With which card to charge… That’s the question.

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How does an access control system in a charging station work?

When presenting a charging card to a charging station, the control system performs two operations: authentication of the tag (the Hidden ID) and determination if it has sufficient credentials to open a specific lock (a.k.a. the white list lock in a charging station).

The key (NFC tag) and lock mechanism (White List)  for a charging station work just like any other. For example, you may have a card with an NFC tag to enter the gates at your gym and nowadays you have a bus or train card which also work the same way.

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Charging station: a computer on the street

“Tesla Model S hacked: Researchers discover six security flaws in popular electric car.” At a time when cars are becoming more and more high-tech and connected with all kinds of management systems, the dangers of them becoming targets of hackers is increasing. According to the various articles on the subject, Tesla decided to actually hire hackers to see how far they could get. Smart move, I say.

 

Hackers used to be viewed as people who sat in the attic all day programming. No one really seemed to pay too much attention to hackers back then. Their world sounded complicated already, and very few tried to understand it. Hacking back then was a relatively accepted reputation and the term hacker was just a label slapped onto computer gurus who could push computer systems beyond defined limits.

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Driving electric – the new way of mobility

Before making my first real trip in a full electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, I had only softly touched the gas pedal of a Tesla. Not a sound and still accelerating incredibly quickly is an experience I will never forget. The Tesla Model S P85D can accelerate to 100 km/h in three seconds, some call it turning on the insane button.

When I took the Nissan Leaf for my trip, which can accelerate to 100 km/h in ten seconds, I grinned at the red lights as I could accelerate in just seconds and the cars behind me, became tiny in my rearview mirror. 

It was October, pretty cold in the Netherlands and to my standards, used to South American temperatures, close to freezing. I put the heater on up to 26 degrees to speed up the warmth and turned on the heater for the seats as well, music on, windshield wipers (it was also raining) and I was off to the city Utrecht, I had about 45km to go. With the Nissan Leaf, which has a range of 160 km I could easily make it to my appointment and back. Little did I know that I would be sweating in panic, about 15 minutes into my trip. The battery was fully charged, when I left.

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