Using the Internet of Things to Charge Electric Vehicles Exploiting Time-of-use Tariffs

The Internet of Things used as a platform-as-a-service is an excellent booster for digital services related to electric vehicles.

Anyone keen on both fighting climate change and avoiding ever-increasing electricity bills needs to save energy whenever possible. And charging large batteries such as those used in electric cars are an excellent starting point. If only someone would come up with an app that, like in the case of cars powered by petrol and diesel engines, alerts everyone when electricity tariffs are really low and then charges the vehicle automatically. Brace yourselves for some good news: something that does precisely that is already coming your way. Shortly, companies will be able to upgrade their customer apps without having to do their own coding. All this is down to the Internet of Things (IoT) being used as a Platform as a Service (PaaS). We’ve already helped Norwegian utility provider Fjordkraft roll out the system. Now, companies based in Germany are able to do the same. Here is how it works.

electric vehicles

Smart Electricity Services for E-Mobility Applications

The roll-out of smart electricity meters across Germany starting this year will create more choice of utility provider and increased tariff flexibility. Electricity prices changing on an hourly basis are already the new normal in Norway. Means customers based in Scandinavia will shortly be able to connect electric vehicles manufactured by the likes of Tesla, VW, BMW and Audi to utility provider apps. This enables software to access tariff lists online, and to adapt the charging process dynamically. As a result, algorithms automatically trigger battery recharging whenever electricity prices are at their lowest.

audi
bmw
tesla
vw

Fjordkraft’s soon to be available smart energy management solution constitutes genuine added value for consumers, helping them save money, and providing them with an outstanding customer experience. The fact that this leads to a tiny bit less revenue for the utility provider isn’t a big deal: an improved company image increases competitiveness and attracts new business.

For Fjordkraft, tapping into this type of growth potential is a quick win as the only thing they had to do was purchasing the app feature as a ready-to-use digital service provided by Conrad Connect.

Fjordkraft app
Image courtesy: Fjordkraft

Growing Your Digital Business through Feature Outsourcing

 

“If electricity price low then charge electric vehicle” is an automation routine widely used across the Internet of Things.  Developing conditional statements like this is what our IoT platform specialises in. Companies such as Fjordkraft access our platform servers via an application programming interface (API) and embed the logic statements in their own apps. This setup is collectively referred to as Platform-as-a-Service.

Platform-as-a-Service is a special type of cloud computing. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) caters for a business’s hardware, OS, database and development environment needs.  Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provides externally hosted user applications. And PaaS allows companies to lease features and functions for precisely those applications.

variante

The modular platform set-up enables businesses to pick the functions they need. Conrad Connect supports sensor readings and switching operations by devices from more than 100 brands. The products are able to interact in a variety of ways using data from web services in the process. Means companies simply choose the devices and services they require to make their apps work. 

Apps display these digital services as an integral part of their GUIs. However, businesses are still in charge when it comes to the corporate design of their user interfaces. And no need to allocate bandwidth on company hardware either: everything’s done on the web servers here at Conrad Connect. This is how we help businesses benefit from the IoT without them having to build their own IoT infrastructure.

services

 

Automated Back End Control of Services

Put things into practice looks as follows: To benefit from automated off-peak charging, consumers use the Fjordkraft app to authorise the interaction between Conrad Connect and their electric vehicles. The car forwards sensor readings over the internet. The readings are then analysed by our platform. Whenever a vehicle is connected to a mains outlet this will be communicated to Conrad Connect. Our platform uses a web interface to check out current energy tariffs. If the rates are below a user-defined level, Conrad Connect‘s cloud server green-lights charging of the vehicle. Fjordkraft customers can intuitively monitor the process in the app. Plus they get their car rejuiced at a bargain. In other words, a premium service consumers are willing to pay for.

dashboard

 

Conclusion: PaaS Is a Smart Way to Tap into IoT-provided E-Mobility Growth Potential

Companies don’t need to turn themselves into hi-tech multinationals to boost the flexibility of their IT during the digitalisation process and process automation, or to come up with smart business models. Hiring digital infrastructure instead of developing their own enables businesses to get cracking right away. Using IoT-based automation routines opens the door for a wide range of innovative digital services that help you both increase the loyalty of existing customers and attract new business. eMobility is a fast-developing sector that offers plenty of opportunities. These days, cars aren’t just about motor and drivetrain technology. They are equally centred around a comprehensive set of sensors and extensive connectivity which is precisely where IoT-based automation comes in, thereby utilising digital services to promote speedy and tangible growth of your business.

What is the growth goal for your business that you want to use the Internet of Things for? Speed up the process now by choosing a PaaS solution by Conrad Connect.

paas