There is a new standard for secure information exchange between electric vehicles, charging stations and mobility service providers, called ISO 15118. With industry-wide adoption increasing, and legislators recommending and even considering mandating ISO 15118, it is important to understand the implications of this standard.
ISO 15118 operates inside a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) ecosystem, where market parties agree to work together. The terms of access, pricing, information exchange formats and audit procedures are set by a PKI governing organization. This means that, aside from handling the technical aspects, the PKI that operates ISO 15118 holds a powerful position in the market.
High stakes in a strategic, growing market
It is the ambition of many European countries, as well that of The European Commission, to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission transport, protect consumers’ freedom of choice and uphold fair and open access to the European market.
Meanwhile, large industries, like oil, utilities and OEMs, want to protect and expand their position in the energy and transport domain. European, American and Asian industries are competing for the best starting point at home and abroad and startups and newcomers to the energy and mobility industry want to jump on the opportunities offered by this fundamental change.
For a successful transition to electric mobility, however, it is essential that all these stakeholders work together.
Market Rules and Governance to ensure freedom for consumers
Consumers should have the freedom to select and change their eMSP at any time, regardless of their vehicle brand, and to charge at any charging station, regardless of their vehicle brand or their eMSP. To ensure this, market rules and governance must be put in place.
Dutch EV drivers enjoy this freedom since 2015, when open protocols OCPP and OCPI became the norm in The Netherlands. As a consequence, the country has the highest number of charging stations per inhabitant.
It is possible to secure this consumer freedom whilst introducing ISO 15118, but it requires the effort and commitment of both industry and legislators. Part 1 of this publication describes the market rules that are needed to make this happen.
A fair and open market for all market parties
Currently, eMSP contract identification is done by RFID card. With ISO 15118, the OEM needs to agree to the eMSP that a consumer selects. This could mean the OEM itself is in competition with the selected eMSP, since OEMs are setting up eMSP services themselves. As a consequence, non-OEM eMSPs are at a disadvantage, which can only be addressed through market rules and governance.
The market will enter a very competitive phase, with (large) companies moving up and down the value chain. If these large players start to dictate the market, it is likely to hinder the needed innovation, service and price pressure, unless there are clear rules. All this could lead to a slower transition of the transport sector, meaning ISO 15118 should be introduced in a level playing field.
Multiple PKIs will emerge in this growing, strategic and international market. Interoperability between them will lead to inefficient compartmentalization of charging services, frustrating consumers. To ensure all technical solutions are working together, there needs to be a standard way of implementing the digital secure communication, both inside a PKI, as well as between separate PKIs.
For the sake of consumer freedom and a competitive market it is paramount the EV charging industry and legislators are committed to the technical part of PKI interoperability. Part 2 of this report focuses on the technical options that result in PKI interoperability.
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