News – What`s happening in energy research

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The eNterop research project is aiming to achieve trouble-free software communication between electric cars and charging columns from different manufacturers.
© Siemens

Universal charging stations for electric cars

A dense network of electric charging stations will need to be created if electric cars are to become more attractive. Until now there has been no uniform interface and sequence control system for charging electric cars. Using funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, a solution for communicating between the charging columns and the electric cars is now being developed. This should make it possible to recharge all types of cars at any charging column.

Plug in and charge up – that is how simple it should be in future for electric cars to tank electricity at any charging station. Although the plugs already fit into the sockets, the drivers of electric cars are often limited to the charging stations from specific manufacturers. That is due to the inability of the different systems to work together. This lack of interoperability between the electric vehicles and the charging columns is replaced as much as possible with a seamless exchange of information. That normally functions through common standards.

The international standardisation of the ISO/IEC 15118 Vehicle-to-Grid Communication Interface (V2G CI) provides the framework for communicating between vehicles and electric charging stations. However, the manufacturers of control devices and charging columns are required to carry out complex tests to implement the standard.

eNterop software is paving the way to uniform electricity recharging

The “eNterop” research project is now developing software that covers all the application cases taken account of in the standard. Under the coordination of Siemens, four other industrial companies, two Fraunhofer institutes and the TU Dortmund are jointly working on the project.

The researchers are defining automatable test and verification functions that enable self-contained development of conforming products. This should eliminate the need for complex interoperability tests between the software and hardware from different manufacturers.

Easier market access for small- and medium-sized companies

The project participants are designing and developing an open technology platform. This shall be made available to companies that develop products for the global market. In particular, this is intended to facilitate access to the market for small- and medium-sized companies. In addition, model regions and companies are being encouraged to use the standardised technology so that the experience gained in applying and implementing the technology can be integrated into the platform at an earlier stage. The project partners are aiming to establish close contacts with the German Electromobility Standardisation Initiative (DIN, DKE, NAAutomobil).

The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is funding the “eNterop” project with the aim of attracting one million electric vehicles onto German roads by 2020. The project lasts for two years and has a total budget of around 4.6 million euros, whereby the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the industrial companies involved are each funding 50%.



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