By the end of 2015, 300,000 Electric Vehicles (EVs) were sold in the U.S. alone. Jump to the end of 2018 and over 1 million EVs were on the road. The number of EVs will continue to grow exponentially, as more models will be introduced at lower price points with longer driving ranges and faster charging speeds. The Edison Electric Institute estimates that 18.7 million EVs will be on the road by 2030, requiring 9.6 million charge ports across the United States.
Along with this growth is the need for more power, which means more power generation, more infrastructure and the technology to maximize and manage utility grid utilization. High spikes in electricity demand can cause stress on the grid, risking potential distribution system overloads and affecting stability, efficiency and grid operating costs. In order to balance loads, innovative technologies like smart and bidirectional (vehicle-to-grid) charging, which utilize EVs as a distributed energy resource, must be implemented.
Smart charging is the future
The key to managing the power demands created by the influx of EVs is through smart and bidirectional charging. Smart charging allows for maximum grid utilization by shifting EV charging loads while taking into account the vehicle owner’s needs along with distributed energy resources (DER) and the integration of renewable energy (e.g. solar generation).
Providing energy management, smart charging reduces significant additional costs, such as demand charges, and enables power sharing for fleets. With bidirectional charging, EVs will be able to discharge electricity back to the grid where advanced energy management capabilities can facilitate load balancing, thereby making the EV a distributed energy resource. Most importantly, smart and bidirectional charging enables resilience of the grid, allowing charging to be distributed throughout off-peak periods with flexible loads. This flexibility reduces costly grid infrastructure investment and upgrades for infrequent spikes in electricity demand.
In anticipation of EV charging’s impact on the grid, the ISO 15118 international standard has been developed and is already being implemented by automakers and some of the largest EV charging systems. Because the ISO 15118 standard was developed to manage communication with the grid and facilitate smart, bidirectional and wireless charging use cases, security is of the upmost importance.
ISO 15118 Components: Public key infrastructure & ecosystem
In order for ISO 15118 to provide the highest level of security, both a public key infrastructure (PKI) and a securely connected ecosystem are required. This process allows ISO 15118 to securely manage identification and authentication in the digital charging ecosystem. The key components of a PKI include a combination of software, hardware and a detailed set of processes that issue, install, store and revoke digital certificates. The certificates themselves are assigned by role within the charging ecosystem and encrypted with unique and mathematically-related key pairs, one public and one private. The ecosystem roles include the automakers, charge port operators (i.e., the owners and/or operators of charging stations) and mobility operators (i.e., the entity that holds the charging contract with the EV driver).
These ISO 15118 requirements are similar to other digital processes, such as e-commerce and internet banking, which also use PKIs and certificate management to verify identities and authorize transactions. ISO 15118 ensures the highest level of cybersecurity to protect the utility grid from cyberterrorist attacks. As utilities are under constant scrutiny from regulators to comply with IT standards, ISO 15118 meets these critical standards through the established digital certificate system.
Once the secure certificates are issued, assigned and installed into the vehicles, chargers and driver accounts, ISO 15118 communication is enabled and the ecosystem can automatically identify all parties and what they’re authorized to do. Therefore, the ecosystem manages, stores and maintains these digital certificates that are exchanged throughout charging sessions. The entity responsible for issuing the digital certificates and securely authenticating the stakeholders’ functions and responsibilities in the ecosystem is the Root Certificate Authority (see figure below). Hubject Inc., which offers eMobility solutions for utilities and other business around the world, is a Root Certificate Authority as the company is a neutral provider specializing in simplifying the electric vehicle charging process.
With the predicted $2 trillion opportunity for utilities in the eMobility space and constantly developing technologies, utilizing EVs as a DER with the smart grid is a necessity. When connecting EVs to the grid, the highest level of security is critical and accomplished through a PKI ecosystem using ISO 15118. As a leader in the development of the standard, Hubject offers a number of ISO 15118 services, including the first comprehensive PKI, ecosystem and Root Certificate Authority in Europe and the United States. The company is currently working with several utilities, automakers, EVSE hardware companies and charging networks like Electrify America and Greenlots to enable their ISO 15118 capabilities. EV charging technology is advancing to optimize energy loads and the grid, and ISO 15118 will create a seamless bridge to a more energy-efficient future.