Europe-wide ICT network to boost electric vehicle use
Long trips in electric cars are often impractical due to difficulties in charging up a vehicle when driving from one country to another. An EU-funded project has set up a network to ensure that cars can be plugged into charging points in any EU country. This could make electric vehicles more attractive - benefiting industry and the environment.
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Problems with finding suitable charging points when abroad is one of the main challenges facing electric vehicle drivers and often puts many consumers off buying them.
However, encouraging use of electric vehicles by making them more attractive to motorists could reduce air pollution from transport. It also has the potential to generate growth in the electric transport market, boosting Europes industrial competitiveness.
The EU-funded NEMO project has set up a pan-European ICT network the NEMO Hyper-Network to support creation of a standardised electric transport roaming platform. The network makes it easy for charge point and grid operators, drivers and providers of payment, navigation and other related services to exchange information on issues such as electricity needs and supply, billing and driver identification.
Smooth information exchange will create business opportunities for SMEs and larger firms by giving them incentives to develop smart, cost-effective business-to-business and business-to-customer services for more users. This should lead to a better experience for drivers who will be able to charge their vehicles at any charging station, anywhere in Europe.
NEMO will diminish range anxiety the worry that the battery will run out of power before the vehicle reaches its destination by interconnecting charging infrastructures, so long-range and cross-border trips will become a lot easier, says project coordinator, Angelos Amditis, research director at the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems in Greece.
The potential to use a single authorisation method for all charge points will drastically increase electric vehicle usability and boost proliferation. In addition, by connecting energy providers and charge point operators, NEMO will allow for greater penetration of renewable energy sources, he explains.
Making good connections
The project connects previously isolated charging networks and service providers, integrating new and existing infrastructure into a single system. It is composed of a widely distributed environment of nodes servers capable of creating, receiving or transmitting data which gives all participants access to the same information without the need for a central repository.
The network is based on open architecture, making it easy to upgrade. An open market place through which third parties can propose additional services to enhance the system has been set up using cloud technology.
NEMO has standardised the terms used by the network so that participants from across Europe can communicate more easily. It has also created tools for translation of messages from proprietary data models used by NEMO-registered services into the common NEMO language, its common information model.
The network is being demonstrated at test sites in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain in 2019. Following completion of NEMO in September 2019, the Business Alliance for Electromobility will be launched. A non-profit association of organisations active in different areas of electromobility, it will be responsible for operating the network.
Further activities are designed to encourage young researchers and developers to build on the projects results. We want NEMO to give rise to even more innovative electromobility ideas, so we present it to students, young scientists and PhD candidates through lectures in the partners institutes, says Amditis. The technical results, tools, network and services are open to new developers via yearly webinars, workshops held in conjunction with major events and a hackathon where developers collaborate intensively on software projects in spring 2019.