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Standardization of Charging Infrastructure

What are the different types of charging infrastructure?
A charging station in a parking lot at the city.
© Unsplash

At present, the advancement of EV charging infrastructure is on schedule, but the lack of standardization poses challenges to accessibility and convenience for EV users. Several initiatives have arisen to establish common standards, aiming for a more cohesive and universal charging infrastructure. Standardizing EV charging infrastructure is pivotal to drive adoption, enhance accessibility, and make the transition to sustainable E-Mobility more attractive for consumers.

This article will focus on the:

  • types of plugs and plug names
  • charging communication scheme explanation.

Charging plugs for EVs play a critical role in enabling the transfer of electricity from charging infrastructure to the vehicle’s battery. With the increasing popularity of EVs, the development of standardized charging plug types has become essential to ensure compatibility and ease of use across different charging stations and EV models.

EVs rely on various types of charging plugs to connect to charging stations and replenish their batteries. The availability of different charging plug types is a result of the diverse regional standards and manufacturer preferences across the EV industry.

In the graph below, you can observe the different connectors for charging EVs, divided between those using AC and DC, along with their respective names and the region in which they are used.

Overview of the types of charging plugs for EVs in different regions, including Japan, China, America and Europe Overview of charging plugs all over the world. PEM Motion (2022)

The compatibility of the vehicle and local charging infrastructure depends on different factors:

AC/DC compatibility:

  • if an AC plug is plugged into a DC port, the battery and charging infrastructure can be destroyed and vice versa
  • therefore, AC and DC plugs are not compatible for technical reasons
  • there are combined charging plugs allow the simultaneous contacting of AC and DC plugs.

Compatibility throughout the world:

  • charging is a relatively new technology, with many competing companies establishing standards
  • different regions produced national/partly international standards to establish compatibility between chargers and vehicles
  • depending on the OEMs origin country, the charging plugs offered to differ
  • not always can a vehicle be bought with different charging plugs depending on the buyer’s origin.

Depending on the current type and region, charging plugs are incompatible with vehicles worldwide.

There are standards for charging protocols and communications, these are critical for a stable charging infrastructure.

In the diagram below, you can see the stages in EV charging, and from this process arise the different protocols used to monitor the proper functioning of each stage, ensuring the well-being of the various stakeholders in the value chain.

Diagram that explains the different charging protocols and communications and how they are relatedClick to expand

Schematic of charging communication. Driivz Team (2022)

These protocols and communication frameworks serve as the backbone of EV charging infrastructure, ensuring seamless operation between systems, efficient charging sessions, and reliable data exchange. However, several challenges must be addressed to establish standardized and efficient charging protocols, some of them are:

  • charge point operators install operate and manage the charging infrastructure
  • E-Mobility service providers provide service to end users
  • charge point operators and E-Mobility service providers are facing challenges expanding internationally especially in dealing with different:
    • protocols
    • regulations
    • integration of roaming capabilities into their networks.

The course mascot with a text saying "Module 6 will examine the different charging infrastructure stakeholders and business architectures" Course mascot. PEM Motion (2023)

The standardization of charging process payment for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations is a crucial aspect of ensuring a seamless and user-friendly charging experience. With the growing number of EVs on the road, establishing a standardized payment system is essential to facilitate convenient and secure transactions between EV owners and charging station operators. However, there are challenges needed to face regarding the payment at charging stations.

Different charging station operators come with their own payment options, which are poorly standardized. The most common forms of payment are:

  • app payment
  • credit card
  • customer card
  • direct payment via QR code
  • payment via car connection

Customers are required to have a lot of different apps, customers cards and other payment options, which can be frustrating for costumers because of the low standardization of the process.

Electric car charging Electric car charging. Unsplash (n.d.)


Standardization of charging infrastructure for EVs is essential to drive EV adoption and move towards more sustainable E-Mobility. The lack of common standards has led to fragmented charging infrastructure and user difficulties. However, initiatives are underway to establish common standards for a more consistent and universal charging infrastructure.

Standardization is also crucial for enhancing accessibility and convenience for EV users, as well as for making the transition to more sustainable E-Mobility easier and more appealing to consumers.

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