Once each party has accepted each other’s certificates as validated by a third party, the charging session starts automatically. Robert Barrosa, senior director of sales, business development and marketing at Electrify America, called it “a three-legged stool.” Each step must prove its validity using a public key infrastructure before the other two accept it.
The payment mechanism often begins with a predefined charge credit on a specific network provided with the purchase of the vehicle. It varies between a predetermined number of kilowatt hours or unlimited use for a certain time. At the end of the car manufacturer’s incentive, the network charges the owner’s credit card.
Of the charging providers, Electrify America has the most widely implemented Plug & Charge system. A Automotive News Testing the system using the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan and Porsche Taycan at multiple Electrify America locations found it to work flawlessly. Lucid and Rivian also support Plug & Charge.
From a driver’s perspective, charging an electric vehicle with Plug & Charge is as easy as using the Tesla system. But already there is a risk of confusion about how the Plug & Charge system is named. In June, General Motors announced that its new Ultium-based electric vehicles would have “Plug and Charge” capabilities for the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq and future electric models.
The system offers GM customers frictionless charging sessions with EVgo, the automaker’s fast charging partner.
The software below is currently not ISO 15118 compliant. Instead, it is based on a different protocol called Autocharge. It validates a charging session using a vehicle’s fixed Media Access Controller or MAC address – essentially the car’s address on a network. It’s older technology. Vehicles without a fixed MAC address cannot use it.