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EV Charging Moving Towards a more Seamless Payment Structure

Electrify America

The majority of drivers may not be driving pure battery electric vehicles or even plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. But that's not stopping a consortium of forward thinking companies in the automotive space from making the payment process for charging more seamless than ever before. Utilities too will have a growing role to play in this ecosystem and will need to weigh in with their input on charging infrastructure.

Volkswagen's "Electrify America" initiative, borne out of the company's diesel cheating scandal is looking to make paying for your electric charging time as easy as simply plugging in. Berlin, Germany based Hubject is the developer of Plug&Charge technology that will be used not just by Volkswagen but by BMW, Daimler and others. Plug&Charge consolidates charging your vehicle and paying for the service into one step; by simply plugging into an Electrify America built public charging station, your payment method of choice is also activated through the connection between the charger and your vehicles charge port. No additional payment step is needed. 

This is made possible courtesy of a public key infrastructure (PKI) that's compliant with ISO 15118; a standard that spells out how electric vehicles interact with the grid. 

In order for your credit card or payment method to be charged, the infrastructure behind the public charging key validates the payment securely before authorizing the payment. Expected to be in place by late 2019 the Plug&Share system will require that recipient vehicles also have have the required Hubject  chips embedded in their system. Automakers like Mercedes, Audi and BMW plan to build this directly into their vehicles. 

Some interesting questions for the utilities that power these stations to consider will be what additional information they'll want to receive or share through the ISO 15118 standard when it comes to understanding the specifics of EV driver batteries, more precise statistics on when drivers are charging and other metrics in an effort to better serve driver at the all-important public charging station. 

In the quest for a well integrated charging ecosystem, the creation of payment and charging standards that vendors can unite behind is an essential ingredient. Will Hubject's Plug&Share platform become the go-to standard in the world of electrification payments? 

Areg Bagdasarian's picture

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