Webinar series - Make the Switch: the benefits of partnering with Switch

Marc Mültin
Marc Mültin
December 13, 2022
• Updated
min read
Webinar series - Make the Switch: the benefits of partnering with Switch

We believe sharing knowledge and helping others in the e-mobility industry to innovate is the way forward – for all of us. That’s why we created our Switch webinar series because by learning and working together, we’ll get there quicker.

On Friday, 9 December 2022, we presented “Make the Switch: the benefits of partnering with Switch”, episode six of our popular webinar series. 

We were excited to share our expertise and insights in building game-changing tech for EV charging to a global audience, who joined us from the US, Canada, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  

Our webinar speakers were: Marc Mültin (Founder and CEO, Switch), Stewart McKee (Chief Commercial Officer), Adam Chilab (Chief Product Officer). 

In the live webinar, we discussed:

  • the new charging capabilities offered by the Switch platform
  • what it means to be a Switch partner
  • why new protocols make a big difference
  • how we support charger manufacturers get up to speed with these advanced capabilities
Here’s the recording of the 'Make the Switch: the benefits of partnering with Switch' webinar.

We dedicated the last 15 minutes of the webinar to questions. Each question and answer is detailed below! Enjoy.

If there are any other specific questions you would like us to answer, drop me an email at marc@switch-ev.com.

Want to see a demo of the Switch future-proof platform? Book a demo here today.

Q. Are there EVSEs out there already that support OCPP 2.0.1? Are there public EVSEs already installed that are upgradable via software or hardware which has to be always upgraded?

Marc: To my knowledge, there are no 2.0.1 capable charging stations installed yet. We know that there are several companies working on it. We see them at test events organised by Open Charge Alliance and we have the plugfests, for example. We ourselves have integrated Josev, our embedded operating system, with two AC charging station manufacturers. One is Alfen from the Netherlands, and the other one is Zaptec from Norway. There was a press release announcement in the Summer and we have also demonstrated this at the Intercharge Network Conference hosted by Hubject in Berlin, in September of this year. We charged a Porsche Taycan and a Volkswagen ID.5. That demonstrated Plug and Charge is working with our operating system installed on these wallboxes, but even more so that it works on an AC charging station too. I don't know what their plans are for bringing these stations to market but I assume sometime early next year.

However, we have proven that it’s not just a concept, it's working. Our record so far was integrating these new capabilities into a charger in two weeks. But this of course heavily depends on the commitment from the charging station manufacturers themselves. And the way this works is that, imagine Josev as a microservice-based system where we have an ISO 15118 module or service and OCPP 2.0.1 module. And then we interact with the code of the charging station manufacturer through a well-defined API, where we use MQTT, which is a defined IoT messaging broker protocol. It's a very straightforward process. It sometimes involves implementation from the charging station manufacturer, of course, we help a lot through continuous support until it is finished and proven that it works. We are supporting you at every step. 

When it comes to upgradability. For Josev, we need a charging station that has a Linux system running so microcontrollers are not sufficient - at least for our operating system. It doesn't mean other manufacturers or suppliers don't have a microcontroller-based solution. Whether or not they are upgradeable depends entirely on the existing install base and if they can be updated over-the-air also depends if they have the right hardware in place. 

Q. How long does a chosen implementation into an EVSE take? 

Marc: As I said, our record is two weeks. But it can also stretch over a longer time, depending on how much commitment there is from the manufacturers themselves. 

Q. How do you think partnerships are as resellers of Sara?

Stewart: We would expect a charger manufacturer to be able to offer a customer the opportunity to connect with the Switch platform. It's really as simple as that. As I said, we don't need to be an exclusive platform connection, we expect that a charge point might have other options. In fact, we know very well that charger OEMs need to exist to be as open and connected as possible with any platform. We fully accept that. Though we're not looking for an exclusive arrangement, where a charger manufacturer is able to say to the customer, ‘Here's Switch! Connect with Switch, your capabilities will be massively enhanced.’ We will find a way to share some of that recurring revenue back to the manufacturer. That's what we mean by partnership. I won't go into precise details on this call. But that's fundamentally what we mean by partnership with equipment manufacturers. 

Q. Are there any EVSEs that can be bought with Josev already for testing or piloting purposes in the US or in Canada? 

Marc: We have existing integrations. It's not just these two that I have mentioned. But we have an increasingly growing number of customers, for Josev. I cannot elaborate on all of them yet but we are planning to introduce or set up a page, once our customers are ready to sell the charging stations with certified charging manufacturers and also explain the functionalities that come with it. As for the US and Canada, we have a lot of inquiries. From Canada to California and from the West to the East Coast. Here it also comes down to certification (UL certification) and the range of temperature you can deploy - and that isn't up to the manufacturers. But I cannot disclose all the discussions we are having at the moment. I have to be a little bit vague but the markets we are targeting are the UK, Europe, and the US including the North American and Canadian markets, first and foremost at the moment.

Stewart: Just to add. A lot of the manufacturers that we're working with have some quite amazing launch plans of their own based on elevating their capabilities through the embedded Josev software. We have to really honour those conversations and remain under NDA, so to speak, until those launch activities take place. We can't make that announcement for those manufacturers. However, we are in quite a few discussions with manufacturers in the US and Canada. 

Q. Is the communication between Sara and Josev pure OCPP 2.0.1 or are there other extensions in place?

Marc: We used to call our cloud-based management system, Sara, it's now more of an internal name. But the official name is the Switch platform for those that might be confused about what Sara really means. So we are implementing exactly as close as possible to the specification. So far, there are no extensions. However, if there is a good use case brought forward to us by the manufacturer themselves, where they want to include information and make it visible in our platform, that is maybe up to date not available through the protocol itself, we, of course, are open to extensions if they make sense. 

Adam: As we said we are actively working with charging station manufacturers today. And if you're not already on the list and need help with OCPP 2.0.1 and ISO 15118, we're here. Just get in contact and we can walk you through how we can work with you and what that means for you. 

Marc: Regarding the protocol, we have been working on OCPP 2.0.1 exclusively from the very beginning because that was our vision. Not another platform that is OCPP 1.6 enabled and thereby very limited. It’s taken a lot of time. We have a big team of engineers, mostly working on 2.0.1 implementation. But also the ISO 15118 stack for which OCPP 2.0.1 has a native integration. So with OCPP 1.6 you don't have that. There is some backwards compatibility through application guides but it's not really a great interoperable solution. 

However, we do realise that there is a need for support of OCPP 1.6. chargers in the ground, we are not completely ignoring this fact. And there is a certain support for a select number of chargers. So if that's of interest to you please come speak to us and we can see how we can support you on that as well. 

We are already working on the next version of OCPP. There is a draft currently developed by the Open Charger Alliance for vehicle-to-home (V2H), vehicle-to-building (V2B) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) functionality. So anything that is related to bi-directional support, which of course ties into the latest ISO 15118-20 standard. We have already implemented this latest draft, which is also going to be deployed in a test site with a V2G project that we have ongoing with car manufacturers, as briefly mentioned. This is expected to be deployed next year. But specifically, vehicle-to-home is what I believe and vehicle-to-building are kind of like peak shaving. It is also energy self-sufficiency for homeowners especially with peaking prices as we see currently in the market, which is going to be the first and foremost of the interest for bi-directional charging applications. 

Buying an electric vehicle is still very expensive. The EV battery itself is taking up around 32% of the cost of a car on average currently. So you want to monetize, you want to get some return on your investment from the very expensive battery that is 90% of the day basically idle because you're parked either at home or at your workplace. Why not make use of this battery on wheels, so to say? Use cheap renewable energy when it's available, put it in your car through the charging process and then make use of that energy, once it's expensive and there's less renewable energy available within the range that you feel comfortable with. Of course you don't want to deplete your vehicle’s battery but that's what you're working on to make this whole vehicle-to-home, vehicle-to-building, vehicle-to-grid possible for both AC and DC chargers. We're always at the forefront of innovation and are open to feedback. This is at the core of Switch’s DNA. 

Q. About V2X AC: Is DSO interface to M3 EVSE a standard?

Marc: When it comes to a DSO, which stands for Distribution System Operator, so basically the grid operator. We do have an exclusive partnership with Nuvve which is a Californian-based V2G pioneering company. We leveraged the expertise when it comes to grid operators, both in the US and in various European countries. The interface between a DSO and our platform or Nuvve’s platform is most likely going to be the likes of an open ADR (Open Active Demand Response). As far as I know it’s kind of the go-to interface for grid operators. 

Click here to download the keynote presentation

The Switch platform is a game changer and is currently at a technological inflexion point between legacy protocols (that are very limiting) and the next generation of EV charging, which brings customer convenience and financial benefits for businesses.

Our platform is a cutting-edge solution! Charging Networks will have access to granular real-time data visualisation of the charging process from the car to the charger and the backend with grid integration - across a vertically integrated end-to-end solution. This solution adds value to the entire value chain such as increased network uptime, reduced maintenance costs and the benefits of bi-directional power transfer.

Commercial businesses can monetise energy capacities and save costs on energy bills through energy transfer back to their industry plants or offices when energy prices peak. And end-customers can benefit from user-convenience to secure and authenticated billing, ensuring a seamless charging experience.

With Switch, we’ve got you covered. To learn more about the future-proof Switch platform book a demo today 👉 http://ow.ly/G30g50LE4bh

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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