The electric car drives up to the fast charging station, the driver takes the thick cable with the plug, opens the flap on his vehicle, plugs in the cable, and the current flows; the costs for this will be debited from a one-time specified account. The scene could describe a visit to a Tesla supercharger, because charging has always been so smooth there. However, the Australian charging station manufacturer Tritium, which supplies the German joint venture Ionity, among other things, would like to make this experience possible for all other electric cars.
Charging convenience as with Tesla
Australian media are now reporting on this, and the comparison with Tesla can be found in several articles. It also lends itself, because with the electric car pioneer, the superchargers were part of the plan and implementation almost from the start. Because Tesla develops and operates cars like columns itself, it is organizationally no problem to automatically register and make billing easy. However, manufacturers of other electric cars without their own charging network, i.e. all others (Ionity is legally independent of the founding companies BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen), have to coordinate with column manufacturers and operators as well as service providers acting in between.
And it is precisely this process that Tritium has apparently now taken in hand. The company, which speaks of great demand in Europe and, among other things, supplies 350 kilowatt columns for Ionity, has presented its new Plug and Charge solution, reports in Australia. It is the first of its kind and is based on the ISO standard 15118. Without a card or RFID key, this should enable seamless communication between the electric car and charging station and authorization of payments directly from the account – as with Tesla, only with any electric car. The solution is now available for the operators of the fastest columns with 350 kilowatts.
Waiting for electric car manufacturers
This would also include Ionity – in a Motoring report in May 2019, an order from the German joint venture for super-loaders for 120 European locations was even described as the largest ever for tritium. In a recent article, the tritium head of technology already speaks of the fact that the solution will definitely make loading more convenient than refueling. But the article also shows that no charging station operator has decided to use the system and no electric car manufacturer.
Technically, authentication is solved using cryptographic keys, which according to Tritium are stored in the charging station and in the respective electric car. The exchange between the two parties is certified via an independent third party and a secure Internet connection, and charging can begin with ongoing billing. Every charging network operator will deal with this topic “soon”, according to the Tritium head of technology, Motoring predicts. And until then there is automatically authenticated charging and charged charging only on the Tesla Supercharger.