Electric vehicle cybersecurity, charging reliability and grid relationships highlighted as key barriers to emobility ahead of 2021 World Electric Vehicle Congress


Cybersecurity around electric vehicle charging infrastructure, reliability of charging and relationships with network operators have been identified as the main obstacles facing the electric mobility sector this year.

These views were expressed by the EV World Congress Advisory Board, convened by Running± publisher Solar Media, in front of VE World Congress 2021, which takes place next month in Bristol.

The Advisory Committee of the World Electric Vehicle Congress meets regularly to discuss the most pressing issues facing the mobility and electric vehicle charging infrastructure sectors to inform and lead the themes and topics that appear on the agenda of the World Electric Vehicle Congress each year.

Members of the advisory board agreed that one of the most pressing issues facing the industry is cybersecurity. Concerns about the cybersecurity of some electric vehicle chargers available on the market today emerged earlier this summer when Pen Test Partners, a cybersecurity research firm, revealed failures in the cybersecurity of the devices that allowed them to Effectively modify the operational nature of an electric vehicle charger, including turning it on or off and accessing an owner’s account.

The reports made headlines in the UK and were quickly followed by software updates from the manufacturers in question – consumers were urged to update their apps and chargers – but members of the advisory board were expressed concern that consumers might be dissuaded from buying an EV if similar headlines hit the headlines. again.

Stricter legislation around the cybersecurity of Internet-connected devices is looming from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS). ‘(OZEV) home royalty system. However, these conditions now need to be weighed against the emerging evidence regarding the supposed defects and reinforced to give consumers more confidence.

A particular area of ​​concern regarding cybersecurity noted by the advisory board was the risk of a network of devices being attacked or “bricked” simultaneously, and the potential impact that would have on a local distribution network if a large number of devices were trying to charge or disconnect from the network at any time. In addition, questions have been raised as to who would be responsible – and potentially fined – if such an attack were to occur and trigger blackouts.

In January 2018, the UK’s National Cyber ​​Security Center released new measures and guidelines in response to what it called a “growing number of threats” to the country’s power system, claiming that utilities whose cyber defenses were insufficient could face fines of up to £ 17million.

It is therefore crucial that the emobility industry as a whole emphasizes and addresses the issue of cybersecurity to the extent possible, informing strict guidelines on OZEV compliant chargers and collaborating on best practices in the industry. ‘industry.

Reliability and relationships

Another issue highlighted by the Advisory Board was the reliability of publicly available charging infrastructure, and in particular destination pricing, seen by many members as another area that could damage reputation if not. not treated in the short term.

As more people embrace electric vehicles, so does the demand for public charging infrastructure. However, parts of the existing infrastructure have reliability issues, members of the advisory board said, with one member lamenting the number of times they had arrived at a public charger to find it out of service despite being listed. as available by the network operator.

This is also exacerbated by the introduction of new faster-charging technologies that have also removed other barriers to adoption, such as interoperability and a more comprehensive suite of payment methods. Interoperability is regularly discussed by network operators, but more nuanced discussion is needed within the industry to ensure that upgrades and maintenance of existing EV charging infrastructure are carried out. This could, the advisory board noted, require policy or regulatory involvement, rather than allowing consumers themselves to effectively select for themselves today’s successful charging network operators by shifting towards networks. more reliable and avoiding those with performance issues. The need for a broader mix of charging technologies, including street charging, and the potential for community charging centers as part of larger low-carbon, micro-grid-friendly projects are also emerging. subject of discussion.

Given its global reach, one of the strengths of the EV World Congress noted by the Advisory Board is the potential for electromobility players at all scales of the market to learn from examples of best practice at industry level. municipal, regional and national, with case studies from around the world ready to be heard.

Charging infrastructure upgrades and wider implantation are often determined not by consumer desire or behavior, but by distribution network operators and network capacity, prompting advisory board members to demand more honest and open relationships with network operators as the adoption of EVs increases.

A member of the advisory board gave a specific example of a project location that was determined due to network constraints affecting a more desirable location, while other members discussed the potential for network issues to be. particularly widespread in the development of electric vehicle charging solutions for fleets.

All of the above issues will be discussed in detail at next month’s EV 2021 World Congress, billed by BP, to be held October 19-20, 2021 at the Marriott City Center Hotel in Bristol. The event will be held in a hybrid fashion, meaning that delegates can participate remotely as well. Further details, including ticketing, can be found here. The event also coincides with the 2021 Electric Vehicle Innovation and Excellence (EVIE) Awards Ceremony, which will be held at the Bristol Harbor Hotel on the evening of October 19, 2021. Although the date nominations limit is now exceeded, the category lists will be published shortly. – ticket details are available here.

The members of the Advisory Board of the Solar Media EV World Congress in attendance were Pierre McDonald, Nissan; Keith budden, Cenex; Rachel Swiatek, Energy Savings Trust; Matt Croucher, WSP; Neil isaacson, Right of liberty; Melanie Shufflebotham, Zap Map; Sara sloman, Elmtronics; Ashley hutchinson, Sine wave; Paul Khullar, Petalite; Leigh Purnell, Petalite, and; John curtis.

Members of the EV World Congress Advisory Board were present both in person and digitally.

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