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 mold 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.
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 standardized 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 Organization for Standardization (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.
Introducing… IEC 63110, aptly named: Protocol for Management of Electric Vehicles charging and discharging infrastructures.
But it’s not finalized 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:
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.
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 (email@example.com) and Paul Bertrand (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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?
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): http://www.iec.ch/dyn/www/f?p=103:5:0
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.
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 (Lonneke.Driessen@elaad.nl). 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 honor to have someone from the V2G Clarity community involved in the making of this international standard.
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 stands for Station Analytics and Remote Administration
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.
Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
Scotti stands for Simple Compliance Testing Tool for Interoperability.
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.
The Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is a lightweight, publish-subscribe network protocol that transports messages between devices.
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).
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.
Power line communication, a communication technology that enables sending data over existing power cables.
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.
Charge Point Operator, the entity monitoring and managing an EV charger network.