OCPI vs. OCPP: The Ultimate Charging Protocol Showdown

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In the realm of technology and communications, a protocol is a set of rules and standards that allow different systems and devices to communicate effectively. In the context of electric vehicle (EV) charging, protocols are crucial as they enable seamless communication between charging stations, EVs, and backend systems.

Among the many charging protocols used in EV charging, two of the most prominent are the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and the Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI).

This article aims to provide a detailed comparison of OCPP and OCPI, highlighting their key features, differences, and the specific roles they play in the EV charging ecosystem. By understanding OCPI vs. OCPP, stakeholders can make more informed decisions to optimize their EV infrastructure.

What is OCPI protocol?

Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI) is an open standard charging protocol designed to facilitate communication and interoperability between various electric vehicle (EV) charging networks, operators, and service providers. Its primary goal is to enable seamless roaming across different charging networks, allowing EV owners easy access to charging infrastructure without the need for multiple accounts or payment methods.

Offered free of charge, the OCPI protocol helps EV charging service providers offer a broader range of charging stations to drivers, thereby reducing “range anxiety” for EV owners.


Key features of OCPI include:

Roaming Functionality: OCPI protocol enables electric vehicle drivers to access charging stations on different networks using a single access card or mobile application.

Real-Time Data: It provides real-time information about charging point availability and status, including availability and cost, helping drivers quickly locate available chargers.

Transaction Handling: OCPI protocol supports the exchange of transaction data, ensuring accurate recording and billing of charging sessions.

Platform Monitoring: Network operators and service providers can analyze data on their networks.

What is OCPP protocol?

Unlike OCPI, open charge point protocol (OCPP) primarily focuses on communication between the charging station and the central management system (CMS). It allows any software compliant with the OCPP standard to work with OCPP EV chargers.

Due to its widespread adoption in the EV charging domain, EV owners can now more easily charge their vehicles at various charging stations, regardless of the service provider or manufacturer. The latest version of this protocol is called OCPP 2.0.1.

ocpp ocpi

Key features of OCPP include:

Device Management: Charging point operators can configure and monitor charging stations.

Load Balancing: Allows balancing of limited power on the circuit based on the number of vehicles inserted. Transaction Processing: Supports facility charging authorization and billing.

Security and Access Control: Network administrators can control charger access and set user parameters.

Updating Firmware: OCPP protocol allows remote management systems to update charger firmware over the network.

OCPP vs. OCPI: 5 main differences

OCPP and OCPI have some similarities. They both handle similar types of data, including charge point status, energy usage, charging session details, and error codes. This is the main reason why many people tend to confuse them. However, the main differences between OCPP and OCPI are as follows:

OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol)OCPI (Open Charge Point Interface)
FocusCommunication between EV chargers and central management systemsCommunication between different EV charging networks, operators, and service providers
ScopeFocus more on remoting management and controlBetween different charging networks to enable roaming
UsageManufacturers of chargers and central management systemsEV charging network operators and service providers
AdoptionAs a global standard, implemented in over 50 countriesAs a vital part of international EV charging infrastructure
EvolutionRegular updates and versions ensure relevance and alignment with industry needsEncourages international collaboration and standardization across different markets

OCPP and OCPI are integral components of the ever-evolving electric vehicle charging infrastructure. While they serve different purposes, their combined use contributes to providing electric vehicle owners with a more convenient, efficient, and user-friendly charging experience.

If you have any further questions about OCPP and OCPI, feel free to reach out to us at any time. As a leading provider of OCPP EV chargers, we are here to assist you with any inquiries and provide solutions to meet your electric vehicle charging needs.

Contact EVB for OCPP-compliant EV chargers now!

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