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CA Energy Commission awards CSE $1.5M for development of standards-based smart EV charging platform; first employment of ISO/IEC 15118

The California Energy Commission has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to lead development of an advanced management platform for integrating electric vehicle (EV) charging with utility-scale energy systems. CSE will work closely with KnGrid, a leader in vehicle-grid communications, to create a standardized platform that optimizes charging benefits for both grid operators and vehicle owners. The result will be the first data platform to employ the international ISO/IEC 15118 standard for flexibly managing vehicle charging with data from the power grid.

The project team will develop and implement the first standards-based smart charging platform, termed a “demand clearing house” (DCH) in the international ISO/IEC 15118 protocol (entitled “Road vehicles - Vehicle to grid communication interface”), that will consolidate real-time grid profiles from local utilities and energy market pricing from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) with simultaneous charging of grid-connected EVs.

ISO 15118 consists of the following parts, under the general title Road vehicles — Vehicle to grid communication interface:

  • Part 1: General information and use-case definition
  • Part 2: Network and application protocol requirements
  • Part 3: Physical layer and Data Link Layer requirements.

The following parts are under preparation:

  • Part 4: Network and application protocol conformance test
  • Part 5: Physical layer and data link layer conformance test
  • Part 6: General information and use-case definition for wireless communication
  • Part 7: Network and application protocol requirements for wireless communication
  • Part 8: Physical layer and data link layer requirements for wireless communication

By leveraging an international standard for how EVs share data with grid operators, our work will enable reliable, secure and scalable integration of California’s growing fleet of EVs with the low-carbon electrical grid of the future. Although focused on California, which leads the nation in EVs with over 150,000 vehicles, this project is applicable to grid operators across the country in managing EV charging with minimal impacts and the greatest environmental benefit.

—Mike Ferry, PI and CSE’s senior manager for advanced energy projects

This two-way data exchange will create a means to use EV batteries to help manage variable grid conditions, generation oversupply and other challenges associated with the state’s goals to decarbonize its electricity sector with renewable energy resources such as solar and wind.

Vehicle-grid integration would provide significant energy demand flexibility during times when utilities predict upcoming peak usage or times of excess renewable energy generation. Instructions could be sent to vehicle chargers to reduce or delay charging until grid conditions change, but still provide EV drivers the option to charge based on mobility needs and at times with the best utility rates.

CSE and KnGrid will be working with other experts in vehicle-grid integration and utility operations, including RWE-Effizienz, University of California San Diego, Strategen Consulting and Energy Solutions, with additional support from Siemens, CAISO and BMW. Once the DCH platform is developed, it will be tested in a demonstration fleet of EVs at UC San Diego.

The CSE award was one of three granted by the Energy Commission under the solicitation Driving the Integration of Electric Vehicles to Maximize Benefits to the Grid (PON-14-310), for a total of $4,499,976. Under this solicitation, funding was available for:

  • Group 1: Smart and efficient charging for integrating plug-in electric vehicles into the power grid

  • Group 2: Grid communication interfaces for plug-in electric vehicle charging to support vehicle-to-grid services

The two other awards were:

  • ChargePoint, Inc., Next-Generation Grid Communication for Residential PEVs, $1,500,000

  • Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Distribution System Aware Vehicle to Grid Services for Improved Grid Stability and Reliability, $1,499,977

The Energy Commission grant is part of California’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) that provides grant funding for applied research and development, technology demonstration and deployment and market facilitation for clean energy technologies and approaches. The program is funded by ratepayers in the state’s three large electric investor‐owned utilities.


  • Mültin, M. & Schmeck, H. (2014) “Plug-and-Charge and E-Roaming – Capabilities of the ISO/IEC 15118 for the E-Mobility Scenario” at - Automatisierungstechnik, 62(4), pp. 241-248 doi: 10.1515/auto-2014-0002



Many overloaded/limited capacity grids will need improved communication with EVs charging points and EV users to establish:

1) Grid energy level availability and price demanded.
2) EVs energy demand (time, quantity and acceptable price bracket).
3) EVs enery offer (time, quantity and price demanded**)

**EV owners must be able to demand certain price levels based of time of day etc as grid operators do. Grid operators can accept or refuse the offers.

Marc Mültin

The first open source ISO 15118 implementation is now available with the RISE V2G project, licensed under the Eclipse Public License. Collaboration and participation is highly welcome!

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