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

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Marc Mültin
updated
July 6, 2021
published
June 11, 2019
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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.

Whitepaper - A Comparison of Autocharge and ISO 15118's Plug & Charge
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Marc Mültin
June 11, 2019

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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

Device Management
DEF:

Device Management

With OCPP 2.0.1 and the new device model concept, a station can automatically describe its full layout and capabilities to the cloud-based CSMS. This allows for plug-and-play installation of a charging station. It also lets the CSMS read and control any component remotely.

Sara
DEF:

Sara

Sara stands for Station Analytics and Remote Administration

OCA
DEF:

OCA

The Open Charge Alliance is the official body that specifies OCPP 2.0.1 and defines a set of certification profiles. Each profile tests a certain set of functionalities. Depending on the functionality of your charger or CSMS, you might want to certify for either a subset or all of these profiles.

CI/CD
DEF:

CI/CD

Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

Scotti
DEF:

Scotti

Scotti stands for Simple Compliance Testing Tool for Interoperability.

EXI
DEF:

EXI

Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) is a very compact representation of XML. All ISO 15118 messages are defined in XML. EXI improves serialisation and parsing speed on embedded devices (like an EV and a charging station controller) and allows more efficient use of memory and battery life, compared to standard (textual) XML.

MQTT
DEF:

MQTT

The Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is a lightweight, publish-subscribe network protocol that transports messages between devices.

CSMS
DEF:

CSMS

A CSMS is a cloud-based management system operated by the company that is managing the charging stations. A charging station connects to a CSMS using OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol).

ACD-P
DEF:

ACD-P

Automated Connection Device (ACD), a conductive charging concept that doesn't require a person to plug in the charging cable. A first implementation is ACD-P, where 'P' stands for 'pantograph' charging of buses.

PLC
DEF:

PLC

Power line communication, a communication technology that enables sending data over existing power cables.

SLAC
DEF:

SLAC

Signal Level Attenuation Characterisation (SLAC) is based on power line communication (specifically HomePlug Green PHY) and is a protocol to establish the data link between the EV and the charging station via the charging cable.

CPO
DEF:

CPO

Charge Point Operator, the entity monitoring and managing an EV charger network.