Intelligent mobility solutions are the driving force behind shifting the way humans utilize methods of better transportation efficiency. Electric vehicles (EVs), and on a broader scale, autonomous vehicles, are key elements of this changing sector, and their reliance on battery charging from the electricity grid presents several key opportunities for blockchain technology:
Integrating Blockchain into the EV Ecosystem
1. Peer-to-peer EV charging – there are already a few charging station companies — one of the most notable being eMotorWerks through partnership with the Share&Charge network — that are utilizing blockchain technology to allow for a peer-to-peer network of their charging stations. Owners of home charging stations and commercial charging stations can earn money from their stations by allowing other EV drivers to use them as part of one centralized network through smart contract transactions. By increasing (and selling) access to electric vehicle charging stations, EV owners can collectively work together to decrease the range anxiety of other EV drivers.
2. Swapping of EV batteries – aside from charging stations, battery swapping stations is a second, quicker, solution for EV refueling. However, for EV owners, this technology is still in the blueprint phase, with several visions having been proposed (i.e. Elon Musk) on how it can be effectively implemented without repeat of failure (i.e. Better Place). An element of this form of refueling is the need for decentralized, accurate traceability in the transaction between EV owners and swapping stations. This lack of trust and desire for guaranteed immutability can prevent this method of EV refueling from advancing. Blockchain smart contract technology has the potential to better manage the transaction of accurate battery and price information between EV owners and swapping stations to help solve the mistrust issue which exists.
3. Recharging the electricity grid – Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is a process by which there is a bi-directional electricity flow between electric vehicles and the electrical power grid. Using this technology, EVs are able to return (sell) electricity back to the power grid in order to help assist with load sharing of the electricity network. Blockchain technology can help advance the V2G process by providing an accurate, secure and transparent method for EV owners to sell electricity from their at-rest-EVs back to the grid.