Frequently asked questions
What is the Open Charge Alliance (OCA)?
The Open Charge Alliance is a formed industry alliance of EV charging hardware and software vendors, and charging network operators and service providers. OCA’s mission is to foster global development, adoption, and compliance of the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and related standards through collaboration, education and testing.
Why was OCA formed?
OCA was formed to continue and extend the work of the OCPP Forum, adding an international dimension, stronger organizational structure, and capabilities for protocol compliancy and formal certification.
Who are the parties leading OCA?
OCA’s Originating Members are ElaadNL, the EV charging network operator launched by a consortium of Netherlands DSOs (utilities); ESB, the Irish national utility; and Greenlots, a North American vendor of open standards-based EV charging solutions. In 2015 the board has grown with two new members: Innogy an electricity and gas company and Total EV Charge an electric vehicle smart charging solutions company specialized in energy optimization.
What is OCA’s main focus?
The Open Charge Alliance is focused on the development of the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and Open Smart Charging Protocol (OSCP). OCA is also promoting and informing stakeholders about OCPP and OSCP worldwide, and developing alliance membership services and market/business value.
What are the benefits of OCA membership?
OCA provides members with the opportunity to help shape current and future versions of the different specifications to meet their market and product requirements. By leveraging the technical expertise, market intelligence, and industry leadership of its members, OCA can help drive the adoption of open standards and deliver low-cost, interoperable and universal EV charging infrastructure. The ultimate goal of OCA is to provide a superior experience for drivers, site owners, network operators, and the entire EV industry.
Which versions of OCPP does OCA support?
The specification for OCPP v1.5 was published in 2012 and is being used in multiple charging networks today. In 2015 OCA has published OCPP 1.6 and in 2018 OCPP 2.0 is published with an update in 2020 as an OCPP 2.0.1 version. OCA has released in 2016 the Compliance Testing Tool for OCPP 1.6. OSCP 1.0 is released in 2014 and is now busy with the development of OSCP 2.0 and will be released in 2020.
Who are the OCA Board Members?
The three Originating Members (ElaadNL, ESB, Greenlots) comprise the OCA Board at present. In 2015 the board has grown with two members: Total EV Charge (France) and Innogy (Germany).
What are OCA Membership categories and fees?
The following table describes the OCA Membership categories and annual fees.
How can I join OCA?
Please visit our enrollment process page: www.openchargealliance.org/contact/ and follow the simple directions:
- Download and review the Participants Agreement (PA).
- If you / your organization agree to abide by its terms and conditions, send email with your contact information (name, title, organization, phone, and business and email addresses) and the following attachments:
- a signed copy of the PA (PDF file)
- a Purchase Order (PO) addressed to the Open Charge Alliance for the appropriate 2020 Participant Fee (see above) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Does the Open Charge Alliance provide OCPP software implementations?
The Open Charge Alliance only provides the OCPP protocol specification, we do not provide any software libraries.
For OCPP 1.6 we provide a test tool that you can use for testing your implementation. This tool is also used for the certification program. If you would like more information about buying this tool, please visit: https://www.openchargealliance.org/protocols/test-tool/info/ or contact us at email@example.com
How do I allow other network's customers to use my charging network (roaming) and how can I allow my customers to roam in other networks?
OCPP is a protocol between a Charging Station and a CSMS. Roaming between other networks is out of scope for OCPP and can be done using other protocols. At the moment there is not only one standard available and every party can decide to implement a different protocol according to their needs. As examples, OCHP (Open Clearing House Protocol) has been certified open source and is mainly suited for hubs, while OCPI (Open Charge Point Interface) is a peer-to-peer protocol and it is not open source. Other examples are OICP (Open Interchange Protocol) and eMIP (eMobility Inter-operation Protocol). You can find more information on the respective websites: http://www.ochp.eu/ and https://ocpi-protocol.org/.
In the viewpoint of an EV driver, what is the benefit of using a charge station with OCPP implemented?
OCPP is an open protocol between a Charging Station and a CSMS. The benefits for the EV drive when it comes to functionality really depends on what functionality is made available via this CSMS and what is implemented in the Charging Station. This could, for example, be a form of Smart Charging or reservations. This can differ per market or even per implementation.
In general open standards encourage innovation and competition, which translates into better services, lower prices and more new services for end users.
How does OCPP work for domestic EV charging, for example individual households with a Charging Station installed?
OCPP works for any managed Charging Station. Depending on the needs of the end user, not all functionality might be implemented. For households functionalities such as firmware management (providing updates), remote control (e.g. via an app) or smart charging functionality might be used.
Does the Open Charge Alliance provide paid consultancy?
No, the OCA itself does not provide paid consultancy. However, we are an alliance of companies from the EV industry. We have an OCA member mailing list. We can forward your request to our members, some of which do offer paid consultancy.
If the OCPP Compliance Testing Tool (OCTT) is purchased for OCPP 1.6, will it also be valid for OCPP 2.0.1?
The price for the OCTT for OCPP 1.6 is a one-off fee, that includes all future updates / bug fix releases for the tool for OCPP 1.6, so not for newer versions of OCPP. We do not know yet how the price model for the OCTT for OCPP 2.0.1 will look like. The OCA is a non-profit organization, we are still investigating the best way of financing the tool as optimal as possible.
How can I become a certification lab that is recognised/approved by the OCA?
We currently have a fixed number of OCPP certification test laboratory locations around the world, that were chosen based on the fact that we expect there is a large enough EV market for a certification lab. Once the EV market grows and the labs cannot keep up with the amount of certifications or we feel the need for adding a lab for a specific region, we will inform the community about the selection process. Currently we are not planning to add any labs.
Can also an OCPP software stack be certified or does certification always apply to a complete Charging Station?
Currently it is not possible to certify a software stack only, only a complete Charging Station or CSMS can be certified. Reason for this is that we were not able to find a way that a software stack could be certified by an independent test lab. If you would like this to be added and can help use add this to the certification program, please become an OCA member and help us extend the certification program!
Is it possible to create user defined Testcases in OCTT?
No, in the OCTT for OCPP 1.6 it is not possible to add user defined test cases. We have received the need for adding user defined testcases by multiple users as feedback, so this functionality has been added to the list of requirements for the OCTT for OCPP 2.0.1.
Is there a list available of the scenarios that are covered by the tool?
Yes, the list can be found in appendix C of the OCPP Test Procedure & Test Plans, that is part of the Certification documentation. This can be found on this location: https://www.openchargealliance.org/certification/ocpp-16-certification/
Do you also provide a Testing Tool for OCPP 2.0.1?
No, we do not have such a tool for OCPP 2.0.1 yet. We have initiated the process of developing a new tool based on the feedback from the industry in the OCTT for OCPP 1.6. We hope to launch a first version in 2021.
One of the client is using lots of DataTransfer messages. Do we also need to re-certify whenever the changes being made on DataTransfer messages?
As a bit of background: in the certification program only the OCPP communication is certified, changes to a Charging Station that are not relevant for the OCPP communication, will not lead to re-certifying an implementation. Furthermore, a certificate is valid for a specific “OCPP software version”. We know this is a “grey area”, but we have covered this in the documentation by defining the OCPP software version as: “the version of all the software that parses and generates OCPP messages and any part of the software that influences the sequence, timing and content of messages”. Please refer to chapter 9 of the OCPP Certification Procedure that can be found here: https://www.openchargealliance.org/certification/ocpp-16-certification/ .
Although the (changed) DataTransfer messages itself are not part of the conformance test, these are considered part of what influences the OCPP software version. So if the DataTransfer messages are changed, the OCPP software version changes and the certificate is not valid for that newer version anymore. However, the certificate remains valid for the older version of the software.
Please note: whether you want to re-certify this newer version is up to you. It is not mandatory to re-certify every version of your software from an OCA perspective.
Does the OCTT generate a certificate after passing all tests?
No, the OCTT does not generate a certificate as proof that you successfully completed the certification program. If you go for certification, an independent test laboratory will use the OCTT to create a test report. After successful completion of all required test cases, the OCA will generate / award the certificate. For more details, please refer to the OCPP Certification Procedure that can be found here: https://www.openchargealliance.org/certification/ocpp-16-certification/