The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is becoming a very familiar term in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry, with a growing number of charger manufacturers looking to adopt this. This means that they’ll be compatible with any OCPP Charge Point Management System or software. But what does OCPP mean? We're here to make it simple - from the basics to the details, let's understand why OCPP software is becoming such a big deal in the electric vehicle industry.
OCCP stands for Open Charge Point Protocol. It’s a shared language between charge points themselves and a central server that would control them. It’s “Open” in the sense that it has been developed by a grouping of organisations that are interested in EV, rather than just one. This grouping includes hardware manufacturers and Charge Point Management System developers like Clenergy EV.
This open nature means it’s been widely adopted across the EV industry - and it has ensured a straightforward and seamless connection of charging stations through this shared communication protocol.
The EV Landscape and the growing need for OCPP Compliance
The UK electric vehicle (EV) industry is experiencing a surge in demand - with 780,000 plug-in EVs on the road and growing, and in May 2023 EVs accounted for 23% of all cars sold that month. This shift has led to a rapid need for EV charging infrastructure, and with that EV installations - especially for commercial use cases. Getting this right is key to enabling the growth in EVs, as without it, drivers cannot charge their vehicles.
As the need for charge point hardware grows, more and more players are entering the UK market - and they are almost entirely using the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). We recently put together a helpful guide which'll help you choose the best EV charger, you can access this here.
The Advantages of OCPP Software
OCPP software and compliant chargers offer a wide range of benefits that can majorly enhance the EV charging experience for both operators and end-users. Let's take a look at these advantages in more detail:
Flexibility and Choice
OCPP software offers consumers flexibility and choice. It can be used across different hardware manufacturers, meaning users are not locked into one supplier and can choose the best charge points for their needs. This is like using multiple wholesalers - sometimes a unit is out of stock, and it’s better to keep options open instead of only using one supplier.
Keeping Pace with Innovation
As EV charging technology accelerates, new models of charging stations are continually being introduced. The majority of new innovations are going to be pushed through this communication protocol. For example, OCPP 2.0.1, has ISO 15118 Plug and Charge functionality. Having a familiar and seamless OCPP software for the growing number of compatible hardware puts you one step ahead.
Effective Management with CPMS
OCPP compliant EV chargers can be managed effectively with a Charge Point Management System (CPMS) through a trusted platform like Clenergy EV. This is essential for setting tariff ratings and enabling EV drivers to pay at the point of use. This is particularly important in a commercial environment, whether the end client is looking to monetize the chargers
or make them available for private access only.
Competitive and Savvy Solutions
OCPP compliant solutions are competitive and savvy - they have to be to survive in a growing marketplace. They understand that users have the power to choose - and if they don’t give a good service, they could see a client choose a different product for their next project. They have to offer the most feature-rich, user-friendly, and cost-effective solutions. With the ability to change your network at any time, the market becomes more competitively priced, ensuring you never get held captive by a single provider.
Why Partner with an OCPP Software Provider
Partnering with an OCPP software provider can offer multiple benefits. These include the ability to offer a full turnkey solution with a CPMS that allows clients to set their own tariffs and monetize their charging stations long-term. It also enables remote management of charging stations, potentially solving faults without a site visit, and providing an additional revenue stream.
How to check a charger is OCPP Compliant
If in doubt, you check if a charger is OCPP compliant by referring to a data sheet or simply asking the manufacturer. The Open Charge Alliance (OCA), the body responsible for OCPP, is available to anyone within the EV industry to join. It allows members to have an input into the development of OCPP and share best practices.
However any company can follow the OCPP with its hardware or software - it’s open by its nature.
Some hardware products are also certified against specific criteria by the OCA - and this can be checked on the OCA website. If the charger you're considering is included in this list, it signifies that it has officially received certification.
Ready to leverage OCPP software for your EV charging needs? Get in touch with our experts today!