Share&Charge: Blockchain-based Airbnb for electric car charging points

Volvo electric car of the futureVolvo

Share&Charge, an E-mobility community platform with blockchain technology, is now available in both the Google Play Store and App Store. The transparent community concept for E-mobility drivers originates from an Essen-based start-up firm which will soon operate under the name of "Motionwerk" and whose first ever product is Share&Charge, said a statement. Share&Charge came to life in the innogy Innovation Hub, and is now to be spun off as an independent company – with innogy as its first investment partner.

Share&Charge combines lots of things that the community of E-mobility drivers have wanted for a long time, and addresses the anxieties that currently surround the topic of E-mobility. Share&Charge enables anyone to make their charging point accessible and billable, and therefore supports the concept of the sharing economy between active E-mobility drivers. Thanks to blockchain technology, Share&Charge, which has been developed with the support of two further start-ups, slock.it and XTECH, also offers a straightforward, open and secure payment system.

Dietrich Sümmermann, co-founder of Share&Charge, said: "The entire market structure of the automotive industry and the associated energy industries is in a period of change. While petrol-driven cars still require filling stations, soon, infrastructure monopolies of this kind will no longer be necessary. Hundreds of plug-in units can undertake this task instead. And they won't available at a few selected locations, but on a decentralised basis with lots of individual units." He emphasises: "We want to give people and companies the instruments that enable them to actively participate in the future of mobility."

Advertisement

The private owner of a charging point or the owner of a small business are able to share their service with others and set and bill a price. This enables the additional use of charging points that have low rates of usage, and enables the operator to actively support electric mobility and earn money with their charging point. And for drivers of electric cars, the risk of flat batteries is also reduced. There is also a further benefit in urban areas with limited parking space for cars: in addition to the charging power, a parking space is also offered.

Since Share&Charge not only lists private charging points but public ones as well, the worry of suddenly experiencing flat batteries in an electric car soon dissipates. "This worry is one of the main reasons why, when compared at the international level, Germany isn't one of the leaders when it comes to electric mobility," said Sümmermann. Owners of electric cars can find their nearest charging point with a few clicks, he said. The app enables the search for the nearest charging point to be adapted according to specific criteria on an interactive map.

Starting with 1.000 charging points from the first cooperation partner innogy, several charging points are already available to E-mobility drivers, enabling them to charge their vehicle and start on their journey with Share&Charge.

The payment process is also transparent: the account lists all the transactions, provides charging options and also provides the option for the repayment of credit balance. In this respect, the person charging their vehicle pays a fee to the owner of the charging point, who can set the prices individually. The prospective customer is shown the prices before they begin charging. This means that the members of Share&Charge – whether it's a service provider or a user – have full control over their costs, and the price is set according to their requirements.

Carsten Stöcker, blockchain evangelist at the innogy Innovation Hub, is proud of what has been achieved: "With the help of blockchain technology, Share&Charge is bringing a sense of democracy to E-charging points. In addition to this, the start-up has brought hundreds of innogy charging points to the blockchain and has therefore become the first company worldwide to "blockchainify" charging points all over the country. Our next goal is to integrate charging stations from additional partners in Europe and to develop the technology further on a consistent basis. That is Disruption Made in Europe."

READ MORE
© Copyright 2017 IBTimes Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.