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Can Blockchain Solutions Improve EV Charging Infrastructure?

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Can Blockchain Solutions Improve EV Charging Infrastructure?

Blockchain uses the concept of distributed ledger technology to validate and store transactions over a peer-to-peer network. All records in the network are encrypted, anonymous, and cannot be altered once entered.

The technology is best known for its utility in enabling peer-to-peer financial transactions, having been first implemented in Bitcoin (BTC), but its use has since been explored in several sectors, including supply chain management, healthcare, identity verification, media, real estate, and energy.

Blockchain could also have immediate potential applications in the electric vehicle sector.

Roadblocks To EV Adoption

Electric vehicles are plagued by the problem of poor range and the lack of a distributed charging infrastructure versus their fossil fuel competitors.

Models from Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) are the only electric vehicles to surpass the 300-mile threshold, with the Model S Long Range reaching 402 miles per charge, according to Cars.com.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV and Hyundai Kona Electric are Tesla’s closest competitors in this area, lurking around the 260-mile range.

State governments in the U.S. are supporting the development of charging infrastructures. In July, New York announced a $750-million budget, and Florida approved $8.6 million for building charging infrastructure. California approved $437 million in funding in August.

Yet these investments are part of long-term goals to achieve zero carbon emissions. and provide little relief to automakers and EV enthusiasts in the short run.

How Can Blockchain Help?

A paper published by International Finance Corporation in 2018 noted that the EV sector was one of the five top applications for blockchain to aid in the renewable energy push.

Blockchain's utility lies in enabling p2p transactions without the need for a centralized intermediary — in this case, EV makers and EV charging infrastructure providers.

Some startups have devised a solution that could provide an immediate boost to EV adoption: the introduction of an alternative peer-to-peer electric vehicle charging.

Using blockchain-based applications, private owners can share their personal charging platform with the public for a fee.

A public blockchain would allow all related parties to mobilize and transact in a common network. The encrypted distributed ledger technology would make it possible to keep a record of all transactions in the network securely and anonymously.

P2P EV Charging Use Cases

In August 2017, eMotorWerks beta tested the first distributed peer-to-peer charging system in California using the German platform Share&Charge. 

In March 2020, the Share&Charge Foundation launched a decentralized e-roaming solution for EV charging, the Open Charging Network. The initial launch was limited to European markets.

The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative — a consortium of automakers and technology companies — launched back in 2018, with the mission to enact blockchain solutions to make “mobility services more efficient, more affordable, greener, safer and less congested.”

Earlier this month, the MOBI working group launched technical design specs for the Electric Vehicle Grid Integration, or EVGI — a decentralized vehicle charging system that utilizes blockchain.
Automakers Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE: HMC), General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), Bayerische Motoren Werke ADR (OTC: BMWYY), and Hyundai Motor Company GDR (OTC: HYMTF) are members of this initiative.

See Also: GM, Honda-Led Group Launches Blockchain-Based Electric Vehicle Charging Network

 

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