- Research partners developed a cross-industry platform allowing drivers to control charging of electric cars
- Purpose is to increase usability for drivers and build an ecosystem making it easier to deploy electric cars around the world
- Partners are Volvo Car Corporation, Göteborg Energi, Viktoria Institute and Ericsson
Through an innovative research project across several industries, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) will bring mobile connectivity to electric cars and put choice and control over the charging schedule into the hands of drivers.
The new architecture allows drivers to control charging of cars while they are plugged into any ordinary power outlet. Additionally, the system directs energy costs to the car owners' bill. The driver sets the time and amount to charge on a console in the car or remotely via a smartphone or tablet.
Using the mobile network, the car then communicates with the grid so that charging is scheduled based on energy prices on the grid, reducing user costs. For the energy utilities, coordinating the charging of cars across the grid is more efficient and sustainable.
To provide a range of perspectives the concept was developed in a consortium involving Volvo Car Corporation, Göteborg Energi, the leading utility in western Sweden, Ericsson and Viktoria Institute, a non-profit IT research institute.
Per-Åke Olsson, CEO at Viktoria Institute, said: "Our mission is to take knowledge to market as innovations. This is a successful example of cross-industry collaboration with great business potential. We believe that this project will support global market penetration of electric vehicles, thus helping society towards sustainable mobility."
Göteborg Energi is taking an interest in the digitalization of the charging infrastructure, and the strategies and possibilities it creates. "Electric vehicles will be a key component both for a sustainable society and for a smart grid. We are committed to making the charging of the vehicles easy, as well as optimizing the use of the power grid at the same time," says Lotta Brändström, CEO Göteborg Energi.
The Volvo Electric C30, now in low-scale production for leasing customers in Europe, has been used during the project and equipped with the in-vehicle meter and software. Lennart Stegland, Vice President Electric Propulsion Systems, Volvo Car Corporation, said: "Our basic view is that the owner of an electric vehicle shouldn't have to sacrifice any of the properties he or she expects from a luxury car. This smart technology for charging in any outlet, and paying automatically via your own electricity bill, is an excellent example of how we do everything to make the daily use easier for the customer."
Ericsson's contribution to the project is to understand and influence how existing and future mobile networks, services and terminals can support new business concepts as well as services that benefit society. Ericsson is providing IT and communications expertise.
Paolo Colella, Head of Consulting and Systems Integration at Ericsson, says: "New solutions like these need to seamlessly and reliably coordinate multi-party machine-to-machine and human-to-machine interactions, where both people and machines are mobile, while allowing secure financial transactions. Our job is to make that simple."
Key points of the project include:
- Using existing mobile networks and the grid
- Having the electricity meter in the vehicle which allows control of charging, either immediately or on a schedule set by the driver, with the costs being allocated against the driver's bill.
- A flexible model to adapt to different regulations around the world, and support for a variety of novel business models - some with new actors like over-the-top application providers.
- The project has been financed by the four partners as well as the region of Västra Götaland and the research foundation of Göteborg Energi.
The specially equipped Volvo Electric C30 will be on display at Ericsson's Hall 6 at LaFira during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, from February 27 - February 29, 2012.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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Ericsson is the world's leading provider of communications technology and services. We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-time solutions that allow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely, in sustainable societies around the world.
Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Information and Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries. Today more than 40 percent of the world's mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks and we support customers' networks servicing more than 2 billion subscribers.
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ABOUT VIKTORIA INSTITUTE
Viktoria Institute is a non-profit IT-research institute located at Lindholmen in Gothenburg in Sweden. Viktoria institute is focusing on automotive and transport informatics and employs approximately 40 researchers. Viktoria Institute is a part of Swedish ICT.
ABOUT VOLVO CAR CORPORATION
Volvo Car Corporation is one of the car industry's strongest brands, with a long and proud history of world-leading innovations. Volvo sells approximately 450.000 cars per year in about 120 countries and comprising some 2,000 sales outlets and service workshops around the world. Volvo Car Corporation's headquarter and other corporate functions are based in Gothenburg, Sweden. For more information, please check www.volvocars.com and www.youtube.com/volvocarsnews
ABOUT GÖTEBORG ENERGI
Göteborg Energi is Western Sweden's leading energy company. The company's objective is to provide its customers with energy services, broadband, district heating, cooling, natural gas and the electricity supply network. The overall long term purpose is to create sustainable energy solutions for Göteborg. Efficient energy provision is one of the most important building blocks of a well-functioning society. To achieve this goal, Göteborg Energi has today developed into a versatile energy company, offering services and products that make life easier for both companies and individuals.