In the dynamic world of electric vehicle (EV) charging, Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) plays a pivotal role in facilitating seamless communication between charging stations and central management systems. As companies active in the installation of charging stations progress forwards, an understanding of the distinctions between OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0.1 can provide additional insight for important business decisions.
OCPP – A Short History
In 2009, The OCPP Forum was formed with the aim to create an open communication standard which would allow Charging Stations (CS) in the Netherlands and Charging Station Management Systems (CSMS) from different vendors to easily communicate with each other. Moving forward the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) was later founded with a vision to further develop OCPP to guide open and flexible EV networks worldwide. (1)
OCPP – A Brief Introduction
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) was created with a purpose to allow EV charging stations and central management systems from different vendors to communicate with each other. (2)
The benefits of OCPP provide advanced EV charging networks with the ability to allow operators to receive information about their EV charging stations performance in real-time. They can also manage the charging status, issue servicing tickets, detect faults, process payments, and enable tools for dynamic pricing. Information from the charging station can be gathered by network management software and communicated to the back-office server of an administrator. Beneficial services towards drivers of electric vehicles include billing, payment, access control and authentication. Whereas EV charging location and site hosts can set pricing, usage policies and gain valuable insights through the analysis of usage data. (2)
In 2010, Open Charge Point Protocol 1.2 was released, with the release of OCPP 1.5 taking place in 2013. These earlier versions are no longer actively maintained by the OCA, which brings us to the later versions, OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0.1 (the updated version of OCPP 2.0)(1)
OCPP 1.6: Laying the Groundwork for EV Charging Infrastructure
Before exploring the advancements brought by OCPP 2.0.1, we’ll take a closer look at the foundational features of version, OCPP 1.6. This section focuses on the primary functionalities and advantages of the 1.6 version:
OCPP 1.6, described by the Open Charge Alliance, introduced new features to accommodate the market including: Smart Charging, OCPP using JSON over WebSockets, better diagnostics possibilities, more Charge Point Statuses, TriggerMessage: and support forOCPP 1.5 as well as the following functionalities (1, 2)
- Local Authorization list management: this manages the local authorization list in the charge points (2)
- Reservation Functionality: which supports the reservation of a charge point (2)
- TriggerMessage: the triggermessage is implemented which gives the Central System the possibility to request information from the Charge Point (2)
- Smart Charging: smart charging allows the central system to influence the charging power or current of a specific EV, or the total allowed energy consumption on an entire charge point, (2) smart charging can also provide support for load balancing and use of charge profiles (1)
- Specification Improvements: some minor improvements in specifications (1)
- SOAP and JSON: OCPP 1.6provides support for both SOAP and JSON versions (1)
- Firmware Management: updates and diagnostic log (2)
- Additional status: for example,provides CPOs with more information about the current charging status
Some of the advantages of implementing OCPP 1.6 include: Flexibility in system integration with support for both SOAP and JSON messaging protocols, an introduction to basic smart charging capabilities, setting the stage for adaptive charging processes, additional charging status information and OCPP using JSON over WebSockets with the potential to greatly reduce the cost of mobile data. (3)
OCPP 2.0.1: A Leap Forward in EV Charging Technology
Building upon the foundational aspects of OCPP 1.6, the 2.0.1 version was released in 2020, marking a significant leap forward in the EV charging landscape. Even though 2.0.1 uses many of the same concepts as OCPP 1.6, OCPP 2.0.1 is not an extension of this protocol, it doesn’t support SOAP and it is not backward compatible with OCPP 1.6. This section highlights the notable features and benefits that define OCPP 2.0 and OCPP 2.0.1: (1)
Device Management / Device Model
This feature is particularly relevant and welcomed by charge station operators managing networks of charging stations from a variety of vendors. The following functionalities can help operators reduce the operating costs of their networks:
- Inventory reporting
- Improved error and state reporting
- Improved configuration
- Customizable Monitoring (3)
Improvements Handling Large Quantities of Transactions
Transaction related functionalities inone message: In previous versions of OCPP reporting of transaction data is split across several messages. In OCPP 2.0.1 transaction related functionalities have been rolled into one message ‘TransactionEvent’. (3)
Reduction of data costs: OCPP 1.6 introduced JSON over WebSockets with the potential to greatly reduce the cost of mobile data. OCPP 2.0 introduced support for WebSocket Compression, enabling the data to be reduced even further. (3)
Strengthened Cyber Security
The OCA cites the following improvements to OCPP to strengthen the protocol against cyber-attacks:
- Security profiles (3 levels) for Charging Station and/or CSMS authentication and communication Security
- Key management for Client-Side certificates
- Secure firmware updates
- Security event log (3)
Smart Charging Extended
While OCPP 1.6 set the stage for adaptive charging processes with an introduction to basic smart charging capabilities, OCPP 2.0.1 has extended smart charging even further, with direct support for input from Energy Management Systems (EMS) towards a charge station, improvements in smart charging from a local controller and support for integrated smart charging of the charge station management system (CSMS), charging station (CS) and the Electric Vehicle (EV). (3)
OCPP 2.0 Supports the ISO 15118 Standard
ISO 15118, a standard for communication from Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) to Electric Vehicles is supported by OCPP 2.0 with new features for: Plug & Charge, and Smart Charging (including input from the EV). (3)
Enhancement of the Customer Experience
Earlier versions of OCPP were predominately designed to support EV charging authorization via RFID. OCPP 2.0 brought about improvements such as the support of Plug & Charge [ISO15118-1], payment terminals, local mechanical key, and improved support for mobile devices i.e., smart-phones. (3)
Displaying messages to EV drivers: Through a charge station management system (CSMS) Charge Station Operators have the possibility to display a message on a charging station for EV drivers. (3)
Inclusive charging with preferred language messages: Creating potential for a more inclusive charging experience, OCPP 2.0 enables the possibility of showing messages to EV drivers in their preferred language at a charging station. (3)
Costs and Tariffs – before, during and after: Added transparency of applicable costs and tariffs at charging stations before, during and after a charging session is made possible with OCPP 2.0. Features for showing the price before a charging session, running total cost during the charging session and the total cost after the charging session can provide greater pricing transparency for EV drivers. (3)
Improvements to OCPP JSON. No support for SOAP: Improvement has been made to OCPP JSON, such as simple message routing, however, a decision was made by the OCA to no longer support SOAP in version 2.0 of OCPP. (3)
Delving Deeper: Analysing the Progress from OCPP 1.6 to OCPP 2.0.1
As the EV charging sector evolves, discerning the differences between OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0.1 becomes essential. This section presents a detailed analysis, aiding you in making informed decisions:
- OCPP 1.6: Provides basic security features, establishing a foundation for secure communications.
- OCPP 2.0.1: Introduces fortified security protocols, including Security profiles (3 levels) for Charging Station and/or CSMS authentication and communication, Key management for Client-Side certificates, Secure firmware updates and Security event log thus emerging as a superior choice in terms of security.
Progress in Smart Charging Capabilities
- OCPP 1.6: Offers basic smart charging capabilities, facilitating the central system to influence the charging power or current of a specific EV, or the total allowed energy consumption on an entire charge point and providing support for load balancing and use of charge profiles.
- OCPP 2.0.1: Elevates smart charging with direct support for input from Energy Management Systems (EMS) towards a charge station, improvements in smart charging from a local controller and support for integrated smart charging of the charge station management system (CSMS), charging station (CS) and the Electric Vehicle (EV) fostering a more efficient and adaptive charging process.
Reduction of Data Costs
- OCPP 1.6: Introduced JSON over WebSockets with the potential to greatly reduce the cost of mobile data.
- OCPP 2.0: Introduced support for WebSocket Compression, enabling the data and cost to be reduced even further. (3)
User Experience Enhancements
- OCPP 1.6: Introduces reservation functionality, to support the reservation of a charge point.
- OCPP 2.0.1: Amplifies user communication with display messages, promoting a more informed and interactive charging experience.
Steering Towards the Future: Harnessing the Potentials of OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0.1
In the swiftly changing landscape of EV charging, keeping up with the latest advancements is crucial. Observing the transition from OCPP 1.6 to OCPP 2.0.1, understanding the unique features and benefits of each version can guide businesses in making informed choices. Whether it’s the fortified security protocols of OCPP 2.0.1 or the foundational attributes of OCPP 1.6, each version offers unique strengths.
For companies specializing in the installation of charging stations, aligning with the developments in OCPP can pave the path for success into the EV charging sector. By understanding the differences between OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0.1, businesses can adapt their services to meet the evolving market demands, fostering a seamless and efficient EV charging experience.
Open Charge Alliance(1)
Open vs. Closed Charging Stations: Advantages and Disadvantages(2)
Open Charge Alliance – OCPP 2.0.1 Part 0 – Introduction(3)