Thankfully, the days of needing to sign up for numerous EV charging networks, swiping RFID cards, or calling customer service to activate a charging session will soon come to an end. That won't be necessary because of Plug & Charge technology, and Tritium just became the first EV charging equipment manufacturer to officially incorporate Plug & Charge into their DC fast chargers.
Plug & Charge, leveraging the ISO 15118 standard, enables the electric vehicle and charger to communicate seamlessly, authorizing payments directly from the driver’s account. There's no need to swipe a network or credit card, or use an app. Tritium’s PK350kW high-speed DC fast chargers are the first units available to have Plug & Charge incorporated into them.
“This firmly and irreversibly tips the convenience scales to the recharging experience over the refueling experience,” said James Kennedy, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, Tritium. “It’s going to be as simple as how we charge our phones, but with the added benefit of charging our bank accounts at the same time. There is no more need for a membership card or even to swipe a bank card at a terminal; this is the first and most secure iteration available to the market and, once deployed to critical mass, will render any former payment process as archaic.”
We reached out to Tritium and asked a few questions about Plug & Charge:
InsideEVs: Are there any cars available today that can utilize Plug and Charge?
Tritium: Not yet – the vehicles will need to have the storage technology built in to enable the secure storage of the vehicle’s cryptographic key. Many current vehicles do not have this technology, but newer versions will. Consider this similar to how paying for something with your smartphone requires Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Not all phones came with this capability, but as phones evolved NFC technology became a standard inclusion. Vehicles will follow the same technological roadmap and begin delivering vehicles with Plug and Charge capability as a standard inclusion.
InsideEVs: How long before you believe Plug & Charge will be available on all EVs?
Tritium: It’s hard to tell exactly when it will become common on all EV’s, but expect new model EV’s are already designing this in as a value-added feature before launching their future vehicles. As soon as a few OEMs release it, you will see many follow as this feature is of high interest for convenient charging. Our estimates are that in the next couple of years there will be more and more models offering Plug and Charge, and it will be just a few years before it will be mainstream with the majority of EV models offering it.
InsideEVs: With Plug & Change, will customers still have to join the network that operates the station?
Tritium: Currently (as of May 2020) EV drivers approaching an EV charger will likely have to sign up for that charger’s specific network as a member to be able to access the charger and subsequently pay for the charging session, adding unnecessary time to the experience and siloing charger networks.
With Tritium’s Plug and Charge, drivers will be able to approach a charger, regardless of the charging network operator, and their charge session will begin and they will be automatically and securely billed from the moment the charger plug connects to the vehicle.
In addition to Tritium, Electrify America has been actively working on Plug & Charge, and according to a recent conversation I had with CEO Giovanni Palazzo, the network expects to have Plug & Charge operational this year, with vehicles from at least one manufacturer being compatible.
Tritium launches world-first “Plug and Charge” technology
Ground-breaking technology securely, automatically and simultaneously charges both the battery and the user’s account the moment a Tritium charger connects to an electric vehicle
Tested with existing and emerging EVs from OEMs in Europe, proven to be secure and easy to use, and to reduce the stress of charging particularly across borders
Technology is available immediately and has been trialled in the field
[TORRANCE, CA - May 21, 2020] – Tritium, a world leader in electric vehicle (EV) DC fast charging technology, has launched its game-changing Plug and Charge solution, the first of its kind in the world available to the market.
The technology, leveraging the ISO15118 standard, enables an electric vehicle and charger to communicate seamlessly and authorise payments directly from the driver’s account, without the need for a card or RFID tag. The Tritium offering is the first to market and is available immediately for charge point operators to deploy on Tritium’s PK350kW DC High Power Chargers.
The technology promises to reshape the customer experience (CX) for the driver and enable the once-siloed approach to charging payments to be broken down with disparate charging networks able to interoperate. Drivers will be able to approach a charger, regardless of the charging network operator, and their charge session will be automatically and securely billed from the moment the charger plug connects to the vehicle.
“This firmly and irreversibly tips the convenience scales to the recharging experience over the refuelling experience,” said James Kennedy, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, Tritium. “It’s going to be as simple as how we charge our phones, but with the added benefit of charging our bank accounts at the same time.
“There is no more need for a membership card or even to swipe a bank card at a terminal; this is the first and most secure iteration available to the market and, once deployed to critical mass, will render any former payment process as archaic.”
Secure and Simultaneous Charges
Kennedy says the Tritium Plug and Charge solution is more secure than the former card-swipe or RFID tag payment method.
“A third party, such as Hubject – which provides an automated and secure data exchange enabled by ISO 15118-conforming Public Key Infrastructure – is responsible for cryptographic certifications between the vehicle and the charger, and our technology ensures we are securely storing cryptographic keys on the charger side in a way that other chargers can’t,” he said. “You’re more likely to lose a card and have someone swipe it somewhere than by someone being able to access account details via our Plug and Charge technology.”
Kennedy said Plug and Charge will also remove another barrier to EV adoption.
“Right now, EV drivers approaching an EV charger will likely have to sign up for that network’s system to access it and pay for the charging session, adding unnecessary time to the experience and siloing charger networks; even accounting for the ability to pay by credit card at some chargers this is wildly inconvenient,” he said. “With Plug and Charge, you’ll be able to plug the charger into the vehicle and it just charges, from your battery to your account.”
What is required for the technology to hit the critical mass required, said Kennedy, is buy-in and adoption on a large scale from charge point operators.
“Every charge point operator will soon look to do this; we see it from a payments perspective as no different to using a particular bank card at a competitor’s ATM,” he said. “It’s taking the friction and hassle away from the experience and operators will benefit from this seamless experience.”
Electric vehicles will also need a way to secure the vehicle-side cryptographic key which will become commonplace with emerging models.
“The vehicles will need to have the storage technology built in, in much the same way as paying for something with your smartphone requires NFC technology,” said Kennedy. “Once that becomes the norm, as NFC has, you will see the incidents of Plug and Charge payments skyrocket.”
Tried and Tested Tech with Leading Automotive Manufacturers
The Tritium Plug and Charge technology has been tested in a live setting at a number of its PK350kW DC High Power Chargers in Germany.
The Tritium Plug and Charge solution has also been repeatedly tested at the Tritium E-Mobility Innovation Centre in Amsterdam, where automotive manufacturers have been able to test vehicles for interoperability with Tritium’s suite of DC chargers and software technologies, including Plug and Charge.
“We placed our innovation centre strategically in Amsterdam and at the epicentre of Europe’s automotive manufacturing sector,” said Kennedy. “That investment has paid off, and directly led to the rapid development of the technology.
“It’s a major reason why we’re first to the market with a secure and advanced charger technology once again.”
As new vehicles begin to be rolled out and with them the technology to secure the cryptographic key on the vehicle side built into the vehicle itself, the technology will lead to a new CX era for electric vehicle drivers.
“This is a game changer for EV drivers in the future, making the charging as simple and as easy as it is for Android phones to charge with a USB-C adapter, for instance,” he said.
“It will just work.”
Tritium is a technology and product company that designs and manufactures the world's most advanced DC fast-charging equipment for electric vehicle (EV) charging. We help customers solve their most complex electric vehicle charging challenges through constant innovation, flexibility, superior customer support and scalability, driving the global transition to e-mobility. Tritium solely focuses on DC fast charging (DCFC) and high-power charging (HPC). With over 7.6 GWh of energy delivered, Tritium has deployed over 4,500 charging stations and provided over 600,000+ charging sessions in more than 33 countries. Tritium currently holds around 50 per cent of the world-leading market in Norway and between 15 to 20 percent of the wider western global market for DC fast chargers.
Tritium is currently the majority supplier to the IONITY network and the largest supplier of 350kW DC HPCs in Europe. Tritium’s award-winning RT50/50kW DCFC has been installed in many private and public networks across the globe for customers including Fortum, Grønn Kontakt, IONITY, Circle-K, EDF, Enel-X, NKM Mobiliti, Virta, Stromnetz, Nissan, NRMA, Evie Networks, Chargefox, Charge.net.nz and Drive Energi, Nissan, Chargefox, Charge.net.nz, Harley Davidson and Shell/Greenlots. Tritium’s global headquarters and main manufacturing plant is in Brisbane, Australia. Sales and manufacturing facilities in Amsterdam and the Los Angeles region ensure attention to key markets in Europe and the Americas.
For more information please visit www.tritium.com.au.