The market for electric vehicles is taking another “one big leap forward“, as the first autonomous charging station, where payments can be completed using a virtual currency, has been demoed. This new offer has been jointly designed by Elaad and IOTA. These innovative services are further additions on a very promising market for mobility-focused industry players.
The Dutch company Elaad specialises in renewable energies, and is unveiling the first charging station for electric cars where transactions can be completed using a virtual currency. This currency has been developed by the IOTA Foundation.
This innovative Distributed Ledger Technology has been especially designed for IoT environments, as an open-source protocol (IOTA) for facilitating Machine-to-Machine interactions. It relies on IOTA Tangle technology (DLT likely to challenging more famous Blockchains). In theory, it could considerably reduce the amount of time required to validate transactions and, of course, their transaction cost. The user’s payments are fee-less and processed in real time.
IOTA charging stations operate autonomously. They rely on solar energy and wind power provided by Elaad. The payment step is conducted using the above mentioned crypto-currency via IOTA wallet. The data exchanged between the car and the charging station go through the charging cable. The user only has to plug in his car: no other step is required on his part. The station is being tested by students in Arnhems Buiten business park, in the Netherlands.
Comments – Building technological bridges
This service by Elaad and IOTA is one of the first applications binding electric car charging, DLT/crypto-currency and IoT. Likewise bridge buildings should lead to more developments, especially in the energy sector, through other jointly crafted projects by these two partners. In fact, IOTA stand out as a viable alternative to Blockchain technologies, relevant to micropayments, since it barely involves any transaction fees. By contrast, the complexity inherent to processing Blockchain-based transactions makes them more expensive and less adapted to IoT markets.
Elaad and IOTA have already signed contracts with Volkswagen and Bosch on rolling out these charging stations. Automation applied payments for electric car charging also is of interest to Mercedes, however, they do not rely on IOTA.