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IT Creates Networks For Electromobility

At the interface between future electric cars & the power grid, information technology (IT) and telecommunications are more demand than ever. At the International Motor Show, technology suppliers show why they are indispensable in the overall concept.

“Electromobility is reorganizing the economy.” It will go hand in hand with breaking up entire value chains and leading to stronger networking of hitherto largely unconnected branches of the economy, “which include the automotive, energy, and IT and telecommunications industries, among others “.

IT and telecommunications will play a decisive role in the value creation system of electromobility. “This includes hardware manufacturers and service providers, software and IT service providers, telecommunications companies and providers of media content.”

IT: Using Information Technology For Electromobility

Sum up the benefits of information technology in the broad field of electromobility: “From a higher-level perspective, a car becomes an end device in a network.”

And the IT industry itself? They can live very well with this new “operator role” as a network supplier. Take Siemens as an example: the company is showing its “e-car sharing” solution at the IAA, which has already been tested on twelve e-cars in Berlin. Each vehicle is equipped with a mobile onboard computer that displays information on the reservation duration, the charge status or the remaining range.

Using satellite navigation (GPS) and communication with a higher-level control center, the driver can also be shown the route to the next free parking space with a charging facility. Rent, parking fees and charging costs can also be billed automatically using secure data transmission via the onboard unit. E-car sharing can also be linked to traffic information and control systems.

And, also very important: Reservation and billing processes for rent, parking and charging and, for example, environmental zone tolls are carried out automatically, legally binding and via secure data transmission. It is precisely these diverse possibilities through which IT can bring its strengths to the overall e-car concept and make the whole thing practicable in the first place.

IT Can Bring Its Strengths To The Overall Concept Of Electromobility

Zoltan Notti, who is responsible for electromobility in the research department of the software company SAP, knows that too. Under his leadership in the “Future Fleet” project, SAP was the first company to test up to 27 purely electric vehicles in its company car fleet in Wall Dorf and the surrounding area, powered exclusively by electricity from renewable energy sources. In the project, the software company built the necessary technical and organizational infrastructure together with the Mannheim energy company MVV Energies.

The overall impression that Notti got from the perspective of the software supplier SAP from the project, which lasted until the beginning of September, is good: “We built up valuable know-how during the project. From my point of view, e-vehicle fleets from companies are an initial niche that can become attractive for a software manufacturer like us in the future. “

In addition to the creation of new components, the company was also able to benefit from the core competencies of SAP. Note: “For example, it is important to establish coherent billing models for charging vehicles and also to develop software that helps motorists to master the range problem of the vehicles.”

Cross-Border Electromobility Has To Cope With A Multitude Of Challenges

And indeed: So far, questions like “How does the payment work when the batteries are charged?” Have not been at the center of the high-profile discussion about environmentally-friendly mobility. But research and industry have to answer such questions also how a solution for cross-border e-mobile traffic can be found. Who, for example, provides a driver from Constance with an adequate column when he drives over to his Swiss neighbor? The intelligent power grid, the smart grid, which is often used in this environment, is given a completely new twist.

The complexity of the problems shows that in the future, those IT companies will be ahead of the game if they conceptually occupy such niches – or who can grab a large piece of the overall cake-like Siemens: “With the car-sharing system, we are going an important step towards a holistic approach to electromobility,”. 

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