OCPP enables a seamless charging experience for EV drivers, retail companies, and other EV charge point purchasers, whether for home or public use. Learn why it’s so awesome.
Table of contents
What is OCPP Protocol
The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is an open-source communication protocol that aims to establish a standard language between different EV chargers and their software.
This protocol enables any charger to work with any management software, regardless of the manufacturer or developer’s location.
OCPP Over Time
In 2009, the first version of OCPP was developed by the ElaadNL initiative.
In 2014, the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) took over OCPP five years after its establishment.
Here is a quick history of OCPP:
|First version of OCPP announced by ElaadNL
|OCPP 1.2 published (first public version)
|OCPP 1.5 published
|Open Charge Alliance established
|OCPP 1.6 published
|Tridens becomes OCPP 1.6J compliant
|First release of OCPP 2.0
|OCPP 2.0.1 published
|Tridens becomes OCPP 2.0.1 compliant
Who Uses OCPP
OCPP is the standard that the chargers use to speak with central management systems (central management system’s back office).
Who mainly uses it?
- EV Charger Manufacturers: are companies that build EV chargers.
👉 Explore the best EV charger manufacturers.
- Software Providers: are companies that build and maintain charging station management systems (CSMS).
- CPOs: who own the charging infrastructure and charging sessions. EMSPs then manage customer relationships.
👉 Learn the differences between CPOs and EMSPs.
Note: Three distinct businesses often handle these roles, but it can happen that one company operates an extensive EV charging infrastructure, assuming more roles.
In fact, these key players have to cooperate seamlessly to provide a great end-user charging experience in the EV charging ecosystem.
Charging networks and station owners have to bill the driver for their electricity use and manage the chargers’ electrical load.
Important: The charger, therefore, needs to be controlled through a central interface.
These central management systems are typically cloud-based and use the public internet.
Note: We build these kinds of EV charging software solutions.
How OCPP Works
When electric vehicles are charged using OCPP, the typical charging sequence is as follows:
- Reservation: The driver reserves a charger at the charging station through a mobile app or messaging platform before arrival.
- Charger Hold: The selected charger is reserved for the driver (on the backend and charging spot).
- Driver Identification and Authorization: The driver identifies themselves, and the charger grants permission to start the charging. Options for identification: RFID, NFC, mobile application, QR code, Plug & Charge.
- Charging: The charger starts the charging session.
- Notification: The driver receives a notification when the charging session is complete. Additionally, it’s possible to set notifications for various milestones during the session, such as ‘Parking Started‘, ‘Charging Ended‘, ‘Session Ended‘, ‘Battery at 90%‘, among others.
- Charging Done: The driver disconnects and returns the connector to the charger, securing the socket. It is possible to use charging limits, such as monetary (30€), time-based (1 hour of charging), or quantity-based (kWh of energy).
- Billing: Billing is handled by the backend system. The charger sends consumption data to the CPO, where the CPO facilitates the data transfer to the EMSP. The CPO bills the costs of the session to the EMSP, which then charges end customers according to its own pricing.
OCPP provides many benefits, especially for CPOs.
The most noteworthy advantage is choosing which local network provider connects to your charging station, giving CPO ultimate control over how it works and who can use it.
If a network provider supporting your station shuts down or alters its terms of service, you can easily replace it.
This also applies if new providers enter the market and offer better services or value, allowing access to new opportunities.
Smart EV Charging: Unlocking Its Full Potential
Key Benefit: OCPP ensures compatibility across vendors’ systems and service providers. That way, it provides a hassle-free charging experience for EV drivers.
In reality, OCPP aims to make EV charging infrastructure globally accessible for everybody.
OCPP has a point-to-point architecture, enhancing system communication.
It also uses TCP/IP connections to improve scalability and interoperability.
This protocol allows easy addition of new features.
It supports various methods for station access and power initiation like:
- Token cards
- RFID tags
- Smartphone applications
Additionally, CMS facilitates messaging between the two sides, including data exchange like billing information, meter reports, or authentication requests.
Difference Between OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0.1.
Here’s the table with differences between OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0.1:
Note: There are two versions of OCPP 1.6:
- OCPP 1.6S: uses SOAP technology
- OCPP 1.6J: uses JSON technology
As an interesting point, OCPP 1.6 enables the expansion of ISO 15118 (Plug & Charge), called OCPP 1.6+.
Expert’s POV: We’ve witnessed the most demand for OCPP 1.6J. Newer charger models usually support both OCPP 1.6J and OCPP 2.0.1, suggesting that within 2-3 years, OCPP 2.0.1 will become a major player in the market.
Currently, OCPP 1.6J is the most widely used EV charging protocol among different EV charging protocols and standards.
Meanwhile, OCPP 2.0.1. has advanced capabilities like smart charging.
In fact, OCPP protocol has features tailored toward modern requirements in the EV charging business and supports most of today’s needs.
OCPP Compliant Requirements
In the end, to become OCPP certified, you must successfully pass a few tests:
- Conformance Tests: The Device Under Test (DUT) is checked using the OCPP Compliance Testing Tool to ensure it meets OCPP specifications correctly.
- Performance Measurements: Key performance metrics of the DUT are assessed in a lab setting based on standards outlined in the Protocol Implementation Conformance Statement (PICS).
We proudly announce that our software, Tridens EV Charge, is fully compliant with the OCPP standard.
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