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New cybersecurity updates are coming to EV chargepoints

Posted by Jasmin: Nov 21, 2022 2 min read

The second phase of The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations is coming into force in December.

Back in June 2022, the UK Government launched new smart charging regulations as part of their drive to raise standards in the electric vehicle (EV) charging industry.

At the time, the features released were designed primarily to promote smart charging functionality and flexibility. This included:

  • A new default charge schedule (which can be overridden) that only charges the EV in off-peak hours
  • A randomised delay of up to 10 minutes at the start and end of a charging session
  • Additional information on charging sessions for EV drivers

Further security requirements were due to follow, which will be coming into force from 30th December 2022.

Why are these regulations being brought into force?

The goal of the Smart Charging Regulations legislation is a worthy one. In order to accommodate the mass adoption of EVs in a timely and cost effective manner, we need to build a flexible charging infrastructure that can work in harmony with the UK grid.

Being able to smartly charge EVs by deferring charging from times of high demand and/or low renewable electricity supply towards times of low demand and/or high renewable electricity supply offers huge benefits for drivers and the country as a whole.

However, creating a system powerful enough to shift load at such a national scale creates an equally powerful responsibility to ensure that it is kept secure from unauthorised access. Hence the need to tighten the cybersecurity of smart chargers.

So, what’s new?

The latest updates will ensure that chargepoints store, send and receive data securely and receive regular software updates.

This aims to provide stronger encryption and authentication between chargepoints and their management networks, as well as greater transparency around software improvements, to ultimately prevent unauthorised network access.

These are the key features of the December updates:

Tamper detection mechanism

EV chargepoints must now include a tamper detection mechanism. This device records any attempts to remove the front cover and notifies the chargepoint’s owner.

Security event log

Chargepoint owners must now be able to see a log of notifications in relation to their charger via a new recorded security event log.

Software and security standards

As part of the regulations’ aim to improve transparency, users will be able to see which software version their chargepoint has, as well as when a software update is due.

There are also new encryption and authentication standards to further enhance the security of chargepoints connected to online networks.

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