Here’s a true story: The Grün family recently purchased an electric vehicle which they use as a second car. And their motivation to buy an electric car was definitely “eMotional”: the car offers nearly silent running, unique acceleration, plus they can charge it at home with self-generated power from their photovoltaic system. Unfortunately, their “eMotion” also has a flaw: the electric vehicle’s range is limited, and the number of public charging stations is small.
Recharging the vehicle in the country or in the city can be a daunting challenge. Mr. Grün, who occasionally uses his electric vehicle for business trips in the immediate vicinity, often has to ask himself: “Can I make it where I’m going without running out of juice?” The different providers of public charging stations require numerous RFID cards, smartphone apps and/or contracts, pre-paid arrangements, etc. This makes it hard to conveniently charge the electric vehicle away from home. On top of all that, Mr. Grün must also find an available charging station at an appro-priate driving distance, and ideally reserve it in advance.
The goal of the Green eMotion project is to come up with solutions to precisely these problems. The ICT systems of all participating companies are networked by means of a so-called “Marketplace,” which enables drivers to locate and utilize charging stations on their travel route. Because the network also allows for exchanges of real-time data, drivers can determine whether the desired charging station is in fact available, and they can also reserve it. In the future these amenities will be taken for granted throughout Europe, the same way we can use our cell phone or smartphone everywhere and at all times.
The Green eMotion Marketplace for Europe-wide electromobility
In order to offer electromobility services such as the location and reservation of charging stations throughout Europe, all participating ICT systems must be networked together. Under the Green eMotion project, the Marketplace was developed for the purpose of connecting European providers of electro¬mobility services with European charging station operators (see Figure 1). By virtue of a contract with the electromobility services provider, the driver can charge his electric vehicle anywhere, regardless of the charging station operator. For these services, the electromobility services provider bills the driver, either for services actually utilized or on a flat-rate basis. The charging station operator, who does not have a direct contract with the driver, is paid for the use of his charging stations by the electromobility services provider. These two parties utilize the “Clearing House” to settle accounts with each other. The service provider can offer other services as well, such as charging station location and/or reservation, because the Marketplace contains data on all connected charging stations.
This business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for business transactions is the first to connect all electro-mobility participants, including providers of electromobility services, operators of charging stations, power companies, and providers of value-added services related to electromobility. The Marketplace makes it possible to offer a wide range of services throughout Europe, including “roaming” that is the use of charging stations outside the territory of the contractual provider of electromobility services, similar to the market for mobile telephony. The Marketplace is also open to other service providers, who can thus easily offer innovative new electromobility concepts in competition with other providers.
The principal advantage of the Marketplace, which Green eMotion has implemented on the basis of a flexible cloud infrastructure from IBM, is that it reduces the number of interfaces between participants. Open software services thus allow easy access to electromobility services. As a routing system, the Marketplace is also suitable for handling the data flows of a mass market, so it will remain a viable system solution into the future. The technical description of the Marketplace (IT architecture and interfaces) is available to the public on the Green eMotion website .
Almost all 10 demonstration regions of the Green eMotion project in Europe (see Figure 2) will use the Marketplace to demonstrate the workability of the concept. To do this, they will connect their own IT systems to the Marketplace by way of the open interfaces. This will allow them to offer a Clearing House service for Europe-wide roaming and the service Search for location of charging stations (for public access to service Search see ).
Electromobile future of Europe
Green eMotion demonstrates the feasibility of an easy-to-use, convenient European infrastructure for all electric vehicle drivers. To accomplish this, the available charging stations must be connected via the IT systems in such a way that providers of electromobility services can offer them to their customers throughout Europe. Green eMotion has defined the necessary architecture and interfaces and built a demonstration system. Commercial operators can and must implement a permanent solution for Europe, one in which several marketplaces are networked together.
As important prerequisites for attaining this goal, standardized interfaces and business objects are being developed by the industry initiative “eMobility ICT Interoperability Innovation Group” (eMI3), which was founded in 2012 by Green eMotion and other partners, and is continually attracting more partners from different sectors.
The Grün family has something to look forward to. In the near future, they will be able to experience their “eMotion” not only locally but everywhere in Europe, thanks to the results of the Green eMotion Project
About Green eMotion
Green eMotion was launched by the European Commission in March 2011 as a four-year, Europe-wide project to lay the groundwork for the European electromobility market. Ten demonstration regions spread across Europe demonstrate the feasibility of an interoperable, consumer-friendly electromobility system. Among the 42 partners of this initiative are industrial enterprises, automobile manufacturers, power companies, municipal governments, universities, testing institutions, and research centers, which contribute, share, and expand their knowledge and experience within this initiative.