HIL Tests for Plug-and-Charge Features

In this use case, the behavior of the different PKI participants is simulated for comprehensive testing of plug-and-charge features.

  • Testing advanced features based on the ISO 15118-2 charging communication standard, including plug-and-charge (PnC) and value-added services (VAS)
  • Support for Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption and key and certificate handling


Advanced charging features, such as plug-and-charge (PnC) and value-added services (VAS), add further participants to the charging process. As a result, the requirements for charging communication are continuously on the rise, especially with regard to security, data integrity, and authenticity of the communication partners. When it comes to integration tests for electric vehicles, the behavior of all participants in the charging infrastructure and the public key infrastructure (PKI) must be simulated to validate and ensure the robustness of the charging process.


The PnC feature, which is described in the ISO 15118-2 standard, allows for automated communication and billing processes between the EV and the charging station. The only thing the customer has to do is to plug the charging cable into the EV and the charging process begins. Easy charging processes are a key factor for securing full acceptance of electromobility. However, to achieve failsafe authentication, the charging station and the EV must exchange a large amount of data that is particularly sensitive, such as personal data, payment details, or contracts. Secure data transfer is key. This requires setting up a public key infrastructure (PKI), a system which manages digital certificates required for secure digital communication. For charging applications, this PKI involves various participants, including charge point operators, e-mobility service providers, and electric vehicle OEMs.

For the development of smart charging technologies, this means that all additional functions related to the PnC feature, including the billing process, security features, and data transfer, must be thoroughly tested and validated. This is the only way to secure authentication, reliable charging processes, full interoperability of the participants, and the protection of the customer’s data privacy.

However, encrypted communication is also needed for other features, such as VAS, to allow the relevant provider to offer differentiated services based on proprietary communication via a standardized channel.

Testing all these security features requires simulating a complete test environment or using a productive PKI.


For testing charging technologies, dSPACE offers the Smart Charging Solution, which can be supplemented by the Smart Charging PlugAndCharge Software Module for comprehensive testing of all functions relevant to the PnC context. The PnC feature, as described in ISO 15118-2, uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption within the PKI and therefore requires certificate handling and key usage. The hardware component of the dSPACE Smart Charging Solution, the DS5366 Smart Charging Interface, is able to fulfill these requirements and to simulate the different participants of the PKI.

When testing the advanced charging functions, the focus is on ensuring the correct behavior of the various safety functionalities required for plug-and-charge communication. Here, the dSPACE solution supports you in performing all relevant tasks, including:

  • Installing and updating certificates
  • Ensuring ISO 15118-conform certificate handling
  • Testing payment-related contract handling
  • Validating all payment steps

Since all certificates have an expiration date, our test solution also supports tests with different validity durations.

Regarding extended back-end features, ISO 15118-2 already provides a dedicated channel for transferring additional data between the EV and a corresponding communication partner via the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). This channel can be used for various purposes, such as to connect to a web server, smart home applications, or a fleet management system for trucks or a rental car pool. These extended features are referred to as value-added services (VAS) and can also be tested with the dSPACE solution.

Conformance Tests

To ensure interoperability between electric vehicles and charging stations, a considerable number of charging-standard-specific tests has to be implemented and executed. The Smart Charging ISO 15118-4 Conformance Test Suite provides standardized conformance tests for this purpose. Learn how to carry out these tests with our dSPACE solutions.

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