The electric vehicle (EV) industry is growing rapidly, with sales expected to reach over 50 million units by 2035. This growth is driven by several factors, including government incentives, EV running costs, and increasing consumer awareness of the environmental benefits of EVs.
The Rapid Growth Of The EV Industry
In the UK, the government has set a target of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. This target is driving significant investment in the EV charging infrastructure, with the number of public charge points expected to increase from around 30,000 today to over 300,000 by 2030.
However, the increased number of EV charging points could open up a wave of potential cybersecurity threats. Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting EV charging stations, as they see them as a vulnerable point in the EV charging infrastructure.
What are the security risks of EV charging stations? Why are they vulnerable to cyber-attacks?
There are several reasons why EV charging stations are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In one way or another, the stations are connected to the internet, which gives attackers a way to gain access to them. On top of that, EV charging stations are often located in public places, which makes them difficult to secure. As a result, they become a prime target for cyber-attacks.
One of the most concerning cyber threats to EV charging stations is malware. Malware can infect charging equipment and spread among stations, causing widespread disruption and inconvenience. "If somebody can't charge their car at the time they need to because of some malware or some sort of cybersecurity attack, that's a big problem,” – Michael McCarthy, chief strategist for cybersecurity firm Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT).
In 2022, researchers discovered a vulnerability in ChargePoint's EV charging stations that could allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to the stations and steal user data.
In addition to the threat of sensitive user data access, it has also been investigated that attackers can use home EV charging connections as a backdoor to get into the homeowner's network.
Essentially, once the charging point has been compromised it can expose users and their data, and as the number of EV charging stations continues to grow, so too will the risk of cyber-attacks. Therefore, it is important to take steps to mitigate these risks and to protect them from cyber-attacks.
Protecting EV Charging Points From Cyber-Attacks
EV charging installers play a critical role in preventing these attacks by implementing cyber-security measures during the installation process.
In addition to protecting against security risks, cyber-secure EV charging stations can also offer a number of other benefits, such as:
- Improved reliability and uptime
- Reduced costs associated with security incidents
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
- Increased trust and confidence in the EV charging infrastructure
- Improved compliance with industry regulations
Governments and industry associations can play an important role in promoting cyber security at EV charging stations by sharing best practices, and providing support to businesses, and enforcing regulations such as the new EV public charge point regulations.
The New EV Public Charge Point Regulations
On November 24, 2023, new EV Public Charge Point Regulations came into force in the UK. These regulations aim to improve the user experience and make it easier and more affordable for people to charge their electric vehicles.
Some of the key requirements of the new regulations include:
The new regulations are expected to have a positive impact on the EV charging industry in the UK, by making it easier and more convenient for people to charge their electric vehicles. CSL's critical connectivity solutions play a part in ensuring the connection remains resilient and secure.
Securing Your EV Charging Connectivity
CarCharger.ie are EV Charging Specialists who provide a network of EV charging stations for homes and businesses across the island of Ireland. Before working with CSL connectivity had always been a challenge, and this heavily affected the uptime and customer experience.
By using CSL's critical connectivity solutions CarCharger.ie can reduce engineer call-outs, saving time and money, but most importantly it ensures this is always done securely. This is vital, as CarCharger.ie uses payment management applications via this connectivity and CSL's solutions ensure data transfer is always cyber-secure. Read more about CarCharger.ie's connectivity in our case study.
Our Managed Roaming IoT SIMs and Routers provide seamless network connectivity for a wide range of parking industry applications. Our IoT solutions support critical functions of the parking ecosystem, including EV Charging, Payment Machines, ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition), Smart Parking, and CCTV surveillance. With our Managed Roaming IoT SIMs and Routers, you can ensure reliable and secure connectivity for your parking operations.
About CSL Group
CSL was founded by Simon Banks in 1996, as a UK alarm signalling provider. Today, we have over 2 million managed connections supporting mission-critical IoT applications across Europe, and we are continuing to grow and innovate.
We connect, manage and secure the Internet of Things. The world of Critical Connectivity is ever changing. We're constantly developing, evolving and transforming our platforms and services to bring our customers more powerful connected solutions.