ChargeX working group releases electric vehicle error code recommendations

A consortium operated by several Department of Energy national labs released 26 error codes to improve the reporting of EV charging issues.
A blue charger is plugged into the front of an electric vehicle. Only the nose of white the vehicle is shown in the frame.
Electric vehicles were displayed before a news conference with White House Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg about the American Jobs Plan and to highlight electric vehicles April 2021 in Washington. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A consortium operated by three Department of Energy labs and aimed at improving the electric vehicle charging experience has recommended two dozen common error codes that it says would improve reporting, diagnosing and resolving issues in the charging industry.

The Tuesday report from the National Charging Experience Consortium, known as ChargeX, recommended the minimum error codes in an effort to create consistency among manufacturers of chargers, electric vehicles and charging station operators. Those entities currently use different error codes for the same issues, the Idaho National Laboratory said in a release. 

“We are excited to begin implementing these codes,” Cuong Nguyen, co-chair of the consortium working group that produced the report and manager of industry affairs and standards at ABB, said in the release. “As a company that helped develop these common error codes, we hope to now demonstrate their value to others in the industry, leading to widespread adoption.”

The consortium seeks to measure and substantially improve public charging by June 2025, and comes as part of a national push to grow EV infrastructure. ChargeX is operated by the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and is a product of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which was established by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 


Members in the consortium include electric vehicle charging industry companies, consumer advocates and other stakeholders. Its three working groups are co-chaired by representatives from General Motors, Electrify America and ABB. 

Use of the codes will depend on individual company decisions. 

“Adoption of the minimum required errors codes is voluntary,” John Smart, the director of the ChargeX group, said in an emailed statement to FedScoop. “Many companies helped us write the [minimum required error codes] and have expressed intent to implement. We will keep working with industry participants to encourage implementation.”

In its release, ChargeX noted that ABB and EVgo had demonstrated the use of some of the recommended codes at an event held by charging industry association CharIN in Cleveland. 

EVgo’s chief technology officer, Ivo Steklac, said in a statement that the company was “proud to work alongside” the consortium. “Standardized error codes, which apply to both vehicles and chargers, are foundational for understanding customer experience so the full EV ecosystem can march forward together towards solutions.”

Madison Alder

Written by Madison Alder

Madison Alder is a reporter for FedScoop in Washington, D.C., covering government technology. Her reporting has included tracking government uses of artificial intelligence and monitoring changes in federal contracting. She’s broadly interested in issues involving health, law, and data. Before joining FedScoop, Madison was a reporter at Bloomberg Law where she covered several beats, including the federal judiciary, health policy, and employee benefits. A west-coaster at heart, Madison is originally from Seattle and is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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