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Crowdfunding an operating system for EV charging infrastructure

Marc Mültin
Marc Mültin
September 16, 2020
• Updated
min read
Crowdfunding an operating system for EV charging infrastructure

V2G announces its crowdfunding initiative to accelerate mass EV adoption and to move in a greener way.

As you may know, V2G Clarity’s mission is to help bring convenient, secure, and user-friendly electric vehicle charging (EV) to a global audience. Much of our work is aimed at lowering the barrier to understanding and implementing technologies like ISO 15118 and the Open Charge Point Protocol so our customers can create a seamless charging experience for EV drivers. You likely already know about RISE V2G, the open-source implementation of ISO 15118, which I published under the MIT license on GitHub in 2015. Since then, it has evolved as a highly respected and well-tested framework for both EV and charging station manufacturers.

I would love for V2G Clarity to continue the great success of RISE V2G. So I have two requests in this article, for your thoughts on:

Goodbye CHAdeMO, hello CCS (and ISO 15118)

As technology evolves, so does ISO 15118. New use cases like bidirectional power flow to facilitate vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications are being introduced with the new version of ISO 15118 (called ISO 15118-20). This new standard is currently under development and will be released in the second half of 2021. My journey as an active member of the ISO 15118 standardisation body began with its inception back in 2010 and I continue to devote a significant amount of time to help shape this new standard. The goal is that companies from a variety of industries (e.g. automotive, charging infrastructure industry, and utilities) and nations can agree upon a common solution, which also lowers implementation costs and raises adoption rates across the globe.

ISO 15118 is part of the Combined Charging System (CCS), which is now the dominant global standard for charging all kinds of battery-powered electric vehicles. In fact, Nissan decided to adopt CCS exclusively in all its EVs destined for the European and North American market. This means that CHAdeMO, the only charging communication standard to date that has enabled V2G field trials, is likely to have a future in Japan only.

Before Christmas last year, I let my community know that I plan to extend RISE V2G by including an open-source implementation of ISO 15118-20 (RISE V2G 2.0). My aim is to help the growing global market of EV and charging station manufacturers to abstract the underlying complexity, and lower their development costs, with this free resource.

My vision for RISE V2G 2.0 is not only an implementation of ISO 15118-20, but a fully-fledged framework for ISO 15118. It’s important to focus on the biggest possible effect on accelerating the e-mobility industry’s transition to secure and future-proof technology. To do this we need a turn-key solution that caters to all relevant parts and communication layers, including ISO 15118-2, -3, -8, and -20 (see this knowledge base article for more info on each part).

This is a massive project, which is why I’m working on a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Here is my current idea for a product offering: a flexible operating system (OS) / SDK for charging stations, including:

  • Open-source implementation of ISO 15118-2, -3, -20 (and later -8) in Python, for both EVs and charging stations
  • Published under the MIT license to guarantee both private and commercial use
  • Perfect integration with our OCPP 2.0.1 Python implementation
  • Fully tested on charging stations from at least three different manufacturers, using an MQTT message broker to facilitate an interface to a variety of hardware components inside a charger (basically a hardware abstraction layer)
  • Compliant with calibration law regulations in Germany, which could soon become mandatory internationally
  • An API documentation that helps you adapt the software to your specific needs
  • Complete integration with our cloud-based OCPP 2.0.1 compliance testing tool (Testing-as-a-Service – TaaS), so you can simulate an ISO 15118 communication session with our TaaS
  • A web-based user interface for the charging station that facilitates all necessary configuration, based on a user-centric approach with a variety of user interviews and tests to maximise ease-of-use

I’m also considering a few add-on bundle options, such as:

  • A new eBook similar to the ISO 15118 Manual explaining the new features of ISO 15118-20 and how it differs from ISO 15118-2
  • A developer version including our software running on a Raspberry Pi 4
  • A turn-key solution in collaboration with our partner in-tech smart charging: our software running on a communication controller for any kind of AC charging station (based on the Charge Control C) and DC charging station (based on the Charge Control M). These communication controllers provide the ultimate flexibility and include PWM signalling, HomePlug Green PHY™ compatible QCA7000 Chip for CP and mains communication, actuator control for locking motors, contractors, and ventilators, as well as a vast amount of general-purpose IO to be connected to a variety of periphery.

Vote for your favourite features

What do you think? Do these options match your most wanted features? As crowdfunding campaigns are mostly B2C and not B2B, I wonder how you see the chances of success? Also, what would be your concerns, doubts or questions regarding our crowdfunding product? I’ve prepared a quick 5-min survey (grab your coffee), which helps me tailor the crowdfunding campaign to your specific needs.

Simply use the embedded form below (or click here) to give me and my talented team of engineers and designers your feedback on this idea. Your input is invaluable and much appreciated!

Aside from answering the questions above, you can also help us out by sharing your experience with RISE V2G. We’d love to hear your stories and show potential backers of our campaign that RISE V2G is already having a powerful impact.

For example, how did RISE V2G speed up your test setup or product development of an ISO 15118-compliant charging station or EV? Could you give us two to three sentences, along with a picture of you, name of your company, and your position within the company?

We'd love to hear your stories and showcase them as short case studies. The top three most engaging testimonials will appear on our crowdfunding page, which will earn those companies a huge discount when we launch on Indiegogo. Deadline is October 2, 2020. Just send us an email.

Thank you so much for your help with all of this and I’m looking forward to your feedback. Oh, and please share this article with your peers.

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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