Circontrol avoids the Pluggate problem in billing for EV charging
The electromobility solutions manufacturer thus overcomes one of the biggest problems of the EV sector in terms of payment management
In January this year, Circontrol obtained one of the most stringent certifications related to payment and data management in the whole of the European Union. The Catalan manufacturer and distributor of EV chargers earned the certification under the German Eichrecht Calibration Law, which ensures compliance with high quality standards when verifying payment for EV charging. The certification means that Circontrol’s activity will comply with the MessEV Regulation, audited by the German certifying body VDE.
In essence, compliance with these guidelines offers consumers the possibility of checking that their charging bill is accurate through an understandable and transparent process. This means ensuring the exact amount of energy is billed while guaranteeing that the charging point data has not been altered by a third party. With this certification, Circontrol will be one of the few manufacturers of EV chargers in Europe, and the first in Spain, to comply with this standard of excellence.
Fair billing for consumers and regulators
Achieving this certification is far from trivial, as it involves an in-depth review and adaptation of the operating system of the chargers and their various components, as well as the way in which they connect to other devices. To comply with these requirements, Circontrol’s charging points are fitted with metrologically-certified energy meters in alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) that accurately measure the energy used and physically display the values to users during charging. Once the charge is complete, the charging point encrypts the information before sending it to other systems to prevent it from being modified.
According to Daniel Giménez, Laboratory Manager at Circontrol: “The certification awarded by VDE is extremely strict and means that Circontrol’s products are positioned at the highest level within European standards. In this way, we are also one step ahead of future community regulation, not only from a point of view of the products that we manufacture, but also the company’s manufacturing processes, which will be periodically audited.” Giménez believes that “EV users need to be able to charge their cars with the same peace of mind as they would fill up at the petrol station or shop online”.
Avoiding the ‘pluggate’ problem
It must be said that the question of how secure and reliable the payment protocols for electric vehicle charging should be is the order of the day after various specialised media outlets have revealed that some chargers can bill up to 20% more than the energy consumed. ‘Pluggate’, as the problem is called, is already causing an outcry among consumers in Germany and this could spread to other European countries due to the harm caused to users.
With this in mind, Giménez explains that Circontrol has anticipated the problem in Spain, bringing itself in line with the MessEV Regulation. This has meant that Spanish regulators, such as the Spanish Metrology Centre (CEM), have wanted to find out more about the certification procedure and have visited the manufacturer’s facilities in Viladecavalls.
“Pluggate is a significant problem that Circontrol has decided to tackle from the beginning through compliance with the new German law, allowing the company to position itself at the forefront of secure and reliable billing for end users,” explained the company’s Laboratory Manager. This marks a huge step towards users feeling confident in an EV recharging system that will become increasingly necessary year after year thanks to the growing popularity of electric mobility.