“App”solute EV charging convenience
Electric mobility continues to gain importance. We at Bosch expect to see as many as twelve million new vehicles with electric drive systems on the roads worldwide by the year 2020. Of these, about three million will be vehicles that run exclusively on electric power. As part of the Bosch Software Innovations Innovation Cluster Mobility, I am developing together with my team networked mobility solutions to fascinate and excite our customers.
In the area of electromobility our aim is to dispel the current reservations about the practicality of electric mobility in daily life due to charging limitations in public areas. Many potential buyers of electric cars today are wondering if they will be able to cover long distances just as comfortably and flexibly as with traditional fuels.
Hassle-free mobility any time you need with “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz”
We have now partnered with Daimler AG to make this kind of everyday suitability a reality. The solution is a free mobile app provided for drivers of electric vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz and smart brands. “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz” not only makes having to have a multitude of authentication cards from a variety of providers a thing of the past, but also adds the capability to check the availability of public, web-enabled charging points throughout Germany. When combined these functionalities enable drivers of electric vehicles to use public charging points both regularly and spontaneously – even on longer trips or when just passing through. As I see it, our two companies complement each other perfectly: Bosch Software Innovations has the expertise with respect to networked charging infrastructure and eRoaming solutions while Daimler creates added value for drivers of Mercedes-Benz and smart electric vehicles.
The entire EV charging process, from start to finish, in a single app
What is the added value though specifically? In addition to access to nearly the entire Germany-wide network of public, web-enabled charging infrastructure, the ease of use is particularly extraordinary. All aspects of the charging operation are carried out within the smartphone app: from locating the charging station to starting and stopping as well as paying for the charging operation. There’s no need at all for a complicated contract with a minimum term and basic fee. Payment is taken care of easily and cash-free via PayPal on your smartphone, making charging an electric vehicle transparent and hassle-free even outside of your home region. But that’s not all: further European markets will be added step by step. Our vision for the next development stage even includes the possibility of reserving charging stations as well as price- and route-optimization.
eRoaming – the technology that connects everything
In order to move past the current situation where we need countless access cards for the various providers of electric charging stations, as I outlined above, provider-independent access to the charging infrastructure is needed. As I see it, integrating the various charging station providers and handling the quality assurance requirements this entails is the biggest challenge of our project, after the technological app development. Especially since this is an ongoing task in a new market. I am very pleased that with our launch of the “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz” on December 1, 2014 we have succeeded in incorporating both of the standard eRoaming platforms: Hubject, the platform behind the “intercharge” network and e-clearing.net.
Of course, as a co-founder of Hubject we know the ropes exceptionally well. Hubject GmbH is a joint venture between the companies BMW Group, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, EnBW, RWE and Siemens and operates the eRoaming network “intercharge”, whose prime objective is the networking of charging infrastructure, charging service providers and providers of mobility services throughout Europe. Via eRoaming the Hubject platform uses a market model for electromobility that makes comprehensive contract-based use of charging infrastructure possible as a service for drivers of electric vehicles. Since founding the joint venture, within the “Innovation Cluster Mobility” we at Bosch Software Innovations have been developing and operating the software and IT systems platforms behind the Hubject solution, “intercharge”.