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Public EV Car Charging Technology Advancements

Public EV Car Charging Technology Advancements
Apr 17 2024

Where Will This Fast Moving Market Move?

Electric Vehicles are quickly gaining market share in Illinois and in the United States. In fact, they rose from 5.9% of the market in 2022 to 7.6% in 2023 and while those numbers may not seem huge, that is almost a 150% growth from the previous year. And that growth is happening without a robust network for chargers, which Verde is addressing by installing 2-3 public EV chargers in libraries and businesses each month, and hope to only increase this velocity in Chicagoland for more access.

Good news is that between Federal, State and Utility support in grants and rebates for Electric Vehicles, the support is finally here in Illinois. There are current substantial rebates for both home and public charging, in fact up to $8,000 per public charger for businesses and public buildings.

These generous grants and rebates do come with some technology requirements, and we wanted to get that in front of our customers as soon as possible.

EV Charging installations

What is ISO 15118?

ISO 15118 is an international standard in development that defines how electric vehicles communicate with charging stations. This communication goes beyond simply initiating a charge and allowing your vehicle to get power. It allows for a two-way flow of information, enabling features like smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications.

It will also change the way cars pay for electricity and open up a lot of new avenues for payment methods, including a more streamlined and fast way to charge cars on public chargers.

Simplified Charging Experience for EV Drivers

One of the key benefits of ISO 15118 is its ability to simplify the charging experience for EV drivers. With a feature called Plug and Charge, drivers can simply plug their car in and the charging session will automatically begin. No membership cards or app authentication is required. The communication between the car and charger ensures secure authorization and billing.\

One of the large challenges I find when charging my Plug In Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) is the different apps and networks available. The one I may be using may not have a charger nearby, so I have download a new app and upload a payment method, only to find the same challenge at the new area I visit. So having this simplified would be incredible for user experience on the EV charger side.

Smarter Charging Practices for Grid Stability

ISO 15118 also paves the way for smarter charging practices. The EV and charging station can exchange information about grid conditions, the car’s battery level, and the driver’s needs. This allows for charging to be optimized, reducing the strain on the electricity grid during peak hours. Additionally, V2G technology allows EVs to feed excess power back into the grid, potentially providing a revenue stream for EV owners and contributing to grid stability.

While ISO 15118 holds great promise for the future of EV adoption, it’s important to note that it’s still under development. Not all EVs or charging stations are currently equipped with the technology. However, as the standard continues to be implemented, we can expect a more seamless and efficient EV charging experience.

ISO 15118 is currently required by Comed to get access to the generous public charging rebates they offer, and we recommend Level 2 chargers for most of our partners and customers.

ev charger install for a library

Apps for Charging on a Public EV Car Charger

There isn’t one single platform for public access to EV chargers. The landscape is decentralized, with a mix of approaches. Historically, we installed a public EV Car Charger system with several ports for charging vehicles, and then installed software to help manage payment and reservations. Our most commonly installed software is EV Match, but there are a variety of options available in 2024 including the EV XY app via local EV Energy Group out of Park Ridge.

Many EV charger manufacturer companies operate their own charging networks with their own apps or methods for access and payment. Examples include Tesla, Autel, Wallbox and more. These apps are limited to the manufactured charger, but are often simpler and less expensive. Typically you cannot allow someone to schedule time or make a reservation, but you can show up and pay for electricity.

Apps like PlugShare, A Better Route Planner, or Open Charge Map act as aggregators. They show information on public chargers from various networks, including location, availability, and connector types. While they might not handle payment directly, they can link you to the network’s app or website for initiation.

Some charging stations allow direct payment via credit card or contactless payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay. This is becoming more common, especially for slower Level 2 chargers.

The good news is that standardization efforts like ISO 15118 are underway to simplify things in the future. This might lead to a more universal approach where you can simply plug in and get charged, regardless of the network. However, for now, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the different options and have a couple of apps downloaded on your phone for easier access.


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