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Why OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol)can be a big booster for EV(Electric Vehicle) adoption in India

July 21, 2021

Globally, the transition to electrified transportation from fossil fuel has gathered momentum thanks to development in battery technology,

Globally, the transition to electrified transportation from fossil fuel has gathered momentum thanks to development in battery technology, power electronics, and a favourable policy environment. According to some conservative estimates, more than 33% of global cars would be EVs, and 54% of new car sales will be EV cars by 2040. Looking to this projection world needs ubiquitous smart charging infrastructure. China, the USA, Netherlands, Japan, Germany are leading nations in deploying public charging infrastructure. China is accounting for 50% of the total public chargers deployed worldwide. In the EU( European Union) Netherlands is the bell-weather in adopting OCPP.

In India, the existing charging infrastructure is based on a fragmented approach with inconsistent data availability, lack of open standards. That’s why India needs a comprehensive approach to encourage standardization and interoperability of infrastructures. EV charging infrastructure must reduce range anxiety and ensure that drivers have access to reliable charging regardless of location and distance.

Three types of charging station networks are developed to support electric vehicle (EV) charging:

  • Non-networked charging station

  • closed networked charging station

  • Open network charging station.

Non-networked charging station

The non-networked charging system is used in the residential application context, while the closed and open network is used in a public charging network context.

Closed networked charging station

In Closed networks, proprietary communication protocols communicate between the charging station and the network server. Owners of charging stations must use this proprietary network’s services and compliant hardware. The user needs to carry a dedicated RFID( Radio Frequency Identification) card and mobile application for each network to recharge his/her EV. As there is no interoperability with other EV charging systems, the car owner can’t switch over to another charging station network, even if he/she is overcharged or gets shoddy services. Proprietary charging systems breed monopoly. And monopoly stifles competition, throttle innovation, and create a vast stranded asset, putting the customer in a vulnerable position.

Open networks charging station

As an Open charge alliance, OCPP provides open and interoperable communication protocols for EV charging. It enables mobile apps, central management systems, and EV charging stations to communicate and share data in real-time, thus promote interoperability between charging stations, vehicles, and station management services. At the same time, an open standard system encourages innovation and competition and provides more comprehensive options for car owners to charge their EVs.

It is a win-win proposition for car owners, network providers, and the grid. As it is interoperable, the car owner can recharge at the best OCPP certified charging stations network or switch over to another OCPP centre if he gets poor services. It breeds innovation, imparts greater market discipline, induces new technology and competition, thus expands the market and brings down the cost. As an Open charge alliance, OCPP builds a network of EV charging stations and promotes more standardization across the EVSE industry. And widespread adoption of OCPP leads to interoperability among devices, charging stations, vehicles, and station management services and networks from different brands. OCPP gives customers long-term flexibility obviating the need to replace hardware when switching networks. It enables drivers to charge at any open network through a single user and billing account without any route anxiety.

For charging network OCPP protect their long-term investment from technological obsolescence due to technology cycle, market forces, and government policy and enable them to upscale their operation according to user demand and government regulation.

As demand generated from EV charging is unpredictable, electricity distribution infrastructure needs to be upgraded. OCPP can connect a smart grid with smart EV charging to prioritise and scheduling smart EV charging to protect the health of the grid. Data generated by OCPP enable the charging network to gain insight into consumer behaviour and help them to improve their services and products. Furthermore, data can also help the utility to better control demand management.

Many Indian companies have taken initiatives to provide OCPP certified charging systems. Keeping in mind the Indian automobile condition,verdemobility, a division of System Level Solutions, provides a comprehensive solution consists of OCPP 1.6J, OCPP enabled AC charger, OCPP supported combo charger, OCPP controller, motor controller, which can be upgradable to OCPP v2.0 levels.OCPP can be the cornerstone for laying the groundwork for a long-term scalable EV charging ecosystem in India.

By  Nikson Mogaria   |  July 21, 2021