Share&Charge has just launched the Open Charging Network (OCN). The aim is to create a charging roaming network that will make digital communication between charging point operators, eMobility service providers and other market participants easier, safer and more cost-effective.
The OCN is based on the Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI) and other tools such as blockchain technology. All core components are open source and anyone can join the network, says Share&Charge.
Share&Charge is a foundation established in 2018, based in Essen, Germany, and backed by partners such as EDF, EVBox, Innogy, Wallbe and Volkswagen Financial Services. Currently, the foundation is also financed by contributions, similar to the foundations behind Wikipedia and Linux. The initiative emerged from the Share&Charge service once operated by MotionWerk, which was discontinued in early 2018. Even then, the goal was to make the entire service available as open-source software.
In a text published on the company’s homepage, Share&Charge draws parallels between charging infrastructure and the development of the Internet. In the case of the Internet, many open source projects would have enabled the development of many websites and web services. “We are afraid that mass-market adoption of Electric Vehicles will fail if we don’t take the learnings from the creation of the internet seriously and apply them to how we build the digital core infrastructure for the EV charging value chain,” writes Christopher Burgahn in the text.
With the Open Charging Network, Share&Charge wants to build a roaming network that is free of charge for users. The OCN is thus in competition with roaming providers such as Hubject or Plugsurfing.
Share&Charge indicates that other additional solutions could be connected to the OCN’s open system, such as its own payment solution. Such applications should be collected in a special “OCN Store”, a kind of B2B marketplace. It should also be possible, for example, to maintain certificates or manage eRoaming contracts. Currently, however, only apps from the provider Emobilify can be found in the store.