Driving to another town and charging your electric car might sound simple, but it is not at the moment. Sometimes you pay for charging by the minute, sometimes a flat fee. Sometimes the charging station is unlocked via an app, sometimes with an RFID card. When planning a trip, you often have to spend more time than you would like researching suitable charging stations and setting up new customer accounts. Some much-needed transparency will now be introduced from April.
A jungle of plug systems
Unfortunately, each of the different continental markets has established its own plug systems and standards, some of which are also incompatible in terms of protocol. Although the plug and protocol systems are standardised within the continental markets, the lack of a uniform specification for the billing system has resulted in a jungle of different, regionally structured concepts. In Germany, for example, almost every regional electricity provider, as well as some cities and companies, operates its own network of charging stations, each subject to a different billing philosophy.
Charging stations must be converted
The new requirements of measurement and calibration law and the Price Information Ordinance (PAngV) are intended to create the basis for transparent billing. They will require all existing systems to be converted to meet the conditions. Bundesverband eMobilität welcomes the longer transition period now granted to retrofit the around 16,150 public charging stations currently in use (as of March 8, 2019, source: Bundesnetzagentur), giving companies the chance to raise the necessary capital while also investing in new systems. New charging stations also have to meet the new requirements – no problem with ISO 15118.
Intelligent charging control with ISO 15118
The ISO 15118 “Road Vehicles – Vehicle-to-Grid Communication Interface” standard unlocks new opportunities for intelligent charging control and easy-to-use billing processes. It has finally created the conditions for a uniform, essentially bi-directional control system and unified billing processes – a basis that allows flexible and practical charging strategies to be represented. As a result, for example, it is possible to control the charging performance in a targeted way depending on the energy available, the line capacity and the user’s mobility needs. This reduces the performance capacity needed and puts it in a realistic range.
Uncertainty on the part of the customer and the energy provider can finally be put aside. The grid remains stable; easy and convenient charging becomes possible. Simple charging does not have to remain a utopia.
Smart charging with ESG MOBILITY
ESG MOBILITY is currently working on a “smart charge device (SCD)” product approach, which makes consistent use of the opportunities provided by the standard. As a combined software and hardware platform, the SCD can fully exploit the potential of a generic charging interface for the first time. The standardised protocols for processing communication between the vehicle and infrastructure ensure maximum transparency. The SCD’s flexible software architecture enables electric vehicles to benefit from future improvements to the charging standard even after delivery, so that they are automatically equipped for the future of energy provision and mobility. Find out more about the intelligent charging solutions at ESG MOBILITY: eMobility charging