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EVs have undergone remarkable technological transformations in recent years.

One of the most notable advancements is the introduction of Plug & Charge technology which will change how EVs are charged.

The days of juggling payment methods or awaiting authorisation codes will be gone and we will soon be able to plug in and watch the seamless charging process unfold with the implementation of Plug & Charge technology.

What is Plug & Charge?

Plug & Charge is essentially what it sounds like: a user-friendly approach to charging electric cars.

When a driver connects their EV’s charging cable to the charging point, the charging process starts instantly without any other action required by the driver.

This simplicity, however, doesn’t compromise security.

Embedded within the Plug & Charge system is the ISO 15118 standard, ensuring that while the process is seamless, it remains shielded from interference.

Why is Plug & Charge important to the EV industry?

  • Seamless charging: EV owners enjoy a simplified charging experience. Instead of using credit cards, RFID tags, or mobile applications, drivers merely plug in, and the charging begins.
  • Heightened security: The technology employs cryptographic tools to ensure secure communication between the EV and the charging infrastructure. It protects the driver’s personal data, the vehicle’s systems engaged during charging, and the charging network from third-party intrusions.
  • Efficient billing: Every EV is associated with a specific billing account, whether personal, family, or corporate. This setup ensures accurate energy consumption documentation and billing making life for both EV drivers and charge point operators much easier.
  • Future of charging: With its integration of ISO 15118, the technology is paving the way for the future of EV charging, offering a blend of security and convenience. Things are expected to become even more hassle free as wireless charging is evolving, as well.

How does Plug & Charge work?

For a successful Plug & Charge session, both the electric vehicle and the charging station need to fulfil specific technical requirements and have relevant certifications.

If both the vehicle and the charge point meet these criteria, they can establish a secure connection and this is how it would look like:

  • Instant communication: The moment an EV is plugged into a charging station, communication begins.
  • Authentication: The EV’s unique charging contract is promptly identified, and a match is made with its eMobility service provider. This rapid identification completes the authentication phase, ensuring that only authorised EVs get charged.
  • Charge initiation: Following authentication, the charging session is initiated within a matter of seconds.
  • Billing: The cost of the charging session is computed automatically. An invoice reflecting this amount is then dispatched to all relevant parties.

By understanding and adopting Plug & Charge, stakeholders in the EV industry (charging station manufacturers, charge point operator, electric car manufacturers, etc.) can not only enhance user experience but also ensure a secure future for charging electric vehicles.

As the EV landscape continues to grow, technologies like these will be pivotal in driving widespread adoption and affecting even more the way vehicle manufacturers see the future of the industry.

Learn more about the opportunities and challenges for the EV ecosystem with Plug & Charge.


What makes Plug & Charge different from other charging methods?

Plug & Charge eliminates the need for extra steps such as using RFID tags or apps. Instead, EVs authenticate and charge instantly upon plugging in, paving the way for a seamless ev charging experience.

How secure is the Plug & Charge method?

ISO 15118 ensures that Plug & Charge employs encryption, decryption, and two-way authentication, making it highly secure against potential threats.

What is the role of ISO 15118 in Plug & Charge?

ISO 15118 is the international standard that underpins Plug & Charge.

It ensures that the technology is both user-friendly and secure.

How does the billing work with Plug & Charge?

Each vehicle is connected to a billing account. When the vehicle is charged, the energy consumption is documented, and the corresponding account is billed accordingly.

When will Plug & Charge be widely available? 

The implementation of Plug & Charge faces challenges in the electric car charging ecosystem as different parties discuss how to handle various certificates and ensure the process’s security.

Unfortunately, it will take time for the certificates to become interoperable among all players, which could delay the Plug and Charge rollout.

Are there alternatives to Plug & Charge?

Yes! AutoCharge technology provides a solution while the EV charging industry decides on a standard for Plug & Charge.

Like Plug & Charge, AutoCharge simplifies the charging process for electric vehicles using the CCS connector.

With AutoCharge, EV drivers can simply plug in the vehicle, and the charging session also starts automatically.

Learn more about AutoCharge here!

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