Revolutionising EV charging infrastructures in the UK

6th September 2018
Alex Lynn

The infrastructure for public electric vehicle charging in the United Kingdom has recently exceeded 6,000 locations, all provided by a variety of providers and networks with different forms of payment and chargers. Unfortunately, this still makes it necessary for the EV driver to handle more than one solution to access different charging stations.

This is a challenge that is obstructing the rapid adoption of electric vehicles. To overcome this obstacle for EV drivers, Share&Charge initiated an interoperability pilot with partners like Electric Blue, EVBox, EVDriver, Hubeleon, The Phoenix Works and Volkswagen Financial Services to test blockchain as a possible solution.

Being able to charge electric vehicles easily and quickly whenever and wherever customers need to is going to be one of the most decisive factors in adopting new electric mobility. This means that a seamless charging experience with unrestricted access and convenient payment solutions is essential for the technology's success. However, in many markets worldwide, there is the phenomenon of limited interoperability as well as cumbersome payment implementations, since each stakeholder is working on their own solution. This is also true for the United Kingdom.

Emerging blockchain technology offers a simple and easy-to-use solution that achieves interoperability when paying for electric vehicle charging. The open, trust-building and decentralised nature of a blockchain network allows companies to interact cooperatively in a competitive market and secure peer-to-peer token transfers to facilitate straightforward payment.

The initiative from Share&Charge with Electric Blue, EVBox, EVDriver, Hubeleon, The Phoenix Works and Volkswagen Financial Services is now carrying out a pilot scheme in the UK to analyse whether this vision can be achieved.

Share&Charge focuses on running technical integration tests with different charging stations and test vehicles from Volkswagen Financial Services as well as comparing costs of traditional roaming solutions with a new decentralised approach. Share&Charge, the blockchain network for EVs, is expanding its outreach from Central Europe to the United Kingdom.

Dietrich Sümmermann, CEO of Share&Charge's mother company MotionWerk, explained: "We see great potential in this first trial and blockchain can be the crucial enabler. Therefore, we are now setting up a foundation as new entity to allow all parties to cooperate and jointly define blockchain based standards for the best of the end customer."

MotionWerk has been a blockchain spin-off of the innogy Innovation Hub whose vision it is to further support an open sourced decentralised future of energy which strongly converges with the Internet of Things, Blockchain, smart devices and e-mobility.

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