The Urgent Need for Plug & Charge in North America

One of the key features of the Combined Charging System (CCS) is the ability to establish data communication between EV and EVSE. The ISO/IEC 15118 standard primarily defines the communication interface between chargers (EVSE) and electric vehicles (EV) and enables smart grid integration and secure, user-friendly authentication and authorization for features like Plug & Charge based on a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Plug & Charge allows for automated authentication and billing processes between the EV and the charging station without the need for RFID cards, credit/debit cards, or charging apps, while ensuring secure transactions. The customer can experience a seamless and easy charging process because they are automatically authenticated and authorized at a compatible charging station.

However, ISO/IEC 15118 communication can only be established if both sides, car (EV) and charger (EVSE), use the same PKI platform since the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and MO (Mobility Operator) certificates could be produced by separate PKI roots and thus, impede interoperability. Focusing on industry-wide interoperability is the key for the successful adoption of e-mobility.

To accelerate the adoption of Plug & Charge, CharIN committed to supporting the development and roll-out of an open PKI platform and ecosystem via several key activities, including:

  • Focus Group: Communication Technical Working Group
  • Cybersecurity Task Force
  • PKI Task Force
  • Plug & Charge Europe project

News Info

Published on: 12/06/2022

Plug & Charge Activities in Europe

The Plug & Charge Europe project involved 15 stakeholders committed to establishing a PKI under CharIN - a neutral and international authority – which would act as the operator and provider of required services and ensure fairness and openness for everyone.

The Plug & Charge Europe project is now in its final stages, with a major milestone accomplished in November with the successful demonstration of the V2G PKI in an end-to-end environment in collaboration with Gireve, Hubject, and eCLEARING at ElaadNL and hosted at the ElaadNL Testlab facilities in Arnhem, Netherlands. Gireve, Hubject, and eCLEARING provided the required ecosystem services for certificate exchange and signing.

The demonstration was an important step towards standardization and interoperability of PKIs and ecosystem services. The rollout of the CharIN PKI is planned for beginning of 2023.

Plug & Charge Activities in North America

Earlier this year, the Federal Highway Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a docket requesting comment on their proposed technical requirements for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program. The NEVI program proposed that all equipment must use CCS and ISO/IEC 15118. Given the significant amount of EV charging infrastructure funding linked to these technical requirements - $5 billion over the next five years – implementing these standards correctly is critical.

Accordingly, CharIN launched a Plug & Charge North America campaign to raise awareness in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Carribean. A CharIN Tuesday webinar was held at the end of November with a panel of North American charge network operators, including EVgo, Electrify America, InCharge, and bp pulse, to explain their rationale for incorporating Plug & Charge within their equipment – including the business opportunities enabled by Plug & Charge - and why other network operators should consider it as well.

Other elements of the North America campaign include:

  • Outreach: Plug & Charge North America-focused videos, social media posts, and member-focused events, will help raise awareness and interest in the technology.
  • Conference & Testing Event: Plug & Charge will be an integral topic at the conference and a major testing component of the 2023 VOLTS Conference and Interoperability Testing event supported by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and hosted by CharIN North America. The event is tentatively planned for Long Beach, California the week of May 8th (more details forthcoming).
  • EVS36: Plug & Charge will also be a major focus of CharIN’s activities at EVS36 in Sacramento, California, USA in June 2023.

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CharIN Plug & Charge

Rollout of the new Plug & Charge Logo

To help customers identify which chargers support Plug & Charge, the CharIN community created a logo, which was officially launched at the 2022 European Testival hosted at EkoEnergetyka in Poland in June and supported by 25 member companies of CharIN. The logo is available to any company supporting and implementing Plug & Charge in their respective products according to ISO 15118-2 or ISO 15118-20.

CharIN North America Stakeholders Support Plug & Charge

Plug & Charge supporters believe that a seamless customer journey isn’t possible without this feature and is a necessary step towards deploying EVs at scale.

The North American EV industry should collaborate and eliminate market barriers to broadly implement Plug & Charge. A common communication protocol developed for all plug families with different power classes and use cases, including the Megawatt Charging System, and the implementation of customer-friendly features like Plug & Charge, will lead to a wide range of products, provide more choice, promote fair competition and thus, allow for economy of scale with affordable prices.

When asked what features CharIN North America members are most excited about at the November 2022 member meeting, they listed automated and seamless roaming capabilities, a better and more convenient user experience, and benefits for all stakeholders in the e-mobility value chain.

CharIN North America Stakeholders Support Plug & Charge

Join Us!

To use the Plug & Charge logo or icon, there are certain pre-conditions a company must comply with. At a minimum, a company must sign a self-declaration form that agrees to the governance guidelines and terms and conditions for use. 

News contacts

Erika Myers

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

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