EV charging communication events and trends in 2019

Marc Mültin
Marc Mültin
January 31, 2019
• Updated
min read
EV charging communication events and trends in 2019

Trends for 2019 in EV charging communication

That annual feeling is upon us: goal setting and resolutions sweep the public discourse and flood social media, as they do every January. But what if we made collective, societal goals? After spending a decade in the electric mobility industry, I have seen the compounding effect of individuals in this field working together and it has been quite a transformation.

What would your goals for the e-mobility industry be this upcoming year? What about five and ten years from now? I would love to read them in the comments below this blog post and we can continue the dialogue from there.

Meanwhile, I am proud to share with you a recent 10th anniversary that our industry had: the CCS & ISO/IEC 15118 Testing Symposium that took place in Arnhem, the Netherlands. This International Testing Symposium for the Combined Charging System was co-located with the OCPP 2.0 Plugfest. I have been to many of these events over the years and this was by far the most exciting. We even had an unexpected and prestigious guest, as I’ll reveal to you soon.  

In this post, you can expect:

  • more information about the recent testing symposium (including a video)
  • details about rollouts of PKIs that pave the way for secure EV charging powered by Plug & Charge
  • upcoming industry events you won’t want to miss

Let's dive in!

The 10th anniversary edition testing symposia: validating interoperability and conformance worldwide

It’s amazing to see this community grow each year. This latest gathering took place on Nov. 15 and 16, 2018. A remarkable 400 attendees and 180 companies from 28 countries joined this combined EV charging test event. Those of you who have been following my blog have seen my posts about previous Testing Symposia (“Videos from the 8th International CCS &  ISO/IEC 15118 Testing Symposium” and “6th International ISO 15118 Interoperability and Conformance Testing Symposium”).

This event brings together manufacturers of EVs, charging stations, and the suppliers of communication controller to achieve one singular goal: testing and validating that the EVs and charging stations can perfectly communicate with each other. This proves their “interoperability” and offers a testament to the quality of each product. Taking it a step further, test system providers like Verisco and Vector Informatik allow participants to validate whether or not their implementation also “conforms” to the ISO 15118 international standard. If the software of two test participants is conforming to the standard, then interoperability is guaranteed — but this is not necessarily the case the other way around.

This event rotates around the world twice a year. It is important for you and/or your company to prioritise attending these events when they occur close to you. That’s why they occur globally. This way, we can all be on the same page about interoperability and conformance. The end user of each EV and charging station is the main beneficiary of our work at these conferences.  

Video from the 10th International CCS & ISO/IEC15118 Testing Symposium and OCPP 2.0 Plugfest

ElaadNL hosted this anniversary edition event. They also organised the OCPP 2.0 Plugfest, which took place simultaneously and shared a location with the Symposium. OCPP is short for Open Charge Point Protocol and defines the messages on the communication link between a charging station and its managing IT backend system. ElaadNL is a founding member of the Open Charge Alliance, which produced this amazing video that perfectly captures the spirit and huge success of these combined events. Take a look at the video below.

OCA video covering the OCPP 2.0 Plugfest and CCS & ISO/IEC 15118 Testing Symposium

Surprise guest and big announcement: Tesla supports CCS and joins the testing symposium

The video leaves out one exciting detail: Tesla finally joined the ranks of international companies that attend this important global event. In fact, at the same time the event took place, Telsa announced that the company officially supports the Combined Charging System (CCS).

As engineers, programmers, manufacturers and more, we were all happy to see that Tesla has made an effort to become an active member of our ever-growing community. The company even brought a Tesla Model 3. As far as I understand, they were testing their charging communication according to DIN SPEC 70121 as this is what the majority of charging stations out there is equipped these days. However, I'm sure they'll be testing ISO 15118 soon as well. Either way, I look forward to seeing Tesla at the next testing symposium.

Plug & Charge gains traction in the market - thanks to Public-Key Infrastructure rollout   

On the second day of the symposium, ElaadNL organized a PKI workshop. PKI, being short for public-key infrastructure, is a set of technological and organisational processes that enable trustworthy communication between the EV and charging station. A PKI is based on the creation, management, and distribution of cryptographic key material and digital certificates.

The workshop started with an introductory talk about building a common base of understanding regarding the key concepts of a PKI. A hands-on demonstration orchestrated between e-clearing.net, VEDECOM, and Driivz (starting at 1:39 in the video above) showed how such a PKI is used to install what is called a contract certificate into an EV. A contract certificate is a necessary prerequisite for the user-convenient and secure Plug & Charge feature of ISO 15118. The EV automatically authenticates and authorizes itself for charging — without the driver needing to do anything beyond plug the charging cable into the vehicle. Entering a credit card, opening an app to scan a QR code, and finding that easy-to-lose RFID card are a thing of the past with this technology!

The demonstrated solution is not yet market-ready, but may soon compete with the already-established Plug & Charge PKI ecosystem that Hubject successfully operates. Several from Hubject’s team were present at the workshop and showcased their solution within their talks as well. They seem quite successful in rolling out their infrastructure, according to the recent Wired magazine article VW’s EV Chargers Make Paying For Power Easier Than Ever and Hubject's press release regarding Greenlots.

The PKI workshop concluded with a panel discussion and ElaadNL handing over their Study on Public Key Infrastructure for ISO 15118. This well-written text explains the public-key infrastructure that is necessary to make Plug & Charge work. I reviewed this document and helped ElaadNL make sure everything is correct from a technical standpoint. In case you are interested in diving deeper into the technical requirements and cryptographic foundations of Plug & Charge (a topic that often troubles many companies when implementing this future-proof technology), check out the latest V2G Clarity Online Courses.

Mark your calendars: upcoming e-mobility events around the world

OCPP 2.0 Plugfest 2019

Dates: Feb 5th and 6th
Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands

Inspired by the success of the first OCPP 2.0 Plugfest, the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) announced the second OCPP 2.0 Plugfest. This event takes place on Feb. 5th and 6th at ElaadNL in Arnhem, at the same location as the 10th anniversary symposium and the first OCPP 2.0 Plugfest in 2018. This hands-on event will again dive into implementing, supporting, and testing OCPP 2.0. All levels are welcome.

CCS & ISO/IEC 15118 Testing Symposium

Dates: May 16th and 17th
Location: Near Washington D.C.

Although not officially announced yet, Electrify America will organise the next CCS & ISO/IEC 15118 Testing Symposium. No information is yet available on the testing symposia website but be sure to keep an eye on my email newsletters. I will inform you as soon as we have more details.

CharIN Training on Charging Communication (ISO 15118 Basics & Advanced)

CharIN, the official organisation promoting the Combined Charging System (CCS) specification, recently founded the CharIN Academy. This Academy will offer a worldwide program of broad and specific trainings to members and other interested parties. Among these trainings will be the CCS specification and ISO 15118 charging communication in particular. I am proud to tell you that I will lead the ISO 15118 training events. Check out the training dates to save your spot.

I hope to see you at many of these upcoming events! It is my firm belief that we must march forward, together as a global community, toward intentional goals like user-friendly and interoperable EV charging technology.  Collectively, we can speed up the adoption of this industry and make fossil fuel-based transportation a thing of the past.

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.
Connect with
Marc Mültin

Related reads

Latest News