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The next generation customer experience: ISO15118 Plug&Charge

Plug&Charge is an advanced technology for electric vehicle charging, giving EV drivers a safe and easy way to identify themselves at the charging station. The technology is based on an ISO15118 standard enabling vehicle-to-grid communication. In practice, Plug&Charge technology equals a smoother charging experience, increased security and one less thing to worry about. How does it work then?

scan-code"1. Identify yourself. 2. Plug in."

This is how we currently instruct EV drivers to start charging at the Virta charging stations. Customers can identify at the charging station either with RFID card, key fob or the mobile application.

Compared to fuelling 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 it can get even easier than this.

ISO15118 is a standard for vehicle-to-grid communication, specifying ways the vehicles communicate with charging devices. The standard also defines preconditions for identification with the cable, enabling the charging device and 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 sounded tempting. We took the ISO15118 standard instructions and made them into a fully functioning product: Plug&Charge by Virta.

Here's how it works in a nutshell: 

1. As a 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 RFID's do. Virta's backend service has now been improved to accept this information coming straight from the vehicle.

2. When the charging service accepts the information, the charging event 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. ISO15118 standard guidelines also make sure the authorisation and the payment process is secure throughout the charging event.

The ISO15118 standard is a new concept, thus only a few charging device and vehicle manufacturers support the technology. Currently only some vehicles at the market are admitting user information being transmitted via charging cable. As the ISO15118 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. In 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, show your RFID or simply plug in.

Virta's capability to support ISO15118 was carried out together with our friends from Hubject and eBee.

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