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PLC tracer

Technological innovation contributing to the development of electric mobility.


Intelligent Systems / Altran’s PLC Tracer technology provides the ability to analyse, simulate and mediate communications between electro-car and charging point.

One of the major constraints on the growth of e-Mobility is the availability of public charging stations. One of the factors that limits investment in the infrastructure is the lack of standardization in the plugs, cables, voltage and data communication, which vary in many parts of the world. As long as there is a risk that charging batteries at public charging stations may not work, it will be difficult for car makers to get acceptance among the population, since potential buyers will not be sure whether they will be able to charge their cars quickly when they are on the road.

PLC Tracer


PLC Tracer is activated during the power-recharging process and monitors the smooth data transfer between the connected elements. The tracer’s software can capture compliance conditions and required patterns of behaviour. This makes it possible for manufacturers and operators to ensure their products are compatible with the emerging standard for e-vehicle charging (ISO 15118):

  • Car manufacturers can test that a vehicle can be charged
  • Parts suppliers for car makers can check whether their components for the electro-car conform to the standard.
  • Manufacturers & operators of charging stations on the other hand can test the compliance of their products and infrastructures.

Furthermore, PLC Tracer technology can provide a bridge to adapt particular to particular compatibility circumstances, and also provides a simulation capability for compatibility testing.


Case Reference

With the PLC Tracer, Intelligent Systems / Altran can take act as a facilitator supporting the various industrial players in the energy and the automotive sectors.

According to Cosimo de Carlo, Executive Director of Altran's Automotive, Infrastructure & Transportation Industry (AIT), "By providing a solution to the problems related to data transfer between electric vehicles and recharging stations, Altran's PLC Tracer offers car makers, automotive-part suppliers and recharging-station manufacturers the ability to ensure that their components are compliant with new emerging standards".

In the future, the communication bandwidth provided by the charging station may support other services – perhaps the delivery of audio or video entertainment!