Enquiry about payment system


I am starting a university project which is to build an EV charger app and I was wondering how the payment system works and how it would be implemented, Do I need to get in contact with other EV charger manufactures or is it implemented through the OCPP or the open charge map api, any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Hi, Open Charge Map does not provide any payment system and is only a list of known EV charging locations. The data is a combination of imported information and manually entered (crowd sourced) data.

Networks have a wide range of approaches to payment:

  • free
  • pay by card at the station (to activate the charging session or complete the charging session).
  • pay a subscription and activate charging sessions using an app or RFID
  • activate charging session remotely via an app (this is usually either affiliated with the network or managed directly by the network)
  • Auto recognise car upon plug in, exchange car specific credentials to authenticate car, authorize automatically to stored payment method. (several european networks, all Tesla superchargers etc)

Of all of these, the auto-billing based on identifying the car is probably the long term winner, so you just have a stored payment method with the network or an affiliate. The pay by activating session using a network specific app method is probably the most common currently but it requires managing a lot of different apps/accounts in some countries with fragmented networks.

an EV charge app can just show available charging stations. Then OpenChargeMap can give you the location of charging stations.
If the EV charge app shall show the status (free/occupied/out of service) of an charging station, then you need to use the OCPP and talk to the server of the operator of each charging station. You will need to get an API access key from each operator to be allowed to use their API.

Thanks, for the most part our data is crowdsourced and doesn’t have the operator specific OCPI evse references etc. In general, networks are extremely unwilling to give us data and the majority make no effort to contribute any data, despite it being free advertising for their networks.

Yes it can technically be done, but it requires cooperation (which takes two), they need to come to us (ideally as an industry, not as individuals), we’re not going to go to them to ask anymore.