While electric vehicle ownership continues to grow, the e-mobility charging experience is still proving to be fragmented with the many parties involved – mobility providers, service providers and electricity companies – operating across different regions.
In particular, EV owners have had no choice regarding their supplier or the origin of the energy they use, these being selected by the charge point operator.
But that is now open to change with the ReBeam solution from Energy Web, the Belgian transmission system operator (TSO) Elia Group and its German TSO subsidiary 50Hertz and mobility blockchain platform bloXmove.
ReBeam, which is currently being piloted, is aimed to integrate all the different parties typically involved in an EV charging session, including TSOs, DSOs, the charge point operators and potentially others under a common platform.
This Open Charging Network, utilising blockchain based decentralised digital identities and credentials to secure interactions, is designed to enable data sharing, messaging, transactions and verification between different parties, with participants enabled to prove their identities, validate claims and sign messages between one another directly.
In turn, and reported as demonstrated earlier in the month, this should enable pairing of any electricity used at any charge point with electricity supplied to the grid by any supplier, allowing the charge point operator to deliver any power company’s electricity to vehicles without an intermediary.
Energy supplier switch
The report of the demonstration is an energy supplier switch being successfully executed at a public charge point in Berlin by the parties in collaboration with Germany’s largest independent green energy provider Lichtblick and the national charging network LamA.
Lichtblick issued verified credentials to its customer, which then presented the corresponding credential to LamA. LamA then verified the validity of the credential, unlocking the charging point, with Elia Group leveraging its virtual balancing area to settle the energy amounts involved and ensure billing to the chosen electricity supplier and respective customer.
One outcome of this interconnectivity is that end users will be able to select their electricity supplier of choice at any participating public charging station, simplifying the EV charging process and maximising the choice for owners.
Another is that by creating, operating and monetising the services of charging stations, these can become independent profit-generating assets.
A third is that electricity suppliers and grid operators have transparency on charging demand, allowing them greater visibility for balancing their supply, rather than relying only on standard load profiles.
“EV ownership is growing rapidly, backed by national regulations and the net zero transition. In turn, we need to ensure that the technologies which support low-carbon e-mobility solutions are as efficient and convenient as possible”, said Kai Schmied, Innovation Manager at Elia Group.
“ReBeam, once fully developed, will facilitate an EV charging process that streamlines interactions and reduces friction between EVs and suppliers, giving EV users more choice than ever at the charging point.”
While so far ReBeam has been demonstrated with Lichtblick and LamA, the technology can work with any participating providers, say the companies, with their goal to establish an operating area – and e-mobility experience – which extends grid-wide and across different countries.