Charging Network Interoperability

Charging network interoperability

Charging network interoperability is the capability of using charging stations from different providers without relying on multiple access cards and mobile applications. This can reduce range anxiety, simplify billing processes and offer drivers of electric vehicles a better user experience.

The OCPI protocol is a global standard that enables electric vehicle chargers and networks to communicate with one another, creating an improved driver experience and less confusion for new EV owners.


OCPI (Open Charging Protocol Interface) is an interoperability protocol developed to facilitate data sharing and exchange among electric vehicle charging stations, operators, and backend systems. As an open standard managed by the EV Roaming Foundation, OCPI allows EV charging networks to interact with one another and enhance drivers’ EV charging experience.

Charge point operators (CPOs) can leverage OCPI to expand their network by offering their charging stations to international roaming hubs and EMPs. Doing so increases the utilization rate of their charging stations and provides them with new potential customers.

Another advantage of OCPI is that it enables different CPOs to share charge information. This includes live transactions, remote charges, meter data and charge point reconciliation. Furthermore, this helps EV drivers make better informed decisions regarding their energy consumption.

CPOs must prioritize this because it means they no longer have to rely on one system provider or manufacturer, but can easily switch if their network changes, making the industry more competitive.

Therefore, OCPI has become a widely-used protocol. It’s supported by leading electric vehicle charging network providers and can be easily integrated into CPO’s backend system, creating an improved user experience for drivers as well as station owners.

The OCPI protocol is highly adaptable, enabling CPOs to implement only part of its functionality when sharing Point Of Interest data with other CPOs. However, in order to fully enable eRoaming, multiple modules need to be integrated.

The OCPI protocol is provided in two models, peer-to-peer and hub. The primary distinction is that with peer-to-peer you can have almost immediate implementation and testing against any partner solution without needing a lengthy integration process.


OCPP is an open communication protocol between electric vehicle charging stations and the Charging Station Management System (CSMS). It supports various charging techniques such as GB/T, CHADMEO, CCS 2.

The OCPP protocol enables charge stations to communicate with centralized systems via an application protocol. The central system then controls charging operations such as recharging, unlocking a vehicle’s socket or setting the battery on charge.

For commercial or public-sector fleets, OCPP can help increase efficiency and cut costs by remotely monitoring and managing EV charging infrastructure. Furthermore, it enhances driver experience as well as overall EV fleet operations.

OCPP profiles describe how charging stations and central systems should communicate with one another, including the format of messages exchanged and supported features on each. These profiles enable implementers to select the optimal solution for their business case while guaranteeing their OCPP implementation adheres to OCA standards.

Another advantage of OCPP is its manufacturer-agnostic nature, supporting various charging systems from different vendors. This makes it an ideal fit for a variety of applications such as corporate fleets, passenger transport services and e-logistics fleets alike.

OCPP has become the de facto standard in many regions, boasting over 20,000 downloads across 100 countries. As the go-to solution for charging transactions, OCPP ensures a smooth and dependable transfer of energy from a charging station to your back-office system.

OCPP 2.0.1 offers new capabilities such as device management and smart charging, ISO 15118 (V2G) support and enhanced security measures. Furthermore, OCPP improves energy management and grid balancing to make using an electric vehicle battery to supply power to the grid much simpler.


The Open Smart Charging Protocol (OSCP) is an open communication standard that enables the exchange of real-time predictions of available capacity. This data can then be utilized by the charge point management system to regulate how much energy can be charged at each specific charging point.

This can also be used to inform the electricity grid when a group of charging points require more or less power, helping with demand response (DR) actions to balance supply and mitigate high costs. Furthermore, it reduces energy losses and stranded assets.

OSCP allows charge point operators to communicate with each other’s back-end systems through a front-end system, ensuring that charging can continue uninterrupted in case of connection problems.

These protocols are maintained by the Open Charge Alliance, a global association of pioneers in electric vehicle infrastructure that promotes open standards for charging stations. Through these protocols, more interoperability between EVs, charging station operators, and power grid operators will be achieved, potentially stimulating demand for electric vehicles.

One of the primary advantages of OCPI and OCPP is their automated roaming between various EV charging networks. This will increase affordability and accessibility for owners by enabling them to charge their vehicles at multiple locations.

OCPI is a free-to-download open communication protocol that links charge station operators and service providers. It enables automatic roaming for electric vehicle (EV) drivers across different charging networks, tracks station location, pricing and availability information for each station, takes into account user’s smartphone location as well as real-time billing data to deliver an accurate charging experience.

ISO/IEC 15118

The ISO/IEC 15118 standard specifies communication protocols that enable electric vehicles (EVs) and charging stations to exchange data. This enables EVs to access the smart grid (V2G – vehicle-to-grid) and save energy by recharging power back into it during times of peak usage.

The electric vehicle communication controller (EVCC) and charging station communication controller (SECC) create a communication network to exchange messages and initiate charging sessions. Each of these components must provide seven functional layers according to the established ISO/OSI communication stack in order to process all information sent and received between them.

Seven functional layers are necessary to guarantee a secure connection between electric vehicles (EVs) and charging stations, as well as protecting the latter from cyberattacks.

Another key function of the ISO 15118 standard is Plug & Charge, a user authorization and security layer designed to make charging electric vehicles simpler without using a mobile app or credit card. This feature has been implemented into numerous new EV models from Mercedes Benz and other manufacturers to make this process even simpler.

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers have the power to manage how and when their vehicle is charged by setting charge constraints such as voltage, current, and power. This feature offers major advantages for charging stations since it enables better power planning and helps manage electricity demands more effectively.

This feature is an important development in smart grid integration. It will allow electric vehicles (EVs) to save energy by transferring it back into the grid during times of peak usage, helping stabilize the electricity grid.

The next version of ISO 15118 standard will introduce several new capabilities, such as multiple contracts management, V2L support and state of charge data exchange. With these updates, EVs and charging stations can now support bidirectional power transfer between them and their chargers; providing drivers with a better driving experience while saving energy at the same time.

IEC 61851-1

In the eMobility ecosystem, there are multiple actors (EV and charging station manufacturers, EV charging operators, grid network operators, eMobility service providers and drivers). To promote an open, secure and scalable system it is essential that all charging network elements communicate with one another through standardized protocols. This is achieved by standardizing these protocols.

An essential requirement for electric vehicle supply equipment is IEC 61851-1, which outlines the fundamental specifications. This standard applies to both mode 2 and mode 3 EV supply equipment.

This standard requires electric vehicle (EV) supply equipment to meet safety requirements for safe charging of electric vehicles. It covers electrical safety of the charging cable, protection for the EV, and power distribution.

This document includes specifications for an electric vehicle charging station (referred to as an “EVSE”), its installation and operation. Furthermore, it outlines the dimensional requirements for free space around socket-outlets used for EV energy supply.

Another key point is that this standard applies to both AC and DC electric vehicle supply equipment, meaning it can be applied for charging via plug or wireless power transfer.

This standard also incorporates features that make EVSEs smarter and safer, such as vehicle-to-grid communication for grid stabilization. This can be accomplished by providing more precise data such as meter readings, tariff information and charging load management info to the grid.

In addition to adhering to the IEC 61851-1 standard, charging stations must also be tested to guarantee they function correctly. This can be done using conformance testing systems from companies like Verisco, Vector and Comemso.