So, is it “Plug and Charge,” “Plug & Charge,” or “Plug&Charge?” We’ve seen ‘em all. Come on, folks! This technology is supposed to be all about interoperability. Can we all agree on how to spell the name?
Apparently, that will have to wait for a future update of the standard. Charging giant ABB, one of the key supporters of the new system, has now decided that it’s called “Plug N Charge.”
As confusing it is for journalists, the new technology is meant to make things simpler for EV drivers by standardizing the process of charging authentication and payment. Charging starts automatically when the vehicle is plugged in, and payment is automatically authorized based on the driver’s pre-existing arrangements with a charging provider.
The system, whatever it’s called, is based on a standardized ISO 15118 communication protocol. Once connected, the charging station reads the car’s digital contract certificate, and ensures it is valid by checking with the charging provider’s data in the cloud before authorizing the charge. To use the system, a driver needs to have a contract certificate from their charging provider, which contains the details of whatever charging plan they have purchased.
ABB’s Plug N Charge technology is now globally available for network operators and drivers on the company’s latest DC chargers with CCS connectors.
“Plug N Charge technology has been around for some time, but the industry hasn’t been aligned in the way it has been developed—until now,” said Frank Muehlon, President of ABB’s E-mobility division. “ABB has driven this standardization process from the beginning as part of our commitment to delivering a great, universal charging experience [except for the name].”
“We’ve incorporated our own experience of real-world charging sites to make Plug N Charge as user-friendly as possible for drivers,” Muehlon continued. “But we aren’t stopping there. We are committed to extending the functionality even further so that more drivers, car OEMs and charge point operators benefit from a simple and streamlined charging experience.”