driver at a charging station. The act of paying with a credit card, using an app to scan a QR code, or finding that easy-to-lose RFID card can be a thing of the past.

In fact, the technology to make this vision into a reality is available now. Secure and scalable IT systems can seamlessly authenticate the user, automatically authorise him or her for the charging process, and settle the billing process after charging. The two main applications currently used for the Combined Charging System (CCS) are Autocharge and ISO 15118’s Plug & Charge. But which hassle-free charging application is best suited for any given situation? Without further background knowledge, one might even confuse Autocharge with Plug & Charge (which is a term coined by the ISO 15118 standard). However, the two approaches differ drastically in their underlying security and complexity. The implementer not only needs to consider the necessary security level for a particular use case, but also must consider the related implementation and operational costs, along with the long-term viability, for the selected approach. This article will shed light on the differences between Autocharge and ISO 15118’s Plug & Charge. The objective is to enable readers to decide which solution is favourable for each particular use case.

V2G Clarity and Hubject have joined forces to examine and explore the differences between Autocharge and ISO 15118’s Plug & Charge. The objective of this report is to enable readers to decide which solution is favourable for each particular use case. Click here or on the image below to download the 14-page whitepaper.


Marc Mültin
Marc, the Founder and CEO of Switch, has over 13 years of experience in the e-mobility space and holds a PhD in Computer Science. He is the leading global expert and co-author of international EV communication standards (ISO 15118 & OCPP 2.0.1) that underpin the Switch platform.
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Marc Mültin

An e-book for beginners and experts alike. Reduces the steep learning curve of ISO 15118 by providing a comprehensive and easy-to-understand access to the Vehicle-to-Grid communication protocol. Written by our founder, one of the few co-authors of ISO 15118, this e-book has fast become standard literature in the industry.

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Since we have published our ISO 15118 Manual it has been purchased by the biggest names in our industry and has become standard literature.

as well as Daimler, Porsche, Shell, Tritium, and many more...

As we were intensively implementing and testing
ISO 15118, we noticed there was a lack of overview of Plug & Charge and the whole supply chain amongst
our stakeholders.

Our training with Marc helped us achieve a much better understanding of the whole ecosystem. It led to constructive discussions on the requirements and concept of ISO 15118 in general.

Angelika Neuleitner,

charging system Specialist at Ionity

Working with recognized standards is the right way forward for the integration of electric vehicles into the grid, and we value Switch’s strong experience with the ISO 15118 standard.

We were able to leverage Marc’s insights to corner some of the keys issues pertinent to V2G in the published standard that needed to be addressed.

Hamza Lemsaddek,

Director embedded solutions at Nuvve Corporation

Attending Switch’s intensive two day training with the team gave us a deep dive into ISO 15118 and the different use cases.

We were able to validate our design with regards to the ecosystem and beyond. We now have a head start for the development of our next generation chargers and are able to support our customers for the deployment of the equipment all over Europe.

Johan Devos,

business development Manager at ENOvates

Certificate handling in ISO 15118 is a quite complex issue. Marc’s well prepared one-day course on this topic and his deep knowledge helped us to train our team and speed up the development of the ISO 15118 Plug & Charge
charging controller.

Johannes Bergmann,

eMobility Charging Systems DEVELOPER at SIEMENS AG

When I was working with students on ISO 15118 projects, Marc's courses tremendously helped in getting students to understand the standard quickly and dive into coding without hesitation. Marc's crystal-clear explanations with eye-catching graphics will make you an EV charging expert in one week.

Minho Shin,

Professor at Myongji University

In two exciting training days, Marc quickly and effectively explained ISO15118 communication to our experienced development team. In addition to the in-depth technical knowledge, the information about the communication standards that are still being established is very valuable. The training will definitely help us to make the implementation more effective.

Reinhard Starzinger,

Project Manager Electric Mobility AT Keba AG


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