20 abril 2023

E-roaming in EV Charging: Understanding OCPP and OCPI

EV Editorial

As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain popularity, the need for a seamless and efficient charging experience for EV drivers becomes increasingly important. One solution to this challenge is e-roaming, which allows EV drivers to charge their vehicles at any charging station, regardless of the provider. And it’s a factor that, if not addressed, could impact EV adoption. A European survey, commissioned by CTEK, identified that just under half (45%) of respondents are concerned about a lack of EV roaming. The survey also revealed a continued shift towards out-of-home charging, with 59% of current EV owners charging at home, compared with 66% in 2021 – which means that 41%, a figure that we know will continue to grow, are using chargers at a destination that in the majority of cases will have some sort of payment solution. 

So it’s safe to say that e-roaming has a large part to play in EV adoption however, for it to be successful, it’s essential to have a standard protocol for communication between charging stations and the EV. This is where OCPP and OCPI come in. 

OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) and OCPI (Open Charging Protocol Interface) are two open-source protocols that have been developed to enable e-roaming. They are designed to allow communication between different charging station providers and the EV, making it possible for EV drivers to charge their vehicles at any charging station. 

OCPP is a communication protocol that is used between the charging station and the back-end system, such as a central management system. It allows the charging station to communicate information such as the availability of charging points and the cost of charging to the back-end system. OCPI is a protocol that is used between the back-end system and the EV. It allows the EV to communicate information such as the vehicle’s battery level and the charging status to the back-end system. 

The use of OCPP and OCPI in e-roaming means that EV drivers can charge their vehicles at any charging station, regardless of the provider. This eliminates the need for EV drivers to have multiple accounts with different charging station providers and simplifies the charging process. It also means that EV drivers can easily find available charging points and compare prices, making it easier for them to plan their trips. 

OCPP compatible charging points can update and learn with the changing nature and demands on the EV market, with each version bringing the latest requirements for users. An open network will help businesses to integrate seamlessly with new solutions and technologies. The open charge point protocol is license-free and available internationally, protecting business owners when they invest in charging stations.  

In addition, OCPP and OCPI also provide benefits for charging station providers and back-end systems. They allow for greater flexibility in the management of charging points, as well as the ability to collect and analyze data on charging usage. This can help charging station providers and back-end systems to improve their charging infrastructure and expand the charging experience for EV drivers. 

In conclusion, e-roaming is an important aspect of the EV market and OCPP and OCPI are essential for its success. These open-source protocols allow for seamless communication between charging stations and EVs, making it possible for EV drivers to charge their vehicles at any charging station. This benefits both EV drivers and charging station providers, making it easier for EV drivers to plan their trips and for charging station providers to manage their charging infrastructure. 

CTEK’s Chargestorm Connected 2 is OCPP compatible, contact us to find out about some of the third-party software solutions our chargers are compatible with.

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