Frequently Asked Questions

OCPI is a protocol that describes communication about authorization of EV drivers and the exchange of charge point information (incl. transaction events), charge detail records and smart-charging commands between parties like Charge Point Operators and eMobility Service Providers. The OCN is a decentralized implementation of the hub concept described in version 2.2 of the OCPI protocol (see the OCN documentation for more details). Any backend API using OCPI 2.2 as a communication protocol can make use of the OCN open source software stack to connect to & communicate with other backend systems using OCPI 2.2.

The Open Charging Network supports all use-cases described in the OCPI 2.2 protocol: Authorization, Reservation, tariff information, billing, static charge point information, real-time charge point status information, (real-time) session information, charge detail record information, remote start/stop (for use via mobile app), smart charging, calibration law (eichrecht) support and platform monitoring. With version 1.1 of the OCN custom OCPI modules are supported to implement any further use-case two parties might agree upon. Learn more about the OCPI protocol here.

Commercial eRoaming Hubs (e.g. Hubject, Gireve and e-clearing) provide their business customers (e.g. Charge Point Operators or eMobility Service Providers) with two combined services: They connect parties technically via their platform and link this technical connection to a commercial marketplace where business customers can make eRoaming agreements with another. This brings certain advantages (e.g. convenience) but also creates a commercial (and technical) lock-in effect. Typically, the platform owner can also set restrictions for additional use-cases (e.g. billing, settlement) being implemented on top of the network.

The Open Charging Network on contrast focuses on making the technical connection to any other party as simple as possible, without creating a technical and commercial lock-in. The open source character of the technology allows anyone to join and use the network for free. The commercial relationships are outside the scope of the Open Charging Network allowing businesses to create bilateral agreements with another (learn more about setting up the legal relationship for using the Open Charging Network here). Additionally, any third-party service can be offered via the network allowing anyone to innovate freely on top it. Read more about this opportunity in the section below.

The service interface of the Open Charging Network allows third-party service providers like settlement, smart charging, green energy certification services to offer their products to all users of the network. A list of external service providers can be found on the OCN Services page. The listed services are available after the release of the OCN version 1.1. Keep yourself updated with our Developer Blog or our monthly Newsletter.

The technical access to the network is provided by the so-called OCN Node Operator which automatically connects a party with any other party or service on the network. Because of the decentralized architecture and operation as well as the open source character of the software, anyone can become an OCN Node Operator and thereby creating this technical access point.

Learn more about how to get started here.