Easy and transparent EV charging based on the blockchain technology – BBH takes part in the e-mobility research project “BANULA”

Electromobility plays an essential role in driving forward the energy and mobility transition. However, in order to achieve the projected market growth, a sufficient amount of charging stations with adequate technical capacity is necessary to enable full electromobility. BBH is a member of the consortium that is led by Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and its task in the project is to show what legal framework conditions are necessary to provide for a more flexible use of the charging infrastructure.

Anyone driving an electric vehicle in Germany is faced with a confusing variety of providers and contract models across the country. For users of electric vehicles, it is often uncertain whether a roaming connection exists or at what price a charging operation is billed. Furthermore, the users are not free to choose the electricity supplier at the charging station. Therefore, it is also necessary to adjust the current system of allocating the amount of electricity used to charge an electric vehicle at a charging station to a particular balancing group as well as the corresponding responsibilities and processes. In order to simplify the charging of electric vehicles, the billing of the corresponding cost components and, as a matter of principle, the reliability and functionality of the charging stations as well as the customer experience must be improved.

This is where the project “BANULA – Barrierefreie und nutzerfreundliche Lademöglichkeiten schaffen” (creating easily accessible and user-friendly charging options) comes into play. The aim of the project is to ensure customer-focused, smooth and grid friendly charging of electric vehicles at every charging station. With the help of the blockchain technology, a decentralised means is being established that will enable secure data exchange between all participants in the electromobility ecosystem. The blockchain technology takes the interaction between the market roles involved to a superior level and can ensure that the billing of charging processes complies with calibration law and is tamper-proof across all market roles. In addition, AI-based control options allow for non-discriminatory access to charging infrastructure, transparent real-time information for grid operators regarding charging operations and a significant improvement of energy management-related processes. All the stakeholders involved in the charging of electric vehicles will be addressed in this context, both those in front of and behind the scenes. The “BANULA” project brings together a wide ranging consortium consisting of nine members led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. The project is also supported by associated partnerships.

A new project approach sets the course for smooth and grid friendly charging operations – anytime and anywhere

The consortium gathers partners from across all the relevant energy-industry roles including the required expertise in terms of research and law. In the framework of the project work, the consortium can build on existing energy-industry procedures in order to ensure a high level of connectivity and integration capacity. Through the appropriate allocation of charging operations in terms of balancing and real-time billing information, the project provides added value to all market roles – especially charging station operators, e-mobility providers, distribution and transmission system operators and end customers. It is also the basis for determining the electricity flows at every network node based on charging operations. Furthermore, it is essential for operating the grid based upon such information as well as for the quantitative analysis for the targeted expansion of the charging infrastructure. The integration of smart meter gateways (a smart metering system) is another part of the project, as is the testing of the overall system with a significant test fleet of electric vehicles.

“There are good reasons for the charging operations of the user of a charging station to be reflected in the balancing group of the electricity supplier. This would enable electricity demand forecasting and increase flexibilities. As a member of the BANULA project consortium, BBH contributes to potential implementation models and shows how the legal framework should be adapted to provide for a more flexible use of the charging infrastructure. The project thus is an important contribution to increasing the acceptance of e-mobility and to further promoting it,” says BBH partner and lawyer Dr. Christian de Wyl.

The planned project term is three years. Due to the high level of innovation of the project objectives, the identification of new business and operating models is also a key component of the project work. Furthermore, the consortium explicitly aims at integrating the results into the operating business and making them available to the market. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is supporting the project that has a total volume of €9.2 million.

The project consortium consists of:

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO (consortium coordinator)
  • Badenova AG & Co. KG representing the badenova group
  • Becker Büttner Held PartGmbB
  • Fujitsu
  • Parkraumgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg mbH
  • Schwarz Immobilien Service GmbH & Co. KG
  • smartlab Innovationsgesellschaft mbH
  • TransnetBW GmbH
  • University of Stuttgart

For more information on the project, please visit the project website (in German only): https://banula.de/.

Becker Büttner Held is a leading provider of advisory services for energy and infrastructure companies and their customers. Energy and supply companies, particularly public utilities, municipalities and local authorities, industrial companies and international groups are among its core clients. BBH advises these and many other companies and organisations in all legal matters and also assists them with business and strategic advice.

Prof. Dr. Ines Zenke                                                  
Lawyer (Rechtsanwältin), Partner
Phone +49 (0)30 611 28 40 - 179                                  

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