Is this the ultimate charging solution for electric cars?
The way of charging electric cars keeps evolving to better fulfill consumers needs. We already saw plug-in and wireless charging, single-phase or three-phase AC and DC charging using various connector standards, authorisation via card, app or simply by connection, but all of this is still not the end as new solutions are knocking on the doors.
One of the newest and very interesting solutions that was recently demonstrated publicly for the very first time at the Mission Innovation Austria Week 2019, is the fully automated conductive charging and payment system developed by lab10 collective in association with Future Grid and Easelink.
According to information we received, it's not a proof-of-concept or whitepaper, but a "full-fledged working prototype ready for mass production.
The Matrix Charging Systems is a kind of marriage between conductive plug-in charging (because there is a connection), and wireless charging (because there are special pads on the ground and a connector in the vehicle). Instead of wireless charging, the connector automatically lowers to connect to the pad and charging can start at "22 kW AC or high-power DC" at an efficiency of 99%, according to Easelink website.
As a demonstration car, the consortium is using a retrofitted BMW i3.
The charging system is just one part of the solution, while another is a seamless payment provided by lab10 collective, a blockchain co-operative.
The working process
A complex process made simple. Cars with Matrix Charging Systems charge automatically when parked over a Matrix Charging Pad. The main components, Connector and the Pad communicate via a secure wireless connection. After a system check and an authentication process, the vehicle automatically connects to the Matrix Charging Pad. lab10 collective provides a secure payment service and identity verification without further action from the driver (or through a mobile app) through the use of decentralized ID and payments via the blockchain eliminating the need for a payment service provider like Visa.
The live demonstration
lab10 collective, Future Grid and Easelink are providing a live demonstration of the process of parking, charging, paying and leaving as a fully automated m2m (machine to machine process) with zero human intervention on the 9th of May (2019) in Austria for the program, “Solutions for the world market - via project network to system solution ready for market”.
Talking about the innovation, Thomas Zeinzinger, the President and Co-founder of lab10 collective said:
"We have seen that the biggest hurdle today is bad user experience with complicated, lengthy and expensive procedures to get an EV charged. Our blockchain based solution together with the Minerva wallet and Easelink's Matrix Charging, demonstrates how seamlessly the transition to e-mobility can be. This and similar solutions we are working on will help to speed up the energy transition towards renewables and hence our vision of a zero-carbon society."