Mobility Pilots on the Blockchain — Lessons Learnt
If we’re all going to learn, let’s learn together. Don’t repeat the mistakes of others. Don’t reinvent the wheel. This month MintBit focuses on mobility (read our previous analysis on how blockchain will disrupt the mobility sector here).
2. ElaadNL / IOTA Pilot
Problem To Be Solved
- Seamless vehicle payments in EV-charging.
- Proof-of-Concept: PoC with a cute mini Tesla for kids.
- Frictionless Payments: Real-time zero fee payments, directly from the vehicle to the charging station.
- Pure IOTA solution: A charge station running on IOTA, for payment, all communication AND storing measurement values (i.e. smart meter).
- Looking Ahead: DLTs (Distributed Ledger Technologies) can have real impact on the information flow and security of the grid, because of the possibilities of decentralised balancing.
In our interview, Alisa Maas, Head of Mobility & Automotive at IOTA Foundation, underscored:
‘‘Co-creation and open innovation are not just buzzwords for the non-profit IOTA Foundation, but is a founding principle of the IOTA Project. This is visible through community driven projects such as ElaadNL’s charging PoC. These projects are accelerators for industry adoption as well as contribute to scaling. It is amazing to see how IOTA’s open source technology motivates smart minds to dedicate time and resources to support the project.”
How It Works
- Blockchain Type: IOTA Tangle (IOTA Foundation)
- Interaction Interface: The IOTA charging station operates completely autonomously and takes care of communication and payment with the end ‘user’. The meter values are stored every 15 minutes in the Tangle, which ensures reliable and irrefutable administration.
- IOTA Tangle: The IOTA Tangle is not a traditional blockchain. The Tangle is an innovative type of DLT specifically designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) environment. It is an open-source protocol facilitating novel Machine-to-Machine (M2M) interactions, including secure data transfer, fee-less real-time micro-payments.
- Other Technologies 1: The charger is part of the new ElaadNL test site in the Netherlands. More importantly, it contains all types of charging stations that are used in the public area in the Netherlands.
- Other Technologies 2: The charging station has all the common components of a normal charging station. A kWh-meter, a contactor, EVSE controller and a main controller. The charger is equipped with hardware to setup a TCP/IP connection with a car, after which the payments and data exchange happen fully autonomously, in line with e-Mobility ISO 15118.
- Open Charge Point Protocol: Usually, the main controller communicates with a back office using the Open Charge Point Protocol (invented by ElaadNL, now used all over the world in charging stations).
How To Get In
- Open Charge Point Protocol: The Open Charge Alliance (OCA) is a global consortium of public and private electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure leaders that have come together to promote open standards. Download the OCPP here.
- Oct 2017: Elaad NL built a PoC charging station.
- April 2018: ElaadNL launched the world’s first IOTA Smart Charging Station.
As highlighted by Harm van den Brink from ElaadNL:
- M2M and micropayments:
“This charger shows the ability of using real machine to machine communications and micro-payments, with the use of IOTA as a secure layer for these payments and data. DLT technology might become a widespread thing in the near future.”
- Data democratisation: Public DLTs have a unique quality — to share data with other devices, fully autonomously.
- Incentivising behaviour : In our discussion, Harm van den Brink touched upon the project ElaadNL is working on now:
“We are exploring the possibilities to do capacity management of a transformer and its connected end-devices, using IOTA as a data transport layer and payment layer for incentivising devices to display a certain behaviour (lowering energy consumption, or even using more energy).”
As seen by Alisa Maas, from IOTA Foundation, are as follows:
“The charging PoC will be scaled up in a minimum viable ecosystem with multi partner set up to mature IOTA’s early stage technology and to reach product market fit, both are an ongoing processes where all parties experiment, learn and improve together.’’
Proving again — the beauty and power of the blockchain ecosystem lies in its network, the ability to share knowledge and to work together.