Hubject has launched the Open Plug&Charge Protocol (OPCP) to enable free access to Plug&Charge. OPCP is the first independent protocol to standardise the Plug&Charge ecosystem.
Hubject notes that the OPCP increases the compatibility between all market participants and standardises the common usage possibilities. This means that the software developers and experts of the market participants can fall back on a uniform protocol to develop their Plug&Charge applications.
This has not been the case so far; the market for Plug&Charge currently leads to “a number of very different procedures from different manufacturers”. Hubject says that eventually, unhindered access without lock-in effects will be a key criterion for charging station operators and mobility service providers offering charging solutions.
There is now the possibility of “multi-contract handling” i.e. customers can deposit several charging contracts in order to be able to charge at the charging stations of different CPOs with the services of different EMPs – just as it is done today with the different charging cards or apps. This allows customers to choose the most favourable tariff at the respective CPO.
“As part of our commitment to open source and open communities, we’re proud to publish our Open Plug&Charge Protocol to help all software engineers and market stakeholders to embrace Plug&Charge as a fundament for great customer experience without facing any risk of a technical lock-in effect,” said Hubject’s CEO Christian Hahn. “We’re honoured to launch with an ever-expanding group of industry-leading partners, who are relying on our Plug&Charge services since 2018.”
How exactly Plug&Charge works and what significance the certificates have in EV charging systems, is further elaborated upon in this article.
Generally, vehicle-makers must build in Plug&Charge capabilities, meaning that many electric vehicles that are older do not have this option. However, just a couple of months ago in December last year, UK charging solutions provider EO Charging filed a patent for its new ISO 15118-compliant chargers and software that will allow EO to perform smart AC-charging on legacy fleet electric vehicles that do not have a built-in capability.
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