One of the benefits of newer commercial electric vehicle charging stations is the ability to add an EV charging network. With a charging network, station owners can manage station access, charge users for energy, monitor usage, and more. But it doesn’t end there. You can even choose a smart charging solution that offers interoperability with other networks and charging stations. SemaConnect charging stations and the SemaConnect Network have EV charging standards for openness and interoperability built in. Here is why OCPP, OCPI, and OpenADR matter for your SemaConnect stations.
OCPP, or Open Charge Point Protocol, is an open communications protocol that allows charging stations to communicate with a charging network. But it does more than simply allow communication between hardware and network software. This standard allows a station owner to add a new charging network to a charging station that was designed by a different EV charging company. As long as the station and the network both use OCPP, a station owner can use both. This increases choice for station owners and encourages all EV charging station providers to innovate their products and continually add new features that their customers want.
OCPI, or Open Charge Point Interface, works hand-in-hand with OCPP and allows communication between charging networks. This is the typical interoperability that we refer to when we ask, “Are SemaConnect charging stations interoperable with other networks?” OCPI allows your SemaConnect charging stations to appear on a third-party charging map. With the Series 6 commercial station, SemaConnect’s premier product for shared EV charging, station owners can set their stations to public or private access. Public stations (with live station status!) will appear on mapping applications such as Google Maps, PlugShare, and ChargeHub. Through interoperability agreements with other EV charging companies, SemaConnect drivers can also roam between networks such as EVgo and Electrify America. Finally, through new interoperability agreements with automakers such as General Motors, EV drivers will soon be able to find a SemaConnect charging station through the vehicle navigation itself. Thanks to OCPI, EV drivers can find a charging station and start charging without downloading the mobile app for every single charging network. This helps new drivers find a charge from the first day of vehicle ownership!
While OCPP and OCPI are protocols for communications between charging stations and charging networks, ADR, or Automated Demand Response, enables communication between the charging station and the local utility. OpenADR is the standardized version. As more electric vehicle charging stations plug into the grid, utility providers need a better way to manage electricity. Demand response programs allow the utility provider or grid operator to throttle energy flow during peak demand in order to prevent a blackout. While not all utilities have created an EV charging demand response program yet, SemaConnect charging stations have the technology needed to support smart grid management. With OpenADR, you can add your SemaConnect charging stations to a utility’s demand response program, thus helping you save money and support your community during peak energy events.
Open networks, interoperability, and standardization are essential for today’s EV charging stations. In the past, when the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) industry was smaller, more charging providers focused on proprietary software and were less interested in standardized protocols. But with the increase in EV drivers, renewed interest in smart grid management, and new government programs to support electrification, open standards and open networks are essential for EV charging. Ready to get started with smart, networked EV charging at your property? Click here to get started with a quote.