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What is the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)

What is the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)

OCPP stands for 'Open Charge Point Protocol'. It was first created in 2009 by the E-Laad Foundation (formerly known as ElaadNL), and is currently managed by the Open Charge Alliance, which has its main office in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The purpose of OCPP is to develop an open protocol that enables the communication between any compatible EV charging station and a central charging management system.OCPP is fast becoming the de-facto standard, with 240 hardware and software vendors worldwide working on OCPP software. 

Why Choose OCPP-compliant hardware

Reliability and uptime are paramount for all EV charging service providers. Service downtime due to hardware faults can cripple your operations. Service providers today prefer to mix and match hardware from multiple vendors. This can be due to the need to diversify your hardware supply chain, or due to the varying feature sets of one vendor vs. another. As long as your charge station vendors have implemented the OCPP software stack, service providers can install hardware from any vendor and manage them remotely via a single central OCPP backoffice

OCPP Core Features for EV Charging Management

Charging services need OCPP Backoffice Software to remotely monitor and manage their network. You can monitor your chargestations remotely, start and stop charging sessions remotely, authorize drivers for access, receive charging session metrics and remotely configure your hardware and update firmware from time to time. More advanced OCPP back office software will allow you to manage reservations and configure Smart Charging and Load Management on your charging network.  

Which hardware suppliers support OCPP?

Today most charging station hardware suppliers support OCPP. The most notable exception is Tesla that uses their own proprietary software stack. For a full list see the Open Charge Alliance members list

Choosing between OCPP 1.6 vs. 2.0.1

Almost all chargestations sold in the market today use OCPP v1.6J. This is the version that most commercial charging service providers use for running their operations. The newest version of OCPP is 2.0.1. It was released on April 2020 and includes improvements in Device Management, Security enhancements, support for ISO 15118 (Plug & Charge), Chargestations display screen support.OCPP 2.0.1 is slowly being adopted by chargestation hardware vendors and EV Charging Management software providers. For now (Aug 2022), unless you specifically need certain 2.0.1 features, service providers are best off with OCPP 1.6J

Can I build my own OCPP Software Stack

There is nothing stopping you from building your own implementation of OCPP for your EV charging hardware or for your own charging management system. You can download the protocol from here and start coding your own implementation. 

Can I run my EV Charging business with OCPP 

Afraid not. OCPP is only the technical messaging protocol to remote control the charging station. To lauch a paid EV charging service, you need to handle payments, setting prices, driver access control and security. You probably also want to build a kick-ass driver app or customize management dashboards and reporting for  your customer. Unfortunately if you want to build your own EV charging application, you need to build your own OCPP software stack, the business logic and the customer facing applications yourself.

What is eDRV?

eDRV is an API first EV Charging Management software for OCPP, with exceptional features for paid EV charging management. With eDRV you do not need to build using OCPP, you can directly manage your charging network via our REST APIs, dashboards and driver payment applications.Instead of building your own OCPP software stack to connect to charging stations, you can simply connect any compatible charging hardware to eDRV and launch commercial services for home, multi-family homes, retail and fleet applications within days.You can build custom driver facing applications and dashboards using our APIs, collect driver payments (QR code based, powered by Stripe) and manage your energy across your network using our Smart Charging features.Learn more about eDRV’s EV Charging Management and APIs.

FAQs

Which charge station vendors do you support?

eDRV is compatible with any OCPP capable chargestation. You are welcome to choose a vendor that works best for your uniques business case. We have also completed one on one testing with over twenty chargestation vendors from the US, Europe, China and Taiwan. Please contact us for a full list.

Can any OCPP hardware work with any OCPP software?

Yes as long as the charging management system and EV charging hardware both support the same OCPP version. However, in practice we recommend running an OCPP compatibility test before making a purchase decision.

Is OCPP 1.6J compatible with OCPP 2.0.1?

Unfortunately OCPP 2.0.1 is not backwards compatible with OCPP 1.6J.

Is OCPP free?

Yes there are no fees associated with OCPP.

Is eDRV software OCPP compatible?

Under the hood, eDRV runs an OCPP CSMS that can connect to any compatible charging station. You can manage these chargestations, collect payments, manage drivers, set prices etc all via our RESTful APIs.

Can I build my own OCPP app or management dashboard?

You can easily do this with eDRV's APIs.

eDRV OCPP charging management, is built from the ground up based on an API first architecture. In fact we use the eDRV APIs to power the dashboard and our payment apps.

If you would like to build your own applications. Please see: https://docs.edrv.io

THE HARDWARE AGNOSTIC APPROACH TO CHARGING

Choose Any OCPP Charging Station

eDRV supports both OCPP 1.6 and 2.0.1, meaning you can mix and match charging station vendors and include them in your network. Check in to see if your charging station has been added to our growing list of suppliers.

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