IONITY is the first in Europe to offer Plug & Charge to all stations


IONITY has announced that its fast charging network is the first in Europe to offer the Plug & Charge function in accordance with the ISO 15118 standard.

This means that electric vehicles with Plug & Charge enabled can be charged just by plugging in. The system will automatically take care of identification, authorization and invoicing. No more need for RFID cards or mobile applications.

With Plug & Charge, as soon as the charging cable is inserted into the vehicle, the vehicle is automatically identified at the charging station and authorized for charging. To this end, the charging contracts are read directly from the car and protected by digital certificates. The charging process does not start until after successful authentication. Billing is also automated and all necessary information is stored in the vehicle’s on-board system. With IONITY Plug & Charge, payments at the charging station are a thing of the past, offering maximum convenience for electric vehicle drivers.

Unfortunately, this is not yet a feature that everyone can use, as there are only a handful of new models with Plug & Charge enabled. The list includes Porsche Taycan, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Others will have to wait for manufacturers to release more EVs with Plug & Charge enabled. Once the technical capacity is offered both on the car and on the charging station, the user must have an account accessible to the system.

IONITY explains that Plug & Charge is very simple and convenient from the user’s point of view, but the development process was very complex as the industry had to resolve all compatibility and data security issues for all participants ( charging networks, electric vehicle manufacturers, customers).

This is why it has taken a few years since the first attempt at the end of 2018.

But the process of integrating and validating the software that underlies it is all the more complex and requires tailored and intensive cooperation between all parties involved. To guarantee the functionality of Plug & Charge in accordance with ISO 15118, the car and charging station manufacturers, as well as the various partners in the field of e-roaming, have all agreed on a process and a uniform interface that provide a secure certificate-authentication process for IONITY clients.

Dr Susanne Koblitz, Head of Charging Technology at IONITY explains:

“Getting the communication chains started was a major challenge. It was necessary to develop Plug & Charge as a complete ecosystem. In collaboration with the relevant players in the sector, we have set up a standardized system that allows all partners to authenticate themselves, thus allowing the electric vehicle and the charging station to communicate while guaranteeing confidentiality, integrity and communication. ‘authenticity of the data. “

“At the end of 2018, we carried out the first communication tests between the charging station and the electric vehicle. Since the beginning of 2020, we have implemented Plug & Charge in several terminals, mainly on the German market, to give our partners the opportunity to carry out their own tests. After a gradual rollout over the past few months, we are happy to announce that Plug & Charge is now available to our customers across the network.

The functionality of just plugging in and charging is nothing new, as Tesla introduced it to the supercharging network in 2012. However, for almost a decade, the network was only compatible with Tesla cars. , which basically simplifies the problem. minimum (no compatibility problem or customer data transfer between different companies).

Time will tell when and to what extent Tesla will be able to implement comparable functionality in its network once it becomes available to other EVs, as the first attempt will be simply the use of an app. .

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