EVerest: The open source software stack for EV charging infrastructure

Electric vehicles desperately need standards for their charging infrastructure. The new Linux Foundation project, EVerest, aims to fill this need.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Even if you'd never buy a Tesla, electric vehicles (EVs) are the future. There's only one big problem. Unlike a gas-based car, where you can always find a gas station when you need to top off, there's nothing like enough electrical charging stations. One big reason for this is that there's no standardization to speak of behind those chargers. The Linux Foundation (LF) plans on changing this with the new LF Energy EVerest project

It's become an LF Energy project, Shuli Goodman, Linux Foundation Energy's Executive Director, explained because, "At LF Energy, we firmly believe that only open source has the speed and transformative power to change industries fast. Our mission is to decarbonize the global economy by enabling the transformation of power systems, the transition to electric mobility, and the radical efficiency of the built environment. In this regard, EVerest is the perfect addition to our ecosystem." 

Goodman added, "There are a million reasons why this is important: Not ending up with old stranded technology, enabling start-ups and innovation, ensuring yesterday's charging can evolve into tomorrows, etc. An open source charging software stack would be a game-changer. With the US about to spend $7.5B between DOE and DOT on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, now is the time to influence the conversation."

The plan is to develop and maintain an open-source software stack for the  EV charging infrastructure. By digitally abstracting the complexity of multiple standards and use cases, EVerest runs on any device. I repeat, any device. This includes everything from AC home chargers to public DC charging stations. In short, it will support all three Electric vehicle charging level standards.

Now EVerest doesn't do everything. For example, we're still stuck with five different EV connection types: SAE J1772, CHAdeMO, Combined Charging System (CCS), Tesla Supercharger, and ISO 15118 / Plug and Charge. This is a major problem in its own right, and it needs to be fixed. But, EVerest can fix the software incompatibilities underlying the physical chargers. 

The project was started and open-sourced by PIONIX GmbHEVerest is currently hosted on GitHub. It's licensed under the Apache 2.0 open-source license.

EVerest is an open source software framework to configure several interchangeable modules. These use the MQTT machine-to-machine messaging protocol to connect with each other. EV companies can use this to set up their charging software and networks, so they can work on higher-value activities.

This framework is a software stack designed to run on Linux. The EVerest Dependency Manager (EDM) orchestrates these loosely coupled modules. Each module provides different capabilities and is launched by the EDM. Communication is done via a local MQTT server. You get a deal of control over which modules you can use and how to configure them together. It's very flexible. You set this up using module manifest files and a setup specific system configuration. Both of these are written in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). 

This means that the people building the EV infrastructure is that it's easy to adapt to your hardware and specific situation. For example, if you're using solar power and your electricity supply is constrained, you can set it up to dynamically adapt for your installation.

EVerest specifically is made to manage energy communication between the following technologies:

  • Car (EN IEC 61851, ISO 15118)
  • Local energy generation & batteries (Modbus, Sunspec)
  • Adjacent chargers (WIP)
  • Grid (including specific grid constraints)
  • Cloud backend / payment (OCCP 1.6)
  • User (interface)

This is still very much a work in progress. EVerest welcomes everyone to contribute to this project and help it scale for the benefit of all. To learn more about EVerest, visit the project on GitHub and get the latest updates by subscribing to the EVerest mailing list.

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