IBM (News - Alert) has announced an initiative that will simplify electric vehicle (EV) charging in Europe, regardless of which avenue or autobahn a driver has taken, in a way similar to international roaming for mobile phones.
Part of the Green eMotion project, the initiative is funded by the European Union with the goal of establishing a continent-wide infrastructure for electric vehicles by 2015. Officially launched in March 2011, the Green eMotion consortium now comprises 43 partners from industry, the energy sector, electric vehicle manufacturers, and municipalities, as well as universities and research institutions. Practical research is being conducted in demonstration regions throughout Europe.
The demonstration project developed by Armonk, New York-based IBM, dubbed the B2B Marketplace, will enable drivers to charge their vehicles and pay at any location—across borders and geographies, no matter whom their energy provider happens to be—using shared, integrated services on one common IT platform.
EV drivers will be able to travel without worrying about detouring too far from an allocated charge post or one supported by their own provider. Utilities also will benefit, as the IT platform provides interoperable standards and payment support, reducing potential management issues related to financial settlement and international conversion.
"This marketplace will pave the way for the electromobility mass market in Europe. It allows for open access to charging spots throughout Europe thus making the journey with an e-car simple and convenient," said Dr. Heike Barlag, Siemens (News - Alert) AG, project coordinator Green eMotion.
Based on IBM software and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, the project creates a scalable open-standards environment that enables manufacturers and service providers to link their various services according to consumer and industry requirements. Using analytic software, participants will also have the insight to develop new or improved services to support more electric vehicles, as the market grows. Green eMotion partners such as Enel, SAP (News - Alert) and Siemens have developed the required EV services.
"Green eMotion is spearheading many key developments that have the potential to reinvent Europe's complex transportation system and energy infrastructure. For other countries around the world, there is a lot to be learned from this initiative," said Clay Luthy, IBM Global Distributed Energy Resource Leader. "Our goal is to help add a new layer of intelligence to the electric vehicle market and a new level of convenience to the driver through the Green eMotion project. We believe the demonstration project will foster innovation and further transformation across a larger geographical footprint."
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Edited by Brooke Neuman