Charging Standards

Innovative solutions are becoming increasingly available to make electric mobility mass-market-capable. An important part of this is the charging technology. In this context, the term smart charging is used for charging systems of electric or hybrid vehicles according to standards like ISO 15118 and DIN SPEC 70121.

In this know-how section essential knowledge about charging standards is presented. Use one of the direct links to jump to the desired standard:

International Standards National Standards Protocols
Connectors, Inlets, Plugs
IEC 62196  
Onboard Charger, EVSE
IEC 61851  
Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) Systems
IEC 61980 SAE J2954  
Communication EV To EVSE
ISO 15118  
Communication EVSE To CSMS
IEC 63110   OCPP

Vector Solutions for Smart Charging

Vector supports developers of on-board charging ECUs in the vehicle, charging stations and induction charging systems with extensive test systems, hardware and bespoke ECU software. This helps you to develop quickly and cost effectively.

IEC 62196

Plugs, Socket Outlets, Vehicle Connectors and Vehicle Inlets – Conductive Charging of EVs

The IEC 62196 charging standard defines different modes of conductive charging depending on how the power is transferred to the vehicle and the required protection and communication protocol that can be used.

Mode 1
> AC charging, low current (e.g. mopeds), no communication
Mode 2
> AC charging, for temporary solutions, using in cable control box (ICCB) on a standard household socket; communication by using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
Mode 3
> AC charging with up to 63 A with additional features
> Charging power can be controlled over high-level communication
Mode 4
> DC and AC charging with high-level communication
> Off-board charger enables very fast charging speeds for DC charging

IEC 61851

Electric Vehicle Conductive Charging System

IEC 61851 is a standard for electric vehicle conductive charging systems, covering the characteristics and operating conditions of the EV supply equipment, the specification of the connection between the EV supply equipment and the requirements for electrical safety for the EV supply equipment.

IEC 61851-1 General requirements
IEC 61851-23 DC electric vehicle charging station
IEC 61851-24 Digital communication between a DC EV charging station and an electric vehicle for control of DC charging

IEC 61980

Electric Vehicle Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) Systems

The standard is relevant for the specification of the equipment for the wireless transfer of electric power from the supply network to EVs. This includes purposes of supplying electric energy to the rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) and/or other on-board electrical systems in an operational state when connected to the supply network.

ISO 15118

Road Vehicles - Vehicle To Grid Communication Interface

The standard defines a high-level communication protocol for EVs and charging stations to charge/discharge the EV’s high-voltage battery. It covers processes like AC and DC charging, charging with pantographs and wireless charging. Vehicle-to-grid communication enables grid stabilization.

ISO 15118-1 General information and use case definition
ISO 15118-2 Network and application protocol requirements
ISO 15118-3 Physical and data link layer
ISO 15118-4 Network and application protocol conformance tests
ISO 15118-5 Physical and data link layer conformance tests
ISO 15118-8 Physical and data link layer requirements for wireless communication
ISO 15118-9 Physical and data link layer conformance tests for wireless communication
ISO 15118-20 2nd generation network and application protocol requirements (DIS published 2019; final release expected beginning 2022)


IEC 63110

Protocol for Management of EVs Charging and Discharging Infrastructures

The standard covers the communication protocol for the message exchange between the charging station and the backend interface. This involves the general requirements for the development of an e-mobility ecosystem and the communication processes between the various e-mobility actors, for example also the exchange of data with the energy supply system.

SAE J1772

Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler

This surface vehicle practice recommendation covers the general physical, electrical, functional and performance requirements of conductive charging. The standard includes operational and functional requirements for the vehicle inlet and mating connector. It’s a predecessor of ISO 15118. There are three charging levels defined.

Level 1 AC energy from the most common U.S. grounded household receptacle (120 V outlet)
Level 2 AC energy, 208-240 V, single phase
Level 3 DC energy < 400 A and 240 kW

SAE J2954

Wireless Power Transfer for Light-Duty Plug-In/Electric Vehicles and Alignment Methodology

SAE J2954 specifies criteria for home (private) charging and public wireless power transfer (WPT) of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles and requirements for safety, performance, and interoperability. Currently the document provides guidelines for unidirectional charging, stationary applications (charging while vehicle is not in motion), above-ground (surface mounted) installations and recommended methods for evaluating electromagnetic emissions. Dynamic or bidirectional applications and flush mounted installations may be considered in the future.

DIN SPEC 70121

Digital Communication Between a DC EVSE and an EV for Control of DC Charging in the CCS

This standard defines the communication between a DC charging station and the electric vehicle. It is a German predecessor of ISO 15118-2. This standard specifies the requirements for the communication protocol for DC charging and communication with the supply system.

DIN SPEC 70122

Conformance Tests for Digital Communication Between a DC EV Charging Station and an EV for Control

The standard specifies conformity tests for communication between the charging station and the electric vehicle with regard to DC charging, based on DIN SPEC 70121.

GB/T 18487.1

Electric Vehicle Conductive Charging System

Guobiao standards (GB) are the Chinese national standards published by the Standardization Administration of China (SAC). GB/T 18487.1 contains requirements for e.g. safety issues like electric shock, overload and short circuit protection or emergency stops, but also communication and connection issues between EV and EVSE. Additionally, there are specifications about the EV coupler and EVSE structure and performance requirements.

GB/T 20234

Connection Set for Conductive Charging of Electric Vehicles

With the GB/T 20234.2 standard they specify AC Type-2-like male connectors with a different control signaling. The GB/T 20234.3 DC standard supports charging capacities with up to 250 kW.

GB/T 27930

Communication Protocols Between Off-Board Conductive Charger and Battery Management System

The Chinese standard GB/T 27930 is intended for a control area network (CAN) based communication between EVSEs and onboard battery management systems (BMS) in EV in charging processes. It specifies the physical layer, data link and application layer of the communication.


DC Charging Protocol

Protocol for DC charging communication between the EV and the charger over CAN, with up to 400 kW, which makes it possible to charge large commercial vehicles like trucks and buses. The protocol can also be used for high-voltage charging up to 1 kV using liquid-cooled cable assemblies. The protocol includes a compatibility with the Plug and Charge functionality.


In the video below Dominik Hussfeldt Vazquez presents an overview about the Japanese charging standard and how to test it:

  • The communication is kept simple in comparison to CCS, whereby the exchange of battery parameters and fast charging are in the foreground and less the comfort of the end user.​
  • The short test specification for charging stations according to the CHAdeMO standard can be applied to different communication points.​

  • CHAdeMO 3.0 / ChaoJi-2 is downward compatible to the CHAdeMO 2.x standards via an inlet adapter and extends them with additional CAN signals.​


Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)

Since the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) has defined OCPP in order to make EV networks open and accessible, OCPP has become a standard protocol. The protocol allows the communication between EV charging stations and charging management systems. It is used by the most suppliers of EVSEs and charging management systems. Currently, OCPP 1.6J is the most used version. OCPP 2.0.1 is the newest version and comprises additional features, like improved security and configurability. Unfortunately, the versions are not compatible. In the future, the IEC 63110 might replace OCPP.

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More Know-How

Electric Vehicle Charging Communication Know-How Chart in DIN A1 format, folded to DIN A4

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  • Electric Charging Use Cases
  • Charging Methods
  • Charging Interfaces
  • Standards and Protocols
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