Cybersecurity in Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Application
We live in a fast-paced technological era in which our automobiles are expected to store power more safely and more quickly than ever before. Vehicle to Grid (V2G) is a key technology that allows improvements in grid efficiency, and it is important to make full use of this technological innovation in the development of a gridable car ecosystem. Simultaneously, it is critical to safeguard the car occupants and ensure the safety of the grid by implementing cybersecurity measures.
Threats in Vehicle-to-Grid communications
An opponent can imitate a charging station in V2G communication to communicate and harm the vehicle’s ECU. This includes tampering with the firmware on a vehicle’s ECU using an onboard charging gun. An adversary might also use this approach to tamper with calibration files, vehicle gateway logic and steal sensitive data.
Exchanged Information Leakage
A lot of confidential information is communicated with the charging station in plug-and-charge infrastructure, which might be exploited. If the IP stack is not secured, the data could get exposed to an impersonated opponent. This might contain credit card information, vehicle digital identification numbers, and data particular to electric vehicle batteries.
EV Charging Station Threats
Charging stations are the terminals of power networks managed by charging point operators (CPO). Tampering with the charging station could lead to an opponent gaining access to the charging station’s backend infrastructure. External devices can also infect the EV charging station by impersonating a vehicle.
What Cybersecurity Measures can be Taken in V2G?
The electrical grid is a vital piece of infrastructure. Every device that is linked to the grid, including electric vehicles and charging stations, must have safeguards to provide protection against cyber-attacks. If third parties gain access to the enormous volumes of charging-related and billing-related data from a charging process, it could lead to the break of consumers’ trust in the EV infrastructure, along with hampering the safety of the infrastructure.
A successful plug-and-charge infrastructure must be able to provide the following:
- Encryption and decryption of messages to ensure that the attacker cannot listen in on the communication.
- Verification of the accuracy of the data that has been exchanged.
- Verification that the communication party (EV or charging point) is who it claims to be so that the authenticity is established.
Current Cybersecurity Applications
Although the growing popularity of electric vehicles is excellent for the environment, charging stations offer a security issue. According to Yury Dvorkin, an expert in electrical and computer engineering at New York University, charging stations can be used as entry sites for cyberattacks on the American electricity infrastructure. Dvorkin describes the grid as a complex blend of cyber and physical levels. Thus, cybersecurity is critical in the transportation infrastructure and the interconnected power networks of the United States. Charging station security that isn’t up to par might endanger vital infrastructures, including the grid and its operators, automobiles, and OEM vendors. According to experts, the problem is complicated since it involves software and equipment providers, stakeholders, and end-users.
As a result of all the concerns, several startups are attempting to ensure effective cybersecurity in V2G.
V2G EVSE, for example, is a UK-based startup specializing in bi-directional charging systems for vehicle-grid connectivity. The company is working on a bi-directional inverter and a V2G controller that includes a communication module. The startup’s design emphasizes dependability, allowing little charger downtime and continuous peak performance. In addition, the communication module, which is currently in development, allows the V2G system to withstand any cybersecurity attacks. These performance and security requirements point to a robust V2G solution.
Another example company is Secure Things.ai. The company is based in California and was founded in 2017. SecureThings.ai addresses the cybersecurity issue by delivering 360-degree security. To provide edge security, the company employs machine learning and artificial intelligence. The company’s 5G V2X protection solution is recognised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
AUTOCRYPT is also a mobility security supplier specializing in V2X transportation safety. The startup ensures safety in continuously growing the framework of smart mobility from start to finish. Their solutions, backed by decades of industry experience, can be tailored to match any mobility service, application, or vehicle environment. AUTOCRYPT is represented in five different countries through its branch network. They collaborate with OEMs and partners to provide excellent all-in-one security solutions.
Furthermore, DTLLC, a cybersecurity startup based in Michigan, is a federal prime and security research firm comprised of security professionals, hackers, and technical leaders. The company’s first-of-its-kind vehicle-to-grid solution will be designed to protect the electric grid against cyberattacks on electric vehicles and EV charging systems, with the goal of detecting attacks in real-time and limiting grid threats. The technique will be compatible with both existing EV charging facilities and emerging technologies like wireless charging.
What to Expect in the Future?
A compromised V2G infrastructure puts vehicles and grids at risk and attracts sanctions and fines for data privacy violations. In addition, depending on regional legislation, vehicle OEMs and charging station makers may face significant financial consequences. As a result, cybersecurity requirements are a game-changer in the automotive business. Several countries have pledged to adhere to automotive cybersecurity standards for new car releases, while others are yet to establish them. As a result, they start small with a vehicle/infrastructure security assessment and manage cybersecurity risks based on their risk appetite.
The global automotive cybersecurity market was $7.23 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $32.41 billion by 2030. With various experts expressing their concerns regarding electric vehicle charging stations, there is reason to believe that all potential cybersecurity issues will be resolved by 2030. However, while the world awaits these solutions, people are encouraged to use connected electric vehicles globally from an environment standpoint, in spite of the vulnerabilities in these systems.
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