Topic of the week: Electric mobility 2
From now on, we will for an entire week devote one article per day to a specific topic and how it relates to solar technologies. To start us off, we have decided to delve deeper into current developments in electric mobility:
Since their founding in 2008, the ubitricity GmbH have been developing and establishing a unique product and service. It is all based on the idea that owners of EVs in urban spaces need to be able to charge their vehicles anywhere without requiring dedicated parking spots. This is achieved through the combination of a smart charging cable that includes telecommunications technology able to handle the metering and invoicing of the charged electricity and a (relatively) inexpensive socket that can easily be integrated into street furniture, i.e. lamp posts or simple pillars.
More inexpensive charge points
The investment was made by existing shareholders including EDF and Next47 (venture capital arm of Siemens AG) and by Honda Motor Company as a new partner. ubitricity's unique mobile metering technology for smart AC electric vehicle charging, both on-street and off-street, allows councils, real estate owners, fleet and fuel card operators as well as end-users to benefit from significantly lower costs for charging infrastructure, removal of the need for dedicated parking bays and optimised pricing.
The new funding will be used to accelerate the roll-out of charge points, in particular retrofitted lamp post charge points and real estate installations across the UK, Germany, France and US. In parallel, the technology will be further developed for the mass market that is expected from 2020, laying the groundwork for services across the entire spectrum of V1G and V2G.
“With Honda Motors, we have another strong collaboration partner on board who shares our vision of a smart electric vehicle which already comes equipped with it the essential technology to charge and bill clean power and smart charging services” says Frank Pawlitschek, CEO and co-founder of ubitricity.
Mutually beneficial cooperation
The company has made significant progress in developing its technology, its market presence and its market access, e.g. in London. Furthermore, ubitricity’s role in Germany’s clean air programme is driving the installation of charge points in key cities. Including more than 3,000 ubitricity charge points to be installed in Berlin, Hamburg and Dortmund. Success in the highly competitive NYCx Climate Action Challenge, leading to a pilot programme in New York City, has further proven the intercontinental appetite for the company’s products and technology. “We are now putting charging stations right outside people’s front door, where millions of Europeans park their vehicle today, and at a time when more electric vehicles are being sold than ever,” Knut Hechtfischer, co-founder of ubitricity, states.
And moreover, the commitment of new capital and increased levels of ownership by EDF and Siemens signal anew the importance of ubitricity as a key pillar in both those companies’ e-mobility strategies. Last October, the EDF Group launched its Electric Mobility Plan in order to become the sector’s leading energy company in their four key markets in Europe: France, UK, Italy and Belgium. Furthermore, Citelum (100% affiliate of EDF Group) and ubitricity are partnering to integrate this innovative solution into Citelum’s Smart City range of products.
Honda Motors are relative newcomers to the EV market, but their near-production prototypes have caused quite a stir and promise to be most suitable for an urban environment. And that is also the type of application where ubitricity’s technology is most at home. The potential for integrating the smart metering technology within the vehicle promises to make the cooperation that has now been announced mutually beneficial for both partners, not to mention for EV owners. (mfo)