The new standard for EV charging: ISO 15118 Plug & Charge

2 min read
Dec 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Technology is ever evolving to continuously enhance customer experience. And the situation is no different with EV charging.

Introducing Plug&Charge, a new advanced technology enabling EV drivers to identify themselves safely and easily at the charging station by, as its name suggests, simply plugging in.

In practice, Plug&Charge technology equals a smoother charging experience, increased security and one less thing to worry about.

EV charging has just gotten easier

Currently, when charging an electric vehicle, the first step is to identify yourself – which can either happen through a mobile app or with a RFID card – followed by a second step: plugging in.

Compared to fueling an ICE vehicle, these two steps are already quite simple: there's no need to enter credit cards or PIN codes, pick up receipts, not to mention stations where you have to pay at the cashier.

But charging can get even easier than this.

ISO 15118 is a standard for vehicle-to-grid communication, specifying the ways the vehicles communicate with charging devices. The standard also defines preconditions for identification with the cable or via Wi-Fi, enabling the charging device and the back-end service to identify the car and its owner when the vehicle is plugged in.

Developing a smooth customer experience is our passion, which is why removing one step from the charging event process sounded tempting.

We took the ISO 15118 standard instructions and made them into a fully functioning product: Plug & Charge by Virta.


Here's how it works: Step-by-step

Step 1.

As the vehicle is plugged in to the charging device, it sends verification details about the customer account to the charging service  the same way mobile apps and RFIDs do.

We at Virta are ready. The Virta platform has now been improved to accept this information coming straight from the vehicle.

Step 2.

When the charging service accepts the information, the charging event automatically starts. This will make the charging experience for EV drivers even less complicated, as the customer data is transferred straight from the vehicle to the charging service.

The ISO 15118 standard guidelines also make sure the authorisation and the payment process are secure throughout the charging event.

Since the ISO 15118 standard is a new concept, so far only a few charging devices and vehicle manufacturers support the technology.

Currently only some vehicles at the market are admitting user information being transmitted via charging cable. 

As the ISO 15118 technology becomes more common, the manufacturers of both cars and charging devices are expected to start supporting the standard.

After all, just like us charging service providers, manufacturers want to offer their customers better, cutting-edge features that are more user-friendly. With time, this easy way of identification will become available for the end-users  electric vehicle drivers.

Simplicity is key when it comes to everyday actions. We want to offer our customers optional and optimal ways of charging  swipe on your mobile app, show your RFID card or simply plug in.

Together towards emission-free mobility

Virta's capability to support ISO 15118 is carried out together with our friends from Hubject.

Christian Hahn, the CEO of Hubject, says: "Plug & Charge is fundamental to increase the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) because it makes EV charging into an even more seamless approach – which is key for reaching mass adoption of EVs. And this is so important because it ensures that we are changing to emission-free mobility - one essential task to slow down or even stop global climate change. Therefore, we are very grateful, that Virta is supporting us in reaching this goal.”

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