Interface integrates e-vehicles into smart grid

November 15, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
To connect electric vehicles to the power grid seamlessly, researchers from Fraunhofer ESK have specified and implemented the required communication interface. The aim is to create a system in which electric vehicles use and temporarily store energy. The charging station serves as an active node that communicates with the vehicle and an energy management system in the smart grid. The research activity is part of the EU-sponsored SMARTV2G project (smart vehicle-to-grid interface).

Researchers are creating a consistent, manufacture-independent specification for the E-vehicle-to-charging station communication through ISO/IEC15118. This standard defines a comprehensive exchange of information that is essential for the “smart” charging process. Communication between the charging station and the smart grid will be based on an enhancement of the IEC 61850 global standard.

With the development of this interface, Fraunhofer ESK researchers provide a significant contribution to the further development of the IEC61850-90-8 specification, which to date has been available in draft form. By combining the two standards, the charging station is transformed into a node that integrates the electric vehicle charging process into the smart grid. 


A demonstrator developed by the Fraunhofer researchers simulates the entire information chain, from the vehicle to the energy management system of a control centre. During this simulation a variety of information such as battery status, charging progress, charging mode, authentication data and price and payment information are exchanged among the participants. 

The SMARTV2G (smart vehicle-to-grid interface) project is funded through the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7).