Parking Industry

What is the OCPI Protocol?3 min read

Aug 13, 2022 3 min
EV Charging Revolution in the US

What is the OCPI Protocol?3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Thanks to the OCPI Protocol introduced by the EVRoaming Foundation, cross-border EV charging has become a lot easier. Read to know more. 

When you travel between two states or even countries, your cell phone network instantly switches to Roaming mode so that you can continue enjoying seamless service regardless of where you are.

In fact, if you don’t check your SMS or notifications, you may not even notice the switch. The OCPI protocol aims to achieve the same invisible transition for EV charging.

What is the OCPI Protocol? 

The Open Charge Point Interface or the OCPI protocol is a standardized system that facilitates electric vehicle charging anywhere, anytime, and for any EV. Presently, there are several EV charging players in the market, but they have different charging modules and aren’t exactly compatible with each other.

As a driver, it’s frustrating making cross-border or multi-state stops at an EV charging station only to realize that the charging hub does not support their vehicle! All this will change with the OCPI protocol brought forth by the EVRoaming Foundation.

Here’s what the Protocol is set up to do:

  • It acts as a common language between multiple eMobility Service Providers or EMSPs and Charge Point Operators (CPOs).
  • It supports Charge Point Operators (CPOs) who manage charging stations and hubs.
  • It supports basic information sharing between different CPOs and EMSPs.
  • It verifies that only legit drivers are requesting EV charging services.
  • It enables smart charging.
  • It allows charger reservations.
  • It enables the reconciliation of transactions between EMSPs and CPOs.

The OCPI protocol lets drivers charge from anywhere, regardless of the brand of charging station. Moreover, it is free to use and does not feature any vendor lock-ins.  No wonder EV charging providers within the EU and parts of the USA are aggressively adopting the OCPI protocol.

In fact, the state of California has already included the OCPI protocol in its EV Regulatory Framework. So, if you wish to own or operate an EV charging station within California, you can do it only after incorporating the OCPI roaming protocol.

The Unseen Benefits of the OCPI Protocol

Think of this protocol as a technical handshake between multiple EV charging brands and operators. It ensures that CPOs and EMSPs can track their customers across each other’s systems, share additional relevant information, and complete certain actions.

For example, EV charging providers can send remote commands regarding charging hub reservations and billing to each other. They can also remotely authorize charging sessions regardless of a customer’s location.

All of this is possible because the OCPI protocol integrates different EV charging software and hardware infrastructures while providing EV drivers access to unlimited charges. In addition, this system provides drivers information on EV charging locations, prices, and availability in real-time through a smartphone app.

Finally, adopting the OCPI protocol allows it to share technical data with three key parties associated with EVs and EV charging individually. These include:

  • Charging Point Operators (CPOs)
  • Electric Vehicle Service Providers (EVSPs)
  • eMobility Service Providers (EMSPs)

This data transparency can empower them to forge roaming agreements that may include special offers and driver discounts.

Parting Thoughts

The OCPI protocol is becoming increasingly popular and has already been adopted by most of the world’s top EV players. The founder of the OCPI protocol, the EVRoaming Foundation, receives support from biggies like Google Maps, ChargePoint, EVBOX, LastMile Solutions, NKL, and many others.

Safe to say, OCPI compliance will encourage EV adoption as it will make EV charging seamless for operators and drivers alike.

Making EV Charging More Accessible

Many governments have started investing money in promoting clean energy alternatives, but customers still face the challenge of finding a comparative EV charging station near their location, complete with parking, digital payment, and navigation. Get My Parking’s smart parking platform integrates with any parking lot and EV charging hardware to provide easy discovery and payment for parking and value-added services through a custom-branded app.

Take a look at our complete suite of smart parking solutions!