Powering Progress: Efficient EV Charge Point Network Management Using Open Protocols

08-Mar-2024 08:57:32

The electric vehicle (EV) sector is rapidly transforming, and the need for flexible, reliable charging infrastructure is growing faster than ever, fuelled by demand from local legislation and a growing number of EV drivers. Beyond infrastructure cost, equipment quality, and smart charging features, it's crucial to manage all charging assets from one place while ensuring future compatibility with other systems. As we embrace the electric transition, the role of open protocols, like Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI), Open Smart Charging Protocol (OSCP) becomes indispensable for ensuring high level of services now and in the future.  


Rethinking Traditional Models and Embracing Open Protocols  

Traditionally, EV charging hardware and software solutions have been intertwined as proprietary systems from the same vendor, limiting flexibility and growth potential for service providers. The pitfalls of these closed systems have become clear considering the challenges faced by early industry pioneers. Their model of proprietary networks not only restricted access for non-members but also left a considerable number of stranded chargers, highlighting the risks of vendor lock-in (Source). 

In contrast, open protocols like OCPP offer a lifeline for a more interconnected and dynamic EV charging landscape. Over 200 automakers and EV charging solution providers globally have adopted OCPP, breaking free from the bottlenecks of interoperability and vendor lock-in (Source). OCPP facilitates transparent and unified communication between various hardware and software solutions, ensuring compatibility and future-proofing investments while offsetting business risks.   

The North American Charging Standard (NACS) is emerging as a key player in EV charging interoperability in the United States and Canada. Unlike some existing protocols, NACS takes a comprehensive approach, aiming to standardize all aspects of communication between EVs, charging stations, and back-office systems.

Understanding OCPP and Its Impact 

The OCPP, developed and managed by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA), is a standard that ensures different charging stations, software systems, and operators to all work together. It has become a de-facto standard in the EV charging ecosystem, not just as a protocol for communication but a comprehensive system that addresses everything from charging session management to firmware upgrades. Its security architecture protects against common threats like server hijack and eavesdropping, ensuring the safe operation of charging networks (Source)


There are Several Open Standards in Use for Different Smart Charging Deployment  

Aside from OCPP there are several other open protocols addressing different aspects of Smart Charging infrastructure. These protocols act as a common language, enabling different components of the EV charging ecosystem to communicate seamlessly with each other and towards other grid actors. 

OCPI (Open Charge Point Interface), like OCPP, OCHP, and OSCP, is an open protocol in EV charging. However, unlike the others, OCPI focuses on communication between different networks, not within a single network or with the grid. 
Open Smart Charging Protocol (OSCP): This protocol focuses on communication between charging stations, management systems, and smart grid components. It paves the way for features like smart charging, demand response, and efficient grid integration. 


Let’s Compare: Non-Networked, Closed, and Open Networks 

The shift from non-networked or closed systems to open networks marks a significant evolution in the EV charging industry. Non-networked stations lack connectivity, while closed networks suffer from limited flexibility. Open networks, conversely, offer universal compatibility, scalability, and the incentivise growth and innovation. 

MicrosoftTeams-image (37)-1Adapted from source.

Vendor-Agnostic Solutions: A New Norm 

Vendor-agnostic SaaS solutions leveraging OCPP, and other open standards are revolutionizing charging infrastructure management. They allow operators to select charging stations based on technology, pricing, and specific location or business case needs, without being tethered to a single vendor (Source). 

Beyond geographic boundaries, we can see industries such as utilities and energy are increasingly embracing open-standards-based networks for EV infrastructure, recognizing their critical role in ensuring adaptability and sustainability in a rapidly evolving energy landscape and energy transition. 


Landis+Gyr Solutions for Smart EV Charging Network Management 

Landis+Gyr’s scalable EV charge point & energy management SaaS OCEAN, enables easy connection on several levels, from the connection of any OCPP compliant charging station regardless of type or manufacturer, roaming, to partner network generation and API integration for further data use in external or legacy systems. 

It offers everything the e-mobility service provider needs in one place: remote monitoring and control of a charging network, a seamless charging experience for EV drivers, advanced load management to support demand response and load flexibility services and analytics module to track key data about the infrastructure and users. Modular design keeps it simple by allowing you to tailor the OCEAN interface view based on the needs of a specific business model or the user’s access rights. 



Open protocols support like OCPP in charge point management systems and charging devices is a strategic necessity in the blooming EV market. It ensures operators and service providers can adapt to market demands and technological advancements, paving the way for a more connected and efficient EV future. 


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