Charging Infrastructure for the Future

Modern authentication solutions for electromobility

As the number of electric vehicles grows, so does the need for high-performance charging infrastructure – including a reliable authentication solution. The focus here is on simple and secure operation when charging with electricity. But this alone is not enough in view of the highly dynamic developments in the industry.

Compleo, a pioneer in EV charging technology, provides an excellent example of how manufacturers and operators of charging stations can position themselves for the future with their authentication solutions.

In Berlin, Compleo relies on an authentication solution with Elatec's TWN4 MutliTech RFID reader/writer.

RFID transponders are predestined for this purpose.

Charging technology specialist Compleo relies on an authentication solution with Elatec's TWN4 MutliTech reader/writer.

According to the VDMA, one million charging points will be needed by 2030 in Germany alone to accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles. The electromobility challenge for charging point operators: Access to the charging infrastructure, payment and authentication options must be designed flexibly - for example, with chip cards or smartphone solutions.

The requirements for user authentication, access restriction and billing vary for electric vehicle charging depending on the application. Companies that charge their fleet vehicles with electricity have different requirements than operators of public charging points. For example, public station operators face the challenge of offering their customers simple access and transparent billing models that work via credit card or smartphone app. But for all operators, convenience for users is essential.

At the same time, operators must ensure that only authorized users have access to the charging stations and that sensitive information such as payment data does not fall into the wrong hands. They are also dependent on their charging stations continuing to function reliably in the event of changing technologies, regulations or customer demands, without expensive and time-consuming retrofitting.

For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), this means they must offer their customers maximum flexibility in terms of access control and user authentication options. This is the only way they can meet the different needs. To meet the challenges of OEMs and operators, a secure and easily customizable authentication solution via Radio-Frequency Identification RFID or Near Field Communication NFC or Bluetooth® Low Energy BLE is ideal. Multi-frequency readers allow either cards or smartphones to be used as the identification medium, so the system meets the needs of different user groups.

Charging Infrastructure with RFID

Authentication and access to the charging infrastucture to be made as flexible as possible for customers – for example, with chip cards or smartphone solutions.

Three criteria for an optimal solution

What you need to know: Three criteria for an optimal solution

Thanks to mobile authentication, only authorized users gain access to the charging infrastructure. The level of security is increased.

To make access control and user authentication reliable, sustainable and secure, it is important to consider the following points.

Security for infrastructure and data:

An access control and authentication solution increases the level of security. It protects against misuse – both in terms of data and valuable charging infrastructure. Only authorized users are given the opportunity to charge up via their credentials. Their charging behavior can also be easily tracked in this way. To increase data security, a reader should be able to be programmed to support encryption technologies, including cryptographic methods that require high computing power.

Flexibility and reduction of complexity:

The highly fragmented market for charging infrastructure and the multitude of common transponder technologies pose a challenge for operators and manufacturers. They can successfully meet this with multi-frequency readers.

Universal readers are available on the market that can process more than 60 common transponder technologies worldwide and are certified for use in up to 110 countries. These readers – which solution provider Elatec has in its portfolio, for example – are compatible with virtually every transponder technology customers may use and can also process mobile credentials. With a single, easy-to-integrate device, they provide a solution that simplifies distribution and inventory management. Manufacturers thus only need to stock one version of their system for all potential customers.

Future-proofing through remote updates and upgrades:

Requirements and IT infrastructures change. Only with a flexible system that provides for optimizations, adaptations and upgrades will providers and operators of charging infrastructure be on the safe side in the future. The ability to configure readers remotely is, therefore, a must in the charging infrastructure sector. With remote updates and upgrades, all installed readers can also be updated easily and quickly, regardless of their location, without incurring high costs for technicians.

Compleo sees success with the TWN4 MultiTech

With its solutions, the German company Compleo is driving the expansion of charging infrastructure across Europe. When it came to winning the "be emobil" charging station project for the city of Berlin, Compleo brought Elatec's authentication specialists on board. The central requirement for the project was that it should also be possible to use the RFID technology already in use in Berlin's public transport system with the open data and interface standard VDV-KA for user authentication at the electric charging stations.

Elatec's experts analyzed the need and identified the TWN4 MultiTech reader/writer as the best possible solution. The multi-frequency reader supports more than 60 common transponder technologies worldwide, including the required VDV-KA protocol. In addition, it can be easily and quickly programmed and updated remotely thanks to remote configuration.

For optimal integration, the OEM version of the TWN4 MultiTech was installed directly in the charging columns. Compleo's solution was convincing, and the company was awarded the project. And since the versatile TWN4 MultiTech is certified for use in up to 110 countries, Compleo can also offer charging station solutions with future-proof authentication technology for the international market.

Practical example: Compleo sees success with the TWN4 MultiTech

The OEM version of the TWN4 MultiTech from Elatec was installed in charging stations in Berlin. The device supports the VDV-KA protocol required by the city of Berlin.

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