OCPP 101 - Why Is Open Charge Point Protocol Important?

We provide an introduction to OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) and explain why interoperability is crucial for a successful EV charger network.

Rob Speirs Evnex
Rob Speirs | GM Sales & Marketing
Charging an electric vehicle while using the Evnex mobile app

Most electric vehicle drivers will not be aware of OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol), and in most cases, nor do they need to be aware of it. However, for anyone involved in the EV charging sector, it is essential to understand what OCPP is and how it affects EV charger manufacturers, EV charging software developers, charge point operators (CPOs), e-mobility service providers (eMSPs), large scale installers and managers of EV charging infrastructure.

Put simply, OCPP is an open protocol designed to allow for a common communication standard between an internet connected charging station, and a cloud management service (sometimes called a ‘back-office’ or ‘back-end’). In many ways it’s similar to how HTTP was developed in the early days of the internet to allow personal computers to access information from remote servers.

A diagram showing how OCPP provides the connection between an EV charging station and the cloud.
OCPP provides an internationally adopted messaging system between a charging station and the cloud.

The OCPP initiative is led by the Open Charge Alliance, an organisation of participating global EV charging industry members. They all support and believe in open standards for EV charging which allow electric vehicle networks to be open and accessible. The Open Charge Alliance has promoted OCPP, and it has now become the de facto standard for EV charger interoperability.

We have all experienced the frustration of buying a device or appliance and finding at some point that it will not connect with something else. The idea of EV chargers connecting to a proprietary system generally only makes sense to the manufacturers who are looking to force customers to spend money with them by locking them in.

Evnex is both a manufacturer of EV charger hardware and a developer of software for management of EV chargers. Evnex utilises OCPP to ensure that both our hardware and software is of an open standard, that both can be connected to other systems and be fully interoperable. Evnex is proud to be a active member of the Open Charge Alliance and supports the organisation’s goal of open and interoperable EV charging.

"We have all experienced the frustration of buying a device or appliance and finding at some point that it will not connect with something else."

OCPP For Charge Point Operators and Manufacturers

For any organisation that is deploying an electric vehicle charging network, then OCPP is critical. Proprietary alternatives to OCPP do have their benefits, they generally allow manufacturers to have more control over the way their ecosystem behaves and can bring about some efficiencies. However very few, if any, EV charger manufacturers are able to provide a solution to fit every need, including compact AC charging, fast, rapid and ultra rapid DC charging and V2G/V2H technologies. Because of this, no one manufacturer is likely to be able to deliver the ultimate hardware solution across all sectors for a complex customer base. We believe the best approach is to have an open, interoperable range of hardware than can be connected to the EV charger backend software of choice.

OCPP For EV Drivers

Whilst the EV Driver can safely live in ignorance of OCPP, they will enjoy the benefits of Open Charge Point Protocol. The customer experience that can be built using a range of well-suited hardware matched to an excellent EV charger management backend relies on an interoperable and open EV charge network. Without a protocol such as OCPP, this would not be as easy to create. CPOs and organisations would be forced to use closed and proprietary systems that are focused on the interests of the vendor and not the customer experience.

Evnex Is Flexible

Whether it is AC EV charging hardware, EV charger management software, or both, Evnex is designed to be flexible and to suit a range of EV charging scenarios. We will work with CPOs, corporate clients and organisations to meet their needs. We have an extensive range of products from third party hardware vendors already connected to our CP Link OCPP management software. We also have international partners who provide a range of services such as public charging billing, carpark management services with integrated EV charging, solutions for fleets and much more.

Get in touch to discuss how you can become one of our partners.

Rob Speirs Evnex
Rob Speirs | GM Sales & Marketing