How CharIN is transforming the EV charging experience

Online Article/Interview, "EV Engineering" Magazine
By Michelle Froese | February 14, 2024

About a decade ago, long before electric vehicles (EVs) were the talk of nearly every automaker, a group of manufacturers were already in deep discussions about the future of the e-mobility transformation. One concern was how the requirements and functionalities for EV charging would evolve and impact drivers, communities, and the industry worldwide.

The result: the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN), a global non-profit trade association that serves as the driver and voice of the charging ecosystem.

“CharIN was founded in 2015 by a group of auto manufacturers that saw the future of electric vehicles — as well as the potential challenges with the proliferation of standards across multiple regions,” shares Erika Myers, executive director with CharIN North America. “So, they founded CharIN with the goal of creating cohesive global charging standards.”

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Published on: 02/14/2024

Today, CharIN has more than 300 members from every part of the e-mobility value chain, aligned with the goal of global transportation electrification. Members include automotive OEMs, charging equipment manufacturers, energy and utility companies, charge point operators, software companies, payment service providers, and others. The organization provides a platform for stakeholders with diverse and global perspectives to discuss and achieve consensus around safe and efficient charging functionalities and standards.

“We’re focused on convening industry stakeholders to collaborate and achieve technical alignments that can help create a superior driver experience that accelerates EV adoption,” explains Myers. “And to achieve this, we know that charging technologies must be interoperable and use open standards.”

One of many examples of CharIN’s efforts to ensure interoperability and safety among electric vehicles and charging infrastructure is its commitment to conformance testing. The non-profit has been instrumental in developing the standards and requirements for the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the universal standard for EV charging. CCS supports ac and dc charging with one universal type of connector (plug and port), ensuring interoperability across the EV ecosystem.

CharIN’s Testival events offer a unique opportunity for EV manufacturers and supply equipment providers to interact, learn, and uncover integration challenges, communication errors, and incompatibilities that can occur. Learn more about the next Testival North America event here. 

Within CharIN-recognized testing laboratories, EV and charging station manufacturers can test their products according to a real-life set of CCS cases. Extended CCS features are now demanded in the industry, requiring commonly accepted testing specifications and procedures to guarantee global interoperability and efficiency of product development processes. CharIN works directly with industry experts to extend its Conformance Testing platform and suite. 

“We typically work with standards development organizations, supporting much of the ‘pre-work’ that goes into building standards. We’re also continually looking for ways to improve standards and catch issues that may be occurring in the field,” she says. “Our work is not static, as we learn new ways to make improvements over time.”

Currently, CharIN has five major focus groups concentrated on different CCS issues. The five groups include Charging Infrastructure, Charging Connection, Charging Communication, Grid Integration and Energy, and Conformance Test and Interoperability. One concern recently flagged is a pin issue inside the CCS connectors. 

“We noticed some pins appeared to be malfunctioning in a way that’s not expected from the standard,” says Myers. “As a result, we have members documenting examples of what’s going on in the field and presenting it in a way that we can share it with the relevant standards to address in future revisions.”


Overall, CharIN aims to support the full e-mobility charging infrastructure for a smooth consumer e-mobility experience.

News contacts

Erika Myers

Executive Director, Charging Interface Initiative North America (CharIN Inc.)

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