Trends in the E-Mobility Industry 2022

As climate change accelerates across the globe, facilitating a fast and smooth transition into electric vehicles (EV) and electric mobility (e-mobility) is now at the top of the agenda for governments, transport ministries, and the automotive and mobility industries. With tremendous investment and efforts pouring into the transition over the past several years, we have seen significant improvements in the quality, usability, and performance of EVs and their supply equipment (EVSE).

AUTOCRYPT considers contributing to the transition to e-mobility of utmost importance. That’s why we exhibited at this year’s EVS35 (Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition) in Oslo, Norway to showcase our latest e-mobility solution EVIQ and propose our proprietary security framework for Plug&Charge (PnC). Being at the event also helped us gain insights into the latest trends in the fast-evolving e-mobility industry.

2022: The Tipping Point of EV Adoption

Although it can take quite some time before all vehicles on the road become electric, EVs are dominating new car sales in many countries. Norway, the leading country in EV adoption, showed a record-high annual EV market share of 86% over the year 2021, followed by another monthly record of 92% in March 2022. At this point, about 23% of all vehicles in use in Norway are EVs. Other leading EV adopters include Sweden, with an annual market share of 45% in 2021, followed by the Netherlands at 30%, Germany at 26%, Britain at 19%, France at 18%, and China at 15%.

Although Norway is currently the only country with an EV market share above 50%, there is little doubt that other countries will quickly catch up. Looking at Norway’s EV adoption pattern, it took about an equal amount of time for the market share to grow from zero to 20% and from 20% to 90%. This 20% mark can be seen as a tipping point, where adoption begins to accelerate.

EV Market Share in Norway (% of New Car Sales)

This pattern can be explained by two reasons. The first is peer influence. Whenever a new technology is introduced to replace an existing one, a great majority of people try to wait until the early adopters have fully tested the technology before making a purchase. This effect is especially salient when making a high-involvement purchase like a car. Once one in five people (20%) start to purchase the new technology, the worries dissipate, and the general population begins their adoption. When reaching a stage where two in five people (40%) go for the new technology, people begin to feel peer pressure and refrain from purchasing the older technology due to fear of being left behind and loss of resale value.

The second reason is of course the growth in EV technology itself.

Based on this pattern, we can estimate that the EV market share in the EU (currently at 20%) will likely reach 80% in five years, and China (currently at 15%) will reach 80% in six years. These estimates do not take into consideration the accelerating growth of e-mobility technology and infrastructure so; by taking that into account, the EV market share in both EU and China could potentially reach 80% in as soon as four years.

Even in slower markets like North America, 2022 is on track to becoming a promising year. Canada’s EV market share grew from 3.8% in 2020 to 5.6% in 2021, showing great potential of reaching the 10% mark within 2022.

Widespread Commercialization of Plug&Charge and V2G Technology

The V2G (vehicle-to-grid) communication interface defined by ISO 15118 is a protocol designed for bidirectional charging/discharging between EVs and chargers. Within the standard is a feature called Plug&Charge (PnC), which enables an EV to automatically prove its identity to the charger on behalf of the driver, then exchange its digital certificate with the certificate of the charger to allow for automated payment. To enable PnC, both the vehicle and the charging station must be PnC-compatible.

The initial years after PnC’s release showed slow progress. After the Plug&Charge section was first added to ISO 15118 in 2014, not a single OEM had a functional implementation until 2018. A few OEMs began demo testing between 2019 and 2020. Eventually, some exciting results were shown in 2021. Several vehicle models – including Hyundai IONIQ 5, 2021 Porsche Taycan, 2021 Lucid Air, and 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E – are now fully compatible with PnC. The same goes for charging stations. In 2021, both Electrify America and Electrify Canada deployed PnC to their charging networks in North America. Ionity also announced in late 2021 that all their charging stations across Europe are PnC-compatible.

Although it still seems like very few OEMs and charge point operators (CPOs) are implementing the technology, it is great news that PnC is now widely available for commercial use with mass adoption underway, and AUTOCRYPT is fully prepared to implement its AutoCrypt PnC secure charging framework to protect the personal and financial data of the driver during the PnC process, as cybersecurity has become a requirement in ISO 15118-20.

As for the bidirectional charging and energy distribution aspects of V2G, there are very few market implementations today, but the industry is making great progress. Many providers are beta testing V2G chargers capable of selling electricity back to the grid, with hope to bring bidirectional home chargers to the market in the next two years.

Elevated Environmental and Regulatory Pressure

Over the past decade, governments around the world have been using the incentive approach to encourage EV ownership. By subsidizing the costs of vehicle acquisition and e-mobility infrastructure development, EVs have now become affordable for most middle-income families. The availability of charging stations has also greatly improved.

With more climate disasters occurring across the globe, governments are now pushing forward a disincentive approach by putting regulations in place to “punish” carbon emitters. In 2020, the European Union’s Regulation (EU) 2019/631 entered into force, setting specific emission targets for OEMs. For every year between 2020 and 2024, the average CO2 emission for an OEM’s entire fleet registered in the year must be kept below 95 g/km for cars and 147 g/km for vans. If the average emission figure exceeds the target, the OEM must pay an excess emissions premium (EEP) at 95 euros per every g/km exceeded, multiplied by the total number of its newly registered vehicles in the EU in that year. To further incentivize EV production, the regulation also adds a super-credits system for low-emission vehicles with less than 50 g/km, by loosening the targets for OEMs that sell more of these vehicles.

As a simplified example, a 2.5 L gasoline-engine 2022 Hyundai Sonata has an emission rate of 182 g/km, which exceeds the 95 g/km target. If Hyundai wants to avoid paying the EEP, it must sell a lot of IONIQ 5s in that same year to both loosen the target figure (to above 95 g/km) and pull its total average figure down.

Starting in 2025, the target emission standards will become stricter and set out on a per OEM basis as a percentage reduction from their 2020 starting points, encouraging continuous progress.

Adoption of eMobility in Fleets

Electric vehicles are not only becoming popular among consumers, but many companies have started adopting EVs for commercial use. Mobility service operators were among the first to adopt all-electric fleets, because EVs today are easily capable of ranges above 350 km, well above the daily needs of most MaaS and taxi drivers. Additionally, since gasoline prices around the world nearly doubled over the past two years, the electrification of commercial vehicles has become a necessary cost-saving measure for many businesses.

A more exciting trend is the electrification of heavy-duty commercial vehicles like delivery vans, semi-trailer trucks, and buses. Only a couple of years ago, all-electric heavy-duty vehicles were considered barely viable due to technological limitations in batteries and motors. Thanks to accelerating technological growth and decreasing battery prices, heavy-duty EVs have become widely available, with over 100 models of heavy-duty electric trucks and buses in the market today.

Of course, infrastructure must also be upgraded to match the needs of heavy-duty EVs. Charge point operators are expanding their networks of high-speed DC chargers with charging speeds above 250 kW, which can charge a semi-truck in about two hours. Since time is crucial for logistics companies, charger manufacturers have also been working on Mega chargers specifically designed for trucks, namely the Megawatts Charging System (MCS). These charging systems are capable of charging speeds in the megawatts range, capable of filling a semi-truck in minutes.

Lastly, investing in an all-electric fleet also gives the fleet operator the potential of participating in V2G bidirectional charging when it becomes more available in the coming years, allowing the operator to make profits from their unused fleets.


AUTOCRYPT’s Work Towards Connected eMobility

As an automotive cybersecurity and mobility solutions provider, AUTOCRYPT plays a range of roles in bringing convenience and security to e-mobility. Starting from AutoCrypt PnC, a PKI-based security module that secures the PnC charging framework, AUTOCRYPT expanded its offerings by launching its e-mobility solution, EVIQ, an all-in-one EV information and charging platform that provides a Charging Station Management System for CPOs as well as charger locator maps for EV drivers.

To learn more about AUTOCRYPT’s e-mobility offerings, contact global@autocrypt.io.

To stay informed and updated on the latest news about AUTOCRYPT and mobility tech, subscribe to AUTOCRYPT’s quarterly newsletter.

COP26: How We Have Overcome Barriers to EV Adoption

What Happened at COP26?

The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference, better known as COP26, concluded on November 12 after two weeks of negotiations by world leaders in Glasgow, UK.

As a member of the International Transport Forum (ITF) Corporate Partnership Board (CPB), AUTOCRYPT’s Co-Founder and CEO Daniel ES Kim called for climate actions at the ministerial meeting on November 9, collectively with other business leaders on board, emphasizing AUTOCRYPT’s commitment to decarbonizing transport.

AUTOCRYPT’s “Call for Action” at COP26

The resulting agreement signed by nearly 200 nations was a historical one, but was not transformative enough to reverse climate change, as many scientists suggested. Despite a preliminary draft demanding nations to accelerate “the phaseout of coal and subsidies of fossil fuels”, after negotiations, a revised draft tuned down the rhetoric to “the phaseout of unabated coal and inefficient subsidies of fossil fuels”. Still, facing firm objection from China and India, the final agreement was changed to “the phasedown of unabated coal and inefficient subsidies of fossil fuels”.

Implications for the EV Industry

Regardless of the rhetoric, COP26 made an unprecedented emphasis on the criticality of fossil fuel exploitation to the ongoing climate crisis. The agreement specifically demands governments to phase down fossil fuel subsidies. Currently, about half a trillion dollars in subsidies were spent by governments worldwide to lower the price of fossil fuels for consumers, more than triple the amount spent on other renewable energies.

The new agreement will likely pose more pressure on manufacturers and consumers of ICE vehicles, making electric vehicles (EV) more financially appealing to both automotive OEMs and end consumers. But setting aside discussions of money and politics—let us go back to the fundamental question: Are we ready to fully commit to EV adoption?

Are We Ready for EV Adoption?

The short answer is yes. Today’s EV has come a long way from its early days. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, EV sales have grown exponentially, even in regions where government subsidies have been decreasing, showing that consumers no longer need financial incentives to purchase EVs. Most potential buyers in the car market today are seriously considering purchasing EVs.

The booming EV adoption rate is not simply due to increased environmental awareness, nor purchase incentives and tax breaks. It is more so a result of technological advancements in EV design, powertrain, battery, and supply equipment (EVSE), all of which contribute to better overall reliability. Below, we look at how these advancements helped the industry overcome all the barriers to EV adoption.

How Have We Overcome the Barriers to EV Adoption?

1. Range

In the early days of the EV, range anxiety was the biggest concern for all potential buyers. Many feared running out of power prior to reaching their destination. In 2013, the average range of all EVs in the market was about 219 km (136 mi), less than half the travel range of gasoline-powered vehicles, which on average can travel between 450 to 550 km (280 to 342 mi) on a full tank. Given that there were very few public charging stations back then, range anxiety was a real fear for EV owners. Even though 219 km was beyond the distance of most daily commutes, long-haul travels were virtually impossible due to the lack of public charging stations, making it a significant drawback as compared to ICE vehicles. As a result, most early adopters at the time only drove their EV as a second car for traveling within the city.

We are in a different world now. For the past five years, automotive OEMs and suppliers have dedicated large portions of their R&D spending on advancing battery technology and motor efficiency. Thanks to these efforts, the median range for EVs has exceeded 400 km (250 mi) in 2020. Most flagship models made by world-class OEMs can now travel longer than 450 km on a single charge effortlessly, with a few outperformers boosting a range over 600 km (see figure 1).

Figure 1. Longest EV Ranges as of October 2021

Clearly, ICE vehicles no longer have an advantage in range over EVs. This explains why even private taxi operators are now adopting EVs considering that a range of above 400 km is adequate for a full day of operation. By now, the EV industry has largely eradicated range anxiety.

2. Charging Availability

Having a long range was not the only cure to range anxiety. For many frequent travelers, having a charger at home does not help the long-haul overnight trips away from home. In this case, public EV charging stations allow the driver to top up their car during their trip, perhaps anywhere along the way or at the hotel.

The good news is that public charging stations have become very common. As of mid-2021, the United States has roughly 43,000 public charging stations and 120,000 charging ports. To put these numbers in perspective, there are an estimated 150,000 gas stations across the US, meaning that there is now one public EV charging station per every three gas stations. Considering the share of EVs in the automobile market, the number of EV charging stations per vehicle has already far surpassed that of gas stations.

Among the United States, European Union, and China—the three largest EV markets—the US is in fact the worst performer of the three. Looking at the EU, there are reportedly 225,000 public charging ports across the continent (excluding Norway and Turkey), nearly twice that of the US. And in China, there are nearly 924,000 public charging ports registered in mid-2021. Consumers in these well-established EV markets can now make long-haul overnight trips without the need to worry about charging. Moreover, the number of public EV charging stations is expected to grow at an astonishing rate. The EU is planning to establish a network of 1.3 million charging points by 2025, six times the current figure. Compared to gas stations, EV charging stations do not require additional space and are much cheaper and easier to build; most are installed on existing parking lots.

3. Charging Time

Recent developments in EVSE have also shrunk the average EV charging time remarkably. Most home chargers (7 kW) can easily charge a typical EV from empty to full in about eight hours. Fast and rapid chargers found at public charging stations (22 kW fast or 43-50 kW rapid) can fill up an EV in between one to five hours. These are especially common at office buildings, shopping malls, and service plazas near highways, where people can top up their cars for an hour or two while working, shopping, or eating. The fastest rapid chargers today (150kW rapid) can fill up a Tesla Model S in less than an hour and add up to 160 km of range in less than 35 minutes. Nonetheless, these chargers remain relatively rare and are not compatible with all EVs.

For the average consumer, charging time should no longer pose any inconvenience. Expect to charge at home about once or twice a week, while occasionally topping up at public charging stations during longer trips away from home. With a little planning ahead, you should be able to easily blend vehicle charging into your schedule and never need to spend a minute waiting for charging.

4. Charging Complexity

After overcoming all the above EV adoption barriers, the last concern for some potential EV buyers is the perceived complexity in charging. Those who use public charging stations frequently might find it a hassle to keep a handful of membership cards or mobile apps for different charging point operators (CPO).

To simplify this process, AUTOCRYPT is actively working with the EV charging industry to accelerate the application of Plug&Charge (PnC) technology, an advanced charging and payment system that automatically verifies the vehicle when the charger is plugged in, then authenticates the transaction in the backend without the need for any RFID cards or mobile apps.

This verification and authentication process is conducted by AutoCrypt PnC, a secure V2G (vehicle-to-grid) communication interface based on ISO-15118-compliant AutoCrypt PKI technology. By 2023, PnC-enabled charging stations with V2G bi-directional charging will be widely available.

Revolutionize Transport With AUTOCRYPT

Apart from electrification, AUTOCRYPT’s effort in securing Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and autonomous driving will make our roads and traffic smarter, less congested, and more energy-efficient, helping us accelerate our goal towards net zero.

To learn more about AUTOCRYPT’s end-to-end solutions, contact global@autocrypt.io.

To stay informed with the latest news on mobility tech and automotive cybersecurity, subscribe to AUTOCRYPT’s monthly newsletter.

How Do Automotive OEMs Transition to Electric Vehicle Manufacturing?

Due to growing customer demand and tightening carbon emission quotas, nearly all automotive manufacturers today are undergoing a significant transition from producing ICE and hybrid vehicles to electric vehicle manufacturing, specifically battery-electric vehicles. Last month, Volkswagen Group announced its NEW AUTO strategy, a long-term plan that projected electric vehicles to make up 50% of the group’s total sales by 2030 and 100% by 2040. Earlier in the year, Hyundai Motor Group also unveiled its plan to increase its EV portfolio from the current eight models to 23 models by 2025. Other OEMs such as GM, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volvo all have ambitious plans to increase their EV portfolio and grab as many early adopters as possible in this booming industry.

Will Traditional OEMs Dominate Electric Vehicle Manufacturing?

Many tend to take it for granted that traditional major OEMs will naturally take over all electric vehicle productions. This is a fair assumption because the automotive industry has always had extremely high entry barriers due to the economies of scale—an absolute advantage firmly held by large global OEMs. While producing one vehicle might cost millions, producing 100,000 vehicles reduces the per-unit expense down to the thousands.

However, the above assumption has a major flaw; that is, it underestimates how different EV production is compared to producing ICE vehicles. When making a new model of a hybrid vehicle, the manufacturer can still use the existing frame, design, and powertrain of its gasoline-powered siblings, with only some modifications needed to the original assembly plant. On the other hand, to build a battery-electric vehicle, OEMs need to start from scratch and consider a whole different set of problems when designing the frame and the powertrain, such as how to best fit the batteries at the base. As a result, OEMs cannot take advantage of their existing ICE-vehicle assembly lines to make EVs, and hence lose the economies-of-scale advantage.

In fact, despite a vibrant automotive industry, these traditional OEMs are facing their biggest threats in decades, if not ever. Tesla has proven that a startup with no experience in car manufacturing can rise to become a market leader in the EV industry. Over the past few years, countless startups and even tech giants like Apple and Sony are all trying to gain a foothold in the market.

Nevertheless, despite losing their absolute advantage, traditional OEMs still have a better chance of winning the EV race as they have pre-established brands that are well recognized and trusted by consumers. Therefore, OEMs should take advantage of their beloved brands to make a smooth and bold transition into the EV game.

Brownfield vs. Greenfield: Two Strategies for Electric Vehicle Manufacturing

To start manufacturing electric vehicles, the first big decision that traditional OEMs face is whether to adopt the brownfield or greenfield strategy. OEMs that choose the brownfield strategy need to do a significant overhaul to their existing ICE-vehicle assembly line to accommodate an EV assembly line. This strategy is commonly adopted by an OEM at its early stages of the EV transition, when it does not expect high sales in the short run. However, adopting the brownfield strategy also means that the OEM must abandon some of their existing ICE-vehicle lineups to create rooms for EV production. The more EVs produced, the more ICE-vehicle sales it needs to sacrifice.

Another alternative is to adopt the greenfield strategy. That is, to establish new facilities and plants dedicated specifically to electric vehicle manufacturing. Doing so requires significant investment, and whoever has the most cash has the greatest advantage to begin with. By adopting this strategy, OEMs put themselves side by side with new market entrants like startups and tech firms.

What Advantages Do Traditional OEMs Have?

During this transition period, it is almost certain that some of the traditional OEMs will lose the race to new market entrants. However, traditional OEMs do still have certain advantages over startups and tech firms. First, their experience and knowledge in the E/E (electrical and electronic) architecture mean that it takes less time for them to design and develop new vehicle models. Moreover, the pre-established quality assurance system also ensures that their vehicles will be more reliable overall than those built by new market entrants. Additionally, the suppliers are evolving with the OEMs. Large tier 1 suppliers like Bosch and Magna are now providing EV parts and solutions, meaning OEMs with existing supply chains can save time and cost in looking for new suppliers.

However, traditional OEMs must be aware that these advantages are not as significant as the absolute advantage they used to have. Therefore, to establish a firm foothold in the new EV market, OEMs must utilize these advantages in an efficient way as early as possible.

New Considerations in Electric Vehicle Manufacturing

Amid the fierce competition, OEMs must also consider a wide range of new challenges in the EV manufacturing process. Most of these are related to charging and range. How far can the car travel on a full charge? How long does it take for a full charge? How many charging stations are available in a certain area? Can the power grid accommodate all charging needs during peak times?

To solve these problems, OEMs, charger manufacturers, charging point operators (CPO), and mobility operators are working towards a new solution that makes EV charging smart and seamless. Utilizing the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication interface, Plug&Charge (PnC) is an EV charging technology outlined by ISO 15118 to allow bidirectional charging with a seamless user identification and payment process. Plug&Charge infrastructure allows the driver to plug in their car at any charging station without the need to carry membership cards and credit cards.

To integrate Plug&Charge technology, OEMs must ensure that their vehicles have the security measures to allow the safe transmission of vehicle and payment data. This is AUTOCRYPT’s role as a cybersecurity supplier. AutoCrypt PnC secures the Plug&Charge process using a PKI-based security system made by cutting-edge encryption and authentication technology.

As the above example shows, electric vehicle manufacturing requires the collaborative work of a wide range of different parties extending into infrastructure providers and cybersecurity firms. OEMs that are willing to adapt to these changes have a greater chance of succeeding in this new market. To stay informed with the latest news on mobility tech and automotive cybersecurity, subscribe to AUTOCRYPT’s monthly newsletter.

How Plug&Charge Might Make EV Charging a Lifesaver

Electric vehicle (EV) ownership has grown steadily over the past decade and has begun exponential growth in the past two years, with 2.1 million vehicles sold globally in 2019. By the end of 2019, there were an estimated 7.2 million EVs on the road.

In this blog, we refer to EV as vehicles that need charging, such as battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). Regular hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are not included in the discussion because they do not need charging. To know more about the different types of EVs, see the following infographic: The Different Types of Electric Vehicles.

Speaking of EVs, the number one concern for most consumers is charging time and range. Presently, battery capacity for sedans range between 40 kWh (Nissan Leaf 2018) to 75 kWh (Tesla Model S 2019). As chargers continue to improve, a typical 43~50 kW rapid charger can add up to 160 km of range in 35 minutes and fill a Model S from empty to full in less than two hours. With 150 kW super rapid chargers rolling out in the market, charging would only take minutes.

However, for many EV owners, gaining access to the charging stations as well as paying for charging become a hassle as they need to sign up for memberships of different charging providers and always carry multiple charging cards. This is where Plug&Charge (PnC) technology comes in. PnC allows for the vehicle and the charger to communicate in real-time, so that the driver can simply plug, charge, and go.

What is Plug&Charge?

Plug&Charge (PnC) is a technological concept outlined in ISO 15118 – the international standard for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication interface. Currently applied at many EV charging stations across the globe, it is essentially a secure communication protocol that allows the vehicle to communicate seamlessly with the charging station and the electrical grid.

Generally, two pieces of information are exchanged in these communications – charging-related information and payment-related information. Charging-related information enables the charging station to self-determine how much electricity to fill (or take away), while payment-related information allows for automated financial transactions between the charging station and the driver’s car. This removes the hassle of having to sign up for memberships at different charging providers and having to carry multiple cards at all time. In fact, the driver does not even need to carry a payment card. All they need to do is to register a preferred payment method to their car ahead of time.

Another technical aspect of PnC technology is that it allows for bidirectional charging, so that electricity does not only flow from the charging station to the car, but also from the car back to the charging station and to the electrical grid. This allows for the perfect match between the supply capacity of the electrical grid and the demand from the EVs. We will discuss how later.

Nevertheless, manual charging and conventional identification and payment methods are still supported by charging stations adopting ISO 15118. These methods are referred to as “external identification means (EIM)”.

What Are the Benefits of Bidirectional Charging?

Automated charging and payment help make the EV charging process easier for the driver. But what does bidirectional charging do? With unidirectional chargers, electricity flows from the electrical grid to the vehicle. Bidirectional chargers enable electricity to flow both ways, allowing the vehicle to give electricity back to the grid. The bidirectional charging process between the vehicle and the electrical grid is called vehicle-to-grid (V2G).

Many might ask, why having electricity flow from the cars back to the grids? Indeed, at an individual level, this may seem useless. However, at a regional and national level, this can help balance the supply and demand of energy. The electricity stored in parked EVs is great enough to power a house for several hours. Since an average car is parked (i.e., not in use) for 90% of its lifespan, why not make use of that time to distribute electricity to those in need?

The idea is to have EVs charge during off-peak hours and give back to the grid during peak hours when the demand is high. In simple words, EV can be used like power banks to smartphones, so that parked vehicles can provide the necessary electricity to fill in the demands of peak regions. This would significantly stabilize the electrical grids. Take vehicle-to-home (V2H) for example, the vehicle would charge at night when electricity demand is low, and have the car charge the home during day times when electricity demand is at peak. Many countries are implementing incentives to do so by offering electricity at lower costs during off-peak hours, so that EV owners can save on their energy costs in the long run. In other circumstances, energy credits are offered for the EV owners who give back to the grid, so that EV owners can make some extra money when they are not using their cars.

How Does Plug&Charge Help Save Our World?

PnC will become a crucial component of the energy supply chain when the world transitions to 100% renewable energy. It is not that renewable energies are less reliable, but some types of renewable energies – such as wind and solar power – do not offer constant and steady supply. Natural disasters could also affect the supply of renewable energy. Thus, instead of using non-renewable energy to fill the shortage, these EVs can serve as emergency power banks to the electrical grid during occasional power shortages. As long as the system and infrastructure are managed properly, PnC can help many parts of the world get rid of fossil fuels entirely.

The Role of Cybersecurity in Plug&Charge

The electrical grid is a highly sensitive infrastructure that is critical to daily economic and social activities. This makes them one of the most attractive targets for cybercriminals. Hostile states could attack the grid to trigger power outages. Financially motivated threat actors could attack the grid to steal customers’ personal, financial, and billing data, as well as charging-related information. Therefore, every device that connects to the gird, including EVs and charging stations, must be authenticated in the first place, and authorized before each attempt to connect.

AutoCrypt PnC (formerly known as AutoCrypt V2G) is a mobility security solution that utilizes authentication, authorization, and encryption technologies to establish secured communications between every player involved in the grid, protecting the personal and financial information of the EV owners from leakage, ensuring the proper functioning of the charging and transaction processes by guaranteeing data integrity, and protecting all energy users by safeguarding the power grids from intrusions.

To keep informed with the latest news on mobility tech and automotive cybersecurity, subscribe to AUTOCRYPT’s monthly newsletter.

Why COVID-19 Has Made Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Security Even More of a Necessity

When the concept of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) began and companies and organizations began their research and implementation into EV systems, the main aim was to have an optimal energy management system. EVs, when charging bidirectionally, would not only maintain a minimum charge but balance the grid and minimize emission. The system’s goal is twofold: to increase efficiency in terms of renewable energy sources and costs, and simultaneously balance the demand for electricity on the grid. While no one could have imagined the paradigm shift that would occur worldwide through COVID-19, industries, and even new technologies are now trying to shift and evolve in order to meet the demands of the millions whose lives must go on in terms of their household, career, and transportation. With work-from-home (WFH) and social distancing deemed “the new normal,” there’s an increasing number of people who have no choice but to work and communicate remotely, meaning, technologies like V2G and consequently V2G security may now be more necessary than ever before.

V2G for Customers and Businesses

From March to April 2020, 30 million Americans filed for unemployment. The growing figures are an obvious sign of how many are facing financial strain due to COVID-19. However, at least for EV owners with Plug & Charge (PnC) capabilities, their electric bills may be minimized by using smart charge systems. For bi-directional PnC users with charging points in their homes, because their vehicles are spending more time parked in the garage than driving on the road, their batteries have more of the capacity to be used to power the grid. This can be good news for clients who are spending more time at home powering their laptops, entertainment systems, and home appliances while WFH, but do not necessarily have the financial means to be beholden to surge pricing.

For businesses with EV charging points, management of their services during the COVID-19 pandemic remains crucial – with an unbalanced supply chain (weakening demand in some industries with skyrocketing demand in others) and increasing financial pressures, PnC allows for businesses to set limits on energy consumption and avoid surge pricing, allowing them to maintain operations. Especially for start-ups or small businesses, minimizing operations costs is crucial: estimates show that more than 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed due to the pandemic.

Both customers and businesses can enjoy the benefits of PnC, as most offer real-time data available through an app or online platform. This can further allow users to optimize their charging during off-peak hours and maximize financial returns.

V2G Security

However, as with all connected technology, the technology itself is only half of the equation. With increased usage comes even more temptations for tampering. All parties involved from manufacturers, Mobility Operators (MO) all the way to Charge Point Operators (CPO) must ensure that the connections that the charge points are safe from intruders — because like it or not, owning a connected vehicle comes with social responsibility.

The most obvious damage that uninvited “guests” may wreak is through tampering with the payment systems. PnC allows for easy, streamlined payment, which means everything is done through payment methods and membership registration information already in the system. With loose security regulations, this could mean that payment systems could be hijacked without anyone ever knowing. During a critical time such as this, it is definitely not in anyone’s best interest to be hacked, left with an even thinner wallet than before. This is why AutoCrypt, in accordance with the international ISO 15118 Standard ensures that encryption and digital signatures are implemented to protect vehicles during charging.

The second concern is one that may fly under the radar, but EVs and V2G focus on the exchange of data – the time of day, the amount of charge, the pricing, and the payment methods for the vehicles and the charging points. Data monetization is becoming more and more lucrative as more EVs and connected cars hit the market and the economy suffers further due to COVID-19 — and in the wrong hands, this could mean loss of privacy and even in worst-case scenarios, data terrorism.

These are just a couple of reasons why AUTOCRYPT not only provides a comprehensive security solution, but is constantly working with manufacturers, MOs, and CPOs to ensure that customers on and off the road are able to keep safe in this connected car era. In a time where things are unpredictable, perhaps it would be safe to say that no one wants the security of your vehicle and wallet put into that group as well.

Stay safe, wash your hands, and keep your connections secure.