The Open Charge Alliance (OCA), a global consortium of public and private electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure leaders with more than 10,000 installations worldwide, recently announced a new charter and issued a call for new international members.
The newly formed Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) forum includes ABB, Eaton, Greenlots and others and maintains its original mission to further develop open charging interoperability standards with no cost or licensing barriers. The alliance has generated broad industry consensus behind OCPP to promote and enable open, flexible EV charging networks for the next wave of global adoption.
According to the OCA, the biggest challenge facing EV adoption is no longer “range anxiety” but access limitations to public charging stations. Many early stations are accessible only through proprietary, subscription-based networks. Unfortunately, this closed nature has generated frustration for many EV drivers, who expect the same accessibility as they experience at a gas pump, as well as for charging station owners, who are locked into proprietary network systems that prevent them from making changes as their needs evolve or as prices change.
In many European countries where open standards have been adopted, site owners can mix and match open standards-based charging stations and choose a network provider that meets their business requirements and provides the best charging experience for their customers.
The OCA will soon release OCPP v2.0. It features a more efficient, modern transport and messaging to support pricing, smart charging, and charging station health and maintenance, including device event notification and statistical reports. In parallel with the last phase of protocol specification, the OCA is developing a process for OCPP v2.0 compliancy and interoperability.
“If we listen to EV drivers and site hosts in markets like the U.S., which began as closed, proprietary charging networks, we have a clear take away—open and accessible networks are critical for the next wave of EV adoption,” said Brett Hauser, founding member of the OCA and president of Greenlots. “The success of OCPP in Europe and its growing adoption in North America position it as the de facto platform for the next wave of EV adoption.”