For some time, it has been plain that there should be standards for energy metering on DC fast charging stations, similar to those that already exist for gasoline sales—gas pumps are regularly certified to ensure that when you pay for a gallon of gasoline, that’s what the pump dispenses, within a small margin of error.
When the state of California proposed such a standard in early 2019, industry stakeholders pushed back, asking for more time to iron out the details. The state finalized its DC metering regulation in December 2019, and ChargePoint and other public charging networks soon announced that their chargers were in compliance.
Meanwhile, Germany developed and approved its own calibration law (known as Eichrecht), which requires that charging be paid for by the kilowatt-hour (time-based or per-session tariffs are not allowed), and that meters used for billing must be periodically calibrated and visible to customers.
Now EVSE giant ABB has announced that its chargers are fully compliant with the German Eichrecht. ABB says its technology, which enables charging providers to accurately measure and bill customers for their charging sessions, has been approved and is ready to roll out across other countries.
“Set to become widespread across the world, this form of calibrated energy delivery will give consumers confidence in the amount of energy they purchase to power their EVs,” says ABB.
One of the reasons EVSE manufacturers initially balked at the California regulation was that, at the time, the required DC metering equipment was unavailable or expensive, and meters were not all designed to the same specifications. “Historically, charging station manufacturers have been unable to comply with these types of regulations due to the lack of DC meters for this application,” says ABB. “Now, with the launch of charging solutions such as ABB’s Terra 53, 54, and High-Power DC chargers, compliance is possible. Both ABB’s AC and DC energy metering meet the stringent requirements of German metering laws and regulations, including requirements for secure charging data transmission to the end user.”
“ABB has also developed a retrofit solution and Field Validation Tester (FVT) to enable any chargers with CCS, CHAdeMO and AC Type 2 connectors already in the field to secure this essential compliance. The FVT has been designed to calibrate and test the measurement systems of each upgraded charging station in the field, and is deployable as a universal calibration system for non-ABB DC charging stations.”
ABB’s service team is now preparing a major upgrade campaign for its DC charging stations, starting with some 2,000 units in Germany, Austria and France.
In addition to certified energy metering, Eichrecht also requires the secure transmission of charging data —via the charge point operator (CPO) and the e-Mobility Service Provider (eMSP)—to the EV driver. ABB has tested this end-to-end functionality in Germany, and the results were confirmed by the certification body VDE.
“Standards like Eichrecht will give consumers total visibility on the amount of energy they are paying for,” said Frank Muehlon, President of ABB’s E-mobility Division. “It’s a uniform way to ensure that we drive customer confidence and provide compliant energy delivery across the globe. We expect other countries, including Austria and France, to follow suit with their own standards.”