Welcome to the world of RFID and OCPP
E-mobility is only "simple" if it works always, everywhere and for everyone. From RFID solutions to open OCPP interfaces to the pre-programmed OCPP solution in cooperation with our partner Monta Platform, the RZB Energy charging stations offer various options.
First, however, we would like to explain a few terms in more detail, because even though e-Mobility should be as simple as possible for the end user, there is a little vocabulary to learn for charging point operators. Technology explained simply:
The process of authentication describes the proof of an identity. In everyday life in Germany, for example, it is recommended for every person over the age of 16 to be able to "authenticate" themselves in public spaces and, in this sense, to carry their identity card with them. The ID card is considered proof of identity and can be verified with the person himself (external features) and additionally by querying the data deposited with the ID card.
In the context of IT applications, authentication is done by matching a data set. For example, a user name and password are stored electronically on a chip. If authentication is necessary, this stored data can be checked for existence in a corresponding database. Authentication is only successful if the corresponding data exists.
Authentication plays a crucial role for the charging process of e-vehicles. Insofar as a wallbox is installed at home in the lockable garage, everything still seems quite simple. The person who has the key to the garage is authenticated.
But even in company car parks and of course at public charging points, there is a legitimate interest in only providing access to the charging point to a certain group of people or to guarantee payment processing at the charging point. This requires the exchange of data.
Radio-Frequency-Identification describes the contactless exchange of data between a transponder and a reader. For this purpose, an electromagnetic field is built up by the reader. If the transponder is brought within this energetic field, it is activated. At this stage, the data stored on the transponder can be read and compared with a database.
In the context of e-mobility, RFID technology is used to give only a certain group of people access to the charging station. For example, a company could equip all employees with an RFID chip. The employees can identify themselves at the charging station with their transponder, the charging station is unlocked and the charging process can be started.
In the course of this, data on the refuelling process can also be collected, stored and evaluated through authentication. For example, it can be of interest to a company which employee has loaded how much electricity into his or her car and when.
For employees in the company car park, RFID is an easy option. But as soon as regular streams of visitors are to be expected in large numbers, the question of how to handle the loading process arises again. In this scenario, but also in almost all public areas, the OCPP standard comes into play at this point.
OCPP is the abbreviation for Open Charge Point Protocol and has the basic function of communication between the vehicle, charging station and a central charging management system. OCPP is an application protocol that is now used worldwide as a standard in the field of charging stations.
The general advantage of the OCCP is that small charging pole networks or areas in which an operator ceases its activities can be quickly and easily integrated into existing networks. The "Open" thus stands for the openness and flexibility of the protocol and therefore for the integration capability of the charging points into various management systems. OCPP creates independence for all parties involved.
In addition to many other data that can be easily transmitted with the help of the OCPP, the billing data is probably of particular interest. Thanks to the open protocol, a wide range of providers can "install" their software on the charging stations. Whether the end user can then pay by EC, credit card or even Google or Apple Pay depends on the billing service provider's offer. At this point, there is no one true solution, but countless ways that can be adapted to the needs and wishes of the operator.
OCPP @ RZB Energy
RZB Energy offers two solutions for the OCPP interface: On the one hand, charging stations with an open OCPP interface can be provided. In this scenario, the customer already has a service provider, who updates the required software via the OCPP interface.
On the other hand, we at RZB Energy offer pre-programmed OCPP interfaces via our partner Monta Platform. In this case, Monta Platform acts as a service provider, providing the billing functions and many other features.