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Staying up-to-date with the latest upgrades across different branches of eMobility can be quite a task at times. Significant ameliorations are coming in whether it’s the hardware or software. This is especially challenging for charge point operators and eMobility service providers as they get to deal with both sides at all times. The software maintenance should aim to keep up not only with in-house changes but also (equally importantly) with external protocols that are integrated. All this in order to examine if there are new opportunities upfront our business that can be supported by the newest version of the protocol we use. Upgrades are vital also due to the fact that some of the protocols simply won’t work on outdated versions, after a major update is introduced.
Here, we’d like to briefly walk through the changes and current version of OCPI.
Open Charge Point Interface Protocol
It’s an independent standard allowing for eRoaming between the hubs as well as peer-to-peer connection. However, OCPI also supports communication in-between roaming hubs. This way, charge point operators (and mobility providers) could exchange data, even when they are connected to different roaming hubs and when they do not have a direct peer-to-peer connection. OCPI is developed and managed by EV Roaming Foundation, which naturally is responsible for updates introduction.
In terms of functionalities brought by OCPI regarding information exchange between interested parties, there are:
- Roaming via hub - OCPI facilitates data exchange between eMSPs and CPOs via hubs, for this operation, the protocol offers a separate hub supporting module.
- Roaming peer-to-peer (p2p) - Both eMobility Service Providers and Charge Point Operators can correlate immediately via OCPI. Separate interfaces are designed for eMSPs and CPOs.
- Roaming with mixed roles
- Authorization - The token module in the OCPI architecture supplies Charge Point Operators with the knowledge of any token information of eMSP. There are two ways to execute authorization, which could be real-time or via a whitelist.
- Reservation - On the eMSP side, the OCPI offers to make and cancel a reservation.
- Billing - OCPI supports the basis for invoicing - sending CDRs - Charge Detail Records.
- Tariff information - The protocol supports the exchange of the key details related to energy tariffs. Complex tariff calculations depend on the time charged and energy. All this information is included in the tariff module.
- Static charge point information - This covers: IDs, CPOs, charge point site, host, charge point name, charge point location details (name, address, geocode, type, image, platform level, directions), nearby facilities, link to a website, time zone, opening times, current availability status, scheduled availability status, accessibility, tariffs, authorization modes, payment methods, terms and conditions, charge mode, connector type, maximum power, voltage, amperage, energy mix, remote start/stop, reservation, smart charging support, and the last update mark.
- Real-time charge point information - Stats: available, blocked, charging, inoperative, out of order, planned, removed, and reserved.
- Session information (real-time & static) - Covers: sessions ID, start time, end time, energy consumed, CDR ID, authorization method, location, charge point ID, meter ID, currency, charging periods, total cost, sessions status, and last update. The same information can also be in real-time.
- CDR information - CDR IDs, time, duration, finish status, and more.
- Callibration law (Eichrecht) support - OCPI maintains the exchange of signed meter data which can be used to conform to Eichrecht - German calibration law.
- Remote start/stop - The start and stop of any charging session can be done remotely via the eMSP app.
- Smart charging - Several charging profiles are supported by OCPI: the cheapest charging, the fastest charging, the most environmentally-friendly charging, or no particular choices. The preferences can be registered per session by the user. The CPO can accept or decline the option. Although the smart charging profile module does provide certain options, these cannot be ensured, since other factors influence the charging session.
- Platform monitoring
More information about OCPI can be found HERE.
As described by EV Roaming Foundation, OCPI:
Offers market participants in EV an attractive and scalable solution for (international) roaming between networks, avoiding the costs and innovation-limiting complexities involved with today’s non-automated solutions or with central roaming hubs. As such it helps to enable EV drivers to charge everywhere in a fully-informed way, helps the market to develop quickly and helps market players to execute their business models in the best way.
Release of OCPI 2.2 brought big updates compared to its 2.1.1 version. New features involve:
- Support for hubs: message routing headers (ensuring better communication via hubs) and hub client information (allowing connected parties to view each other’s connection status; i.e. CPOs can check which eMPS are currently online)
- Support Platforms with multiple/different roles, additional roles (including: type of role, business details, party ID, country code)
- Charging Profiles (via ChargingProfiles module parties, i.e. eMPS can send charging profiles to EVSE)
- Preference based Smart Charging (allowing EMP to send preference on behalf of EV driver)
In terms of the improvements, in OCPI 2.2 we can find ones regarding
Not very much different from its previous version, OICP 2.2.1 was released as an answer to some issues reported for 2.2 version. In all cases, these are minor inconveniences, which update shouldn't be a complicated task. At the same time, version 2.2.1 can fix some irritating small details.
The changes are detailed in a table below:
OCPI 2.2.1 updates as stated in documentation by EVRoaming Foundation
The full protocol documentation with elaborated explanation and features walk-through can be found on EVRoaming Foundation website HERE.