Demonstrating Blockchain Technology and Integrated Roaming
All content on this case study was created prior to the acquisition of EB Charging by Blink Charging.
Electric Blue formed part of a project group along with MotionWerk, Hubeleon and VolksWagen, to explore the improvement of the accessibility of electric vehicle charging points. Share&Charge is an open source electric vehicle (EV) charging protocol, that utilises blockchain technology to provide solutions for the challenges of a fragmented Charge Point market. The UK Pilot, in collaboration with several partners, aimed to test the potential benefits of utilising blockchain technology for EV charging infrastructure across the United Kingdom.
MotionWerk GmbH develops blockchain-based software solutions for the mobility industry. The company became known for the product “Share&Charge”, a Peer2Peer charging network that was considered one of the first live products at the public Ethereum Blockchain. Share&Charge is preparing a token sale on a decentralized protocol for EV charging, transactions, and data sharing – enabling companies to offer a seamless, smart and secure charging experience.
Working with major players in the broader mobility ecosystem, MotionWerk is researching and developing decentralized technologies for the future of mobility.
With charging infrastructure in the UK recently exceeding over 6,000 charge points, it is becoming more apparent that the charging process does not offer the most fluid, or accessible transactions for EV drivers. This challenge may be a reason behind the limited adoption of EVs, as drivers often have to contend with accessing multiple charging solutions in order to charge their vehicle.
With the charging process being a concern for many drivers when considering the transition to an EV, it is of paramount importance that charging points offer unrestricted access, with payment solutions being open and accessible to all EV drivers.
Electric Blue took part in the Share&Charge pilot, in order to test blockchain technology as a solution to this obstacle. This technology will allow for a more open charging network whereby Charge Point Operators and Mobility Service Providers (MSP) are utilising a decentralised IT infrastructure, providing a convenient, easy-to-use charging service for the end user – EV drivers.
The goals of the Share&Charge pilot were:
- To demonstrate the simplicity and efficiency of a blockchain solution for EV charging.
- To test the interoperability of an EV Charging Network with a compatible backend systems.
- To implement the complete end-to-end process for EV charging from the perspective of end-users (drivers).
- To demonstrate how the software can be run on a charge point operator backend to make charging stations available through the EV Charging Network.
- To prepare for a potential roll-out of the App, utilising the EV Charging Networks.
By utilising the Share&Charge network, this pilot aimed to demonstrate the end-to-end functionality for a public charging transaction. Charging stations were accessed using blockchain transactions during the test phase run by the MSP.
In this pilot, Electric Blue donated use of our charger network, in order to test the interoperability for all EV drivers. As well as this, Electric Blue were responsible for testing the App and payment mechanisms.
Using the MSP App, EV drivers registered and setup a blockchain wallet, located a test station, and started and stopped a charging session within the App. During the pilot, Electric Blue were able to add, configure and remove charge points, as well as show live status via a backend API. This will be true for all future partners who use Share&Charge. Automated payment and settlement were simulated with token vouchers.
- The first of its kind, globally, with technology solutions for token systems and decentralised storage.
- Blockchain technology allows for a decentralised EV charger network which is more efficient than current solutions.
- The MSP App made for a simpler transaction process, allowing EV drivers a smoother charging experience.
- Integration into legacy IT systems can be challenging, so further testing of the blockchain technology is required.
MotionWerk are setting up a non-profit foundation to allow open source use of their blockchain technology (Share&Charge Foundation). Electric Blue are looking forward to seeing their developments and being involved in the future. The possibilities for this technology and the use of “crypto-currency” could re-shape the EV charging market.
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