Open protocols

Protocols are a set of rules and guidelines certifying smooth communication and data exchange between various entities in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. These are effective tools in ensuring widespread interoperability among industry stakeholder systems, facilitating EV adoption, reducing operating costs, and developing scalable, future-proof infrastructure.


OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) is the global open communication protocol between charge stations and the back-end systems of charge station operators. This protocol handles the exchange of charging data and can trade information between EVs and the electricity grid.


OSCP (Open Smart Charging Protocol) is an open communication protocol between a charge point management system and an energy management system. This protocol imparts a 24-hour forecast of the accessible capacity of an electricity grid.

Both OCPP and OSCP are maintained by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA), a worldwide consortium of EV infrastructure pioneers that foster open standards in EV charging infrastructure.


OCPI (Open Charge Point Interface) is an open protocol used for connections between charge station operators and service providers. Simply put, this protocol facilitates automated roaming for EV drivers across several EV charging networks. This interface underpins the affordability and accessibility of charging infrastructure for the EV owners, allowing drivers to charge on several networks. The protocol provides accurate charge station data such as location, accessibility, and pricing, and it takes into account real-time billing and mobile access to charge stations.

The OCPI protocol is managed and maintained by the EVRoaming Foundation, ensuring its free availability.

ISO 15118

ISO 15118 is an international standard that defines a communication protocol between EVs and charge stations. The protocol enables plug & charge capability, wherein authorisation to start charging is triggered simply by connecting a vehicle to a charger. It is recognised as an important contributing factor to accelerate EV adoption, as plug & charge greatly simplifies EV driver’s charging experience.

ISO 15118 also enables bi-directional EV charging, otherwise known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G). With V2G, electric vehicles will be able to feed energy back to the grid when needed, thus helping reduce costly system peaks and ensuring a more intelligent, reliable grid.


OpenADR is an open, secure, and two-way information exchange model facilitating automated demand response (DR) actions that help balance grid supply and demand or mitigate high electricity costs. This protocol ensures that dynamic price and reliability signals are uniformly exchanged between utility companies, system operators, and energy management and control systems during DR events. Aggregated EV charging loads offer significant potential DR value and will likely become well-integrated with modern smart grids.

The OpenADR Alliance fosters the development and adoption of the OpenADR standards.

Graphic with explanation how open protocols are used for EV charging