Interoperability framework for electric charging related technology

If you need to download a new app every time you want to charge your car or bicycle in public, or if only half the chargers serve half the brands of vehicles, your city is suffering from a lack of interoperability. This creates major inefficiencies in the system, and makes life difficult for people who are trying to use these new environmentally friendly forms of transport.

As many cities across Europe are facing interoperability issues that make switching to electric vehicles more complex and less appealing for residents and visitors, our EU-funded project, User-Chi, has developed a set of documents that can guide planners to think carefully about this issue and better understand how to achieve interoperability.

The three documents presented here explore overlapping elements of this framework with different levels of detail and technicality.

Interoperability framework

This document provides guidelines and recommendations to achieve interoperability in electromobility services, particularly focusing on five technical User-Chi, including a parking and charging app, an urban planning tool, and a light electric vehicle charging station. It addresses barriers to interoperability and offers strategies to overcome them, ensuring a seamless and user-friendly charging experience. It describes a four-layer framework for thinking about interoperability: organisational, legal, technical, and semantic, and it explains how these layers interact and depend on each other.

In brief, the organisational layer focuses on creating a common understanding among stakeholders regarding goals, functions, system boundaries, and responsibilities; the legal layer addresses national, regional, and local legal aspects that influence interoperability; while the technical and semantic layers cover technical requirements for hardware, communication technology, payment, billing, data sharing, and user authentication necessary for providing charging services.

This is an extremely detailed and technical document, but certainly useful for the curious expert.

Download the full document here.

Design and specification of interoperability and roaming services

Unlike the document above, which primarily outlines the high-level design and specification of certain User-Chi tools, this shorter document delves into the practical aspects of implementing these guidelines. While the first document sets the conceptual foundation, this one focuses on actionable steps and recommendations to ensure the seamless interoperability of charging infrastructure.

Download the full document here.

The main results under a new spotlight

This scientific paper published later in the project not only outlines the guidelines and implementation strategies for an interoperable electric vehicle charging network but also contextualises these findings within the latest EU developments. It emphasises the importance of integrating these guidelines into national legal frameworks to ensure uniformity across member states and highlights the need for user-friendly solutions to facilitate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Read the full paper here.

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Marion Pignel Project Coordinator
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