Electric vehicles come from many different EV manufacturers. However, they all have a need in common; charging their battery! Battery charging may appear simple to the EV owner who only plugs in the charger. However, a lot goes on behind the scene to make the experience smooth. For example, imagine you can only charge with the charger made by your car maker. That is a stressful way to operate an EV because you will need to look for a charging station made by your EV maker each time you need to charge.
However, a certain technology lets you use any charger, regardless of the manufacturer of your EV or the charger. This tech is known as Open Charge Point Protocol, OCPP. What is OCPP, and what does it do? Read the rest of this article to find out.
What is OCPP?
OCPP is an application protocol that lets your electric vehicle charging station communicate with its central management system.
Application protocols are actually everywhere. For example, they allow your home appliances to interact with one another, despite using different programs to operate. For example, your Windows laptop and Android phone have no problem connecting over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi despite using different operating systems.
Why does OCPP matter to EV charging?
EV charging comes with two main components; the charging station and the central management system that regulates the voltage, output, and other factors. The complexity happens whether the two components are made by the same or different companies.
Whether the latter is the case, an application protocol is needed to act as a go-between. It will translate inputs coming from both sides so that communication can occur. This is what OCPP does.
OCPP was developed by ElaadNL based in the Netherlands in 2013. Thanks to its high quality and being free, OCPP has become the standard in the EVSE industry.
One of the advantages of OCPP is the freedom it gives to charging station operators. They can pick charging stations and management systems from any vendors of their choice. It also means if an EVSE vendor goes out of business, charging operators can easily switch to another vendor without having to replace the whole system at exorbitant costs.
OCPP also makes it easier to scale up charging operations because the operator can easily add new charging equipment from any vendor to its network.
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