The language of interoperability is Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)


Sarah Woogen

June 07, 2023

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What does it take to integrate a charge management system with a charging station?

computer interface with charger and electric vehicle

Behind every successful electric vehicle (EV) fleet deployment is a future proof, reliable EV charging depot. A significant part of implementing an effective charging infrastructure project is OCPP. Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is a manufacturer-neutral, license-free communication protocol established as a worldwide standard for interoperability between the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and the charge management system (CMS).

What does OCPP do?

OCPP provides reliable and efficient monitoring and management of the background processes that control EV charging. As soon as an electric vehicle starts its charging process, an extensive data transfer between the charging point and the back-end system is initiated. Among other things, this data transfer includes: 

  • User and billing data for the charging current;  
  • Start and end of the charging process and the amount of energy consumed; and 
  • Fault reports 

Additionally, these background processes securely transmit EV charging data to the contractual partner or the operator of the infrastructure. Fleet managers can use a charge management system to monitor the status and occupancy of all charging points in real time, keep an eye on the staggering of loads, perform regular analyses, and receive fault reports. Software updates or changes in the configuration of a charging point can also be conveniently uploaded to the charging station via data transfer. 

Benefits of OCPP

Using OCPP-compliant hardware and software means you can deploy products and services from many different vendors on site, rather than being locked into a single proprietary operating system. Interoperability is especially important in the EV space, where new companies and technologies emerge – or become outdated – rapidly.  

Additionally, OCPP is being included as a requirement for EV charging station funding in various states as states begin to harmonize their technical requirements for funding with federal requirements.

What does it mean to be OCPP-compliant?

In order for charging stations to communicate with a charge management system using OCPP, they should follow OCPP 1.6J and have the core functionalities, plus firmware management, smart charging, and remote trigger issued by the Open Charge Alliance. Some providers may have only implemented the core functionalities, which makes it impossible to intelligently manage charging using the smart charging functionality. Smart charging is an optional function of OCPP 1.6J that will be solidified in OCPP 2.0.1, and we already implement it in all integrations. We can also integrate with the firmware management functionality to allow EVSE firmware updates to be implemented remotely.  

How does The Mobility House integrate ChargePilot with OCPP-compliant charging stations?

As with any technology, integrating a charge management system with an OCPP-compliant charging station does not happen overnight. The process of integration begins by TMH sharing an OCPP questionnaire with the OEM. Once the questionnaire is returned, we evaluate the specific technical requirements of the charging station. To conduct testing, we often will ship our ChargePilot controller to the OEM and conduct remote tests. We can also request for a charger to be shipped to our test facility in Belmont, CA to do in-house testing. These include testing for charger data logging, smart charging, fallback, authentication, remote features, and firmware updates. Once all tests are completed, we add the charger to our list of integrated chargers. Our implementation and support teams are then fully trained to implement and support the newly integrated charger.  

When deploying solutions from many different manufacturers as part of your EV charging depot, it’s important to check that all solutions have implemented the necessary functionalities to work together as part of your charging ecosystem. While OCPP 1.6J remains the most widely used version of the standard, OCPP 2.0.1 is available and adds additional capabilities. The Mobility House continues to use OCPP 1.6J with selected additional functionalities, and is prepared to implement OCPP 2.0.1 when charging station manufacturers begin using the new standard. 


Learn more

For more details on specific OCPP functionalities to consider when evaluating your procurement of an interoperable charge management system, download our RFP Guidebook.