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.

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