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SAE International hires world-class contractor team for EV charging PKI cooperative research project

SAE International announced a contract with a best-in-class contractor team, comprising Eonti, DigiCert and VerSprite to perform the technical development of the SAE Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) project, an industry-led pre-competitive research project to strengthen EV charging system security.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a system of processes, technologies, and policies enabling the encryption and digital signing of data. Digital certificates authenticate the identity of users, devices, or services. These certificates create a secure connection for both public web pages and private systems.

With the contractor team onboard, technical work has begun to develop a secure EV charging industry PKI platform that is agnostic to charging system and protocol standards. The project is using agile development practices to design and test the PKI solution in an aggressive 18-24 month schedule.

SAE International is pleased to engage with Eonti, DigiCert and VerSprite, who will collaborate to design, test and deploy this essential PKI solution that will advance the entire electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The contractor team we have assembled brings deep PKI experience. When combined with our project team of industry-leading EV developers, charging network operators and charging equipment developers, the result is a technical development team that is unmatched in the EV charging community.

—Tim Weisenberger, program manager for emerging technology standards at SAE International

Announced in 2020, the project will result in strong end-to-end cybersecurity between the electric vehicle (EV) and the rest of the charging ecosystem. The resulting PKI platform will improve security to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of advanced charging capabilities.

SAE gathered a core team of 10 companies from the EV charging sector to develop the fundamental documents for the project. A partial list of the core team includes:

  • ABB
  • ChargePoint
  • eMobility Power
  • Fastned
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors
  • Shell

These companies jointly developed the groundwork for the SAE project to create a suitable PKI, including design, governance, and operations for the EV Charging industry.

SAE will leverage the expertise and experience of its Cooperative Research Program to convene industry members to develop a targeted solution for this critical use case that will be extensible to other automotive and mobility use cases. The project is an example of the SAE Cooperative Research Program which uses agile development techniques to deliver targeted research to solve crucial industry problems and lead to SAE International Standards. The research program moves the needle in emerging technologies and allows industry professionals to rapidly develop global solutions for the industry.

Eonti is a leading professional services consulting firm specializing in PKI and related trust management solutions for global connectedness.  Eonti has been directly responsible for PKI implementations worldwide, providing PKI assessments and trust infrastructure management (strategy, prototyping, governance, architecture, and PKI lifecycle operations management) to various critical infrastructure ecosystems in areas such as IoT, transportation, communications, utilities, health, and aviation. 

DigiCert is the world’s leading provider of scalable TLS/SSL, IoT and PKI solutions for identity and encryption. The most innovative companies, including 89% of the Fortune 500 and 97 of the 100 top global banks, choose DigiCert for its expertise in identity and encryption for web servers and Internet of Things devices. DigiCert supports TLS and other digital certificates for PKI deployments at any scale through its certificate lifecycle management solution, CertCentral. The company is recognized for its enterprise-grade certificate management platform, fast and knowledgeable customer support, and market-leading security solutions.

VerSprite is an international leader in risk-based cybersecurity consulting services and threat modeling. Their offensive approach goes beyond assessing security controls to examine credible threats to understand the likelihood of real-world abuse cases and measure the magnitude of the business impact if a breach should occur.


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