The road to IEC 63110 and how you can impact the international standard

Marc Mültin
Marc Mültin
August 17, 2018
• Updated
min read
The road to IEC 63110 and how you can impact the international standard

The e-mobility world is constantly evolving due to EV communication protocols. Learn how you can shape them.

We are relatively early in developing an industry that many hope will completely overhaul the current transportation ecosystem worldwide. This means there is an opportunity at every turn to mould the future of our slowly but surely interconnecting world of e-mobility. Read on to find out how you can shape history by participating in the working groups that are steadily creating the next major international standard for charging communication infrastructure across the globe.

Current communication protocols for charging EVs

You may know that ISO 15118 is the enabler for the communication link between the EV and charging station. But the process of charging an EV and billing the driver for the charging session doesn’t end there. We also need a standardised communication protocol for the message exchange between the charging station and the corresponding IT backend system, which is managed by the charge point operator (CPO).

Most CPOs use the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) to manage and control each charging station. The Open Charge Alliance (OCA) originally published the document, which it then updated early in 2018 to a second version called OCPP 2.0. For some context: the OCA is a global consortium of public and private electric vehicle infrastructure companies that have come together to promote open standards. This updated document now comes with a whole new set of features including native support for ISO 15118 messages. OCPP is a widely accepted de facto standard, meaning that it has gained a dominant position in the market, even though it’s not an official international standard. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) are responsible for a variety of international e-mobility standards that help to guarantee interoperability.

Currently, a number of CPOs see limitations in the OCPP and have, therefore, developed their own protocol for managing their charging infrastructure.

This causes a huge issue for the industry at large. Having too many different and proprietary communication protocols makes interoperability nearly impossible. Although OCPP is a communication protocol with a robust offering of features for managing charging stations, many market players want an IEC standard that everyone can agree on. But this is most certainly a tough task to accomplish given the global nature of our evolving industry.

With the rise of the e-mobility ecosystem, millions of charging stations are to be installed within the next couple of years. This means interoperability is key to securing investments in the industry and user satisfaction.

The new communication standard for charging infrastructures

Introducing… IEC 63110, aptly named: Protocol for Management of Electric Vehicles charging and discharging infrastructures.

But it’s not finalised yet. Each IEC standard goes through several stages before it is finally published. These stages are: the “Working Draft” (WD), “Committee Draft” (CD), “Committee Draft for Voting” (CDV), “Final Draft for International Standard” (FDIS), and “International Standard” (IS). The image below was presented in April of 2018 at an experts’ meeting in Toronto. It illustrates the current and planned stages of the IEC 63110’s three documents.

The three documents that make up the new specification are:

  • IEC 63110-1: Basic definitions, use cases, and architectures
  • IEC 63110-2: Technical protocol specifications and requirements
  • IEC 63110-3: Requirements for conformance tests

Each part of such a standard usually takes three to four years to cross the finish line.

A number of OCA members who created the OCPP are now also part of the project team of IEC 63110. This means that OCPP 2.0 will surely going to have a real impact on the makeup of IEC 63110. And this is understandable, as many would like to see as much of OCPP in the official IEC standard as possible (instead of reinventing the wheel twice). Currently, how much of OCPP will end up being part of IEC 63110 is still undecided.

Ongoing activities and opportunities for your participation

I recently received an email asking registered experts to provide their comments for the first CD of Part 1 before the end of August 2018. A wide variety of use cases are listed in the document, but they are not fully specified. The project team (PT) leaders Stephan Cater ( and Paul Bertrand ( are looking for experts who are willing to actively participate in the working group and help shape this international standard.

What does participating in something this important look like?

  • Attending the working group meetings (weekly web-meetings and bi-annual face-to-face meetings)
  • Providing review and comments on draft documents
  • Writing proposals for the documents

If you would like to join the working group, your IEC National Committee (NC) needs to nominate you as an expert. Each IEC NC is responsible for the participation of experts from its country. Contact your NC and request to join TC69 (Technical Committee 69) JWG11 (Joint Working Group 11): 

The next face-to-face meeting is October 17-19, 2018 in Hangzhou, China. The deadline for registration is August 24th. These meetings are held twice a year in predetermined locations.

Are you interested in being a task force or project team leader?

Currently, the standardisation community is looking for a PT leader for Part 2. So far, there is just one task force in place called “Message Encoding and Transmission Technology”. The purpose of this task force is to assess the various options and define requirements regarding the transmission technology (e.g. HTTP, MQTT, CoAP) and the encoding mechanism to use for the transmitted messages (e.g. EXI, Protobuf).

If you are interested in participating or leading this task force, contact Lonneke Driessen ( But hurry. This task force will take place only through the end of September or the beginning of October, 2018.

Tomi Engel from the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) is one of the experts participating in this task force. He provided an extensive slide deck with a thorough assessment of possible requirements for message transfer and encoding in IEC 63110. In his considerations, he raises open questions and tries to derive technical characteristics for both the transmission protocol and application layer protocol. This does not yet represent a consensus among the group but it does serve as valuable input for ongoing discussion. Click here to download the slide deck.

For a broader overview of the whole ecosystem of internationally standardised communication protocols in the e-mobility domain, check out my blog post on “Standardising the Management of Electric Vehicle (Dis-) Charging Infrastructures”.

That’s it from my side. If you do apply, good luck and let me know! It would be an honour to have someone from the V2G Clarity community involved in the making of this international standard.

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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