What Is Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)?

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When researching EV charging stations, you have probably seen the terms “Open Charge Point Protocol,” or “OCPP” used to describe a unit. But what exactly is OCPP? And how does it benefit the user?

What is Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)?

Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is an application protocol for communication between an electric vehicle (EV) charging station and the charging station management system.

With an ever-growing number of EVSE manufacturers and central management system companies coming onto the market, global standards have been supported that will allow a wider range of EVSEs and central management system networks to be able to work together, regardless of who owns and manages the network. This is called the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) — the standard protocol “language.” 

Without standardized protocols, the charging unit and the central management system couldn’t “talk” to each other and therefore wouldn’t work.

In more technical terms: application protocol allows technology to control and execute various actions. Because EVSE units have two governable systems — the physical charging station and the central management software or systems that control various factors — that can be made and provided by either the same or different companies, protocols are needed to allow the hardware and centralized systems to work together. 

Is OCPP Available on Every Charger?

While the Open Charge Alliance —an international standards organization— developed and promoted the protocols for OCPP, units are not required to be OCPP, nor do they need to be true OCPP systems.

When it comes to EvoCharge’s selection of products, our iEVSE products for commercial use (iEVSE, iEVSE Plus) are true OCPP chargers. However, our EVSE is non-networked and therefore doesn’t have OCPP capabilities. 

What is a “True” OCPP?

For a charging station to say it is using OCPP, a system needs to follow the protocols laid out by the Open Charge Alliance. However, there are those that are technically using those protocols without being fully able to integrate with any network. A true OCPP EVSE unit can use any available network that uses the same protocols.

Benefits of OCPP

The biggest benefit of true OCPP is that you are in control of selecting the network or managing the connection to your charging stations. Unlike non-OCPP systems or those that are not true OCPP, a true OCPP charging station allows you to choose a local network provider or change that provider. This is especially handy as EV networks grow and new providers become available or cease to exist; the worst thing that could happen is that the network your charging station is connected to goes out of business and the EVSE unit is no longer usable because it could only be configured through that network. With a true OCPP station, you can still use the EVSE through a different network provider.

For commercial properties, the advantages go even further. On top of allowing you to control the units through a network and connect to your local utility, an OCPP unit paired with a network allows you to control who can use your charger at what times, and can enable payment through the unit (RFID payment is available with the iEVSE Plus charging station).

How Does EvoCharge’s True OCPP Work?

When you purchase an EvoCharge iEVSE (available for commercial use) or iEVSE Plus (commercial use only) EV charging station, you have the option to buy a unit that is already configured to a network partner or non-configured so you can take your time choosing a network to use. 

OCPP Networks and EvoCharge

If you’re looking for a true OCPP-compliant EV charging station, look no further than EvoCharge’s iEVSE or iEVSE Plus units. EvoCharge connected stations are OCPP 1.6-compliant, putting the choice of networks in your hands. 

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