3 Questions For EDF
Why are you participating at the Oslo2Rome inititative?
First the concept of open, inexpensive and secure driving through Europe is a key realization of European Union that is important to keep alive and improving.
Second, Oslo2Rome is a very relevant use case for Blockchain technology. It combines transactions, data storage, many diversified stakeholders having to use a common ledger with weak coordination, financial stakes. The global (transborder) aspect of this experiment is also very relevant for a Blockchain demonstrator.
Third, Oslo2Rome is a possible solution to a real problem, that is the lack of interoperability between european suppliers of EV charging station.
At last, there are two interests for EDF: EDF Lab expects to learn from such an assessment of Blockchain on the field interacting with real hardware and areal end users. Blockchain technology offers many promises but lacks today of realistic performance and risk assessments. And this initiative permits also in EDF to create a fruitful collaboration between R&D, regional business developpers, charging poles division and and local DSO.
How developed is emobility in your country?
E-mobility is now a hype topic in France, and is at the edge to become significant on economic and societal levels. Many local and regional public authorities promote e-mobility. Industry is developing: the French car maker Renault owns 25% of the EV markets. This new kind of mobility sustain new players in services, and car production: NAVYA is a leader of autonomous shuttles with 120 employees in France and USA.
Tell us something about your business and your current efforts around emobility?
Given this context, e-mobility is a very important topic for EDF, who is investing since many years in the development of decarbonized mobility that includes EV, and also fuel cells as part of the effort that every country has to make to limit global greenhouse effect. In the first domain, EDF is a key player in France for many years, working on e-mobility development (Transdev), charging stations (Sodetrel), new and efficient technologies for batteries, and experiments. For example, EDF is testing Navya shuttles and are under test in the Nuclear power Plant of Civaux.
Oslo2Rome Tour Report
A little recap of Day 1:
First recharging on the Sodetrel fastcharger worked fine, but was not registered correctly on the blockchain (due to a set limit in transaction costs). After some changes we finally managed to synchronize the whole process (application, charging, blockchain) and got 50 minutes of charge to drive to Metz.
At Metz, we easily located the station at the Intermarché parking lot. We connected the car, pressed “start” in the application - and it worked immediately, congratulations!
After 30 minutes of charge we were heading to Saarbrücken, where 3 stations should be available. Unfortunately, the first was out of order, and the second was operational but not accepting the access. Fortunately, the third finally delivered energy to the car and we got 30 minutes of charge.
Afterwards, perfect integration on the french side again: The fast charger in Keskastel on the A4 charged for 30 minutes to get 99% charge without any problem - great! Thus, we could arrive at Mundolsheim near Strasbourg without a problem at 10:45 p. m.
So, my result as a regular user of electric vehicles (mainly Renault Zoe): it is a fantastic application to use blockchain for electric mobility. It is the missing link to make universal charging a reality. The end of the battle of the rfid cards, which are completely outdated in my opinion, but still remain an obstacle even today on the medium-distance drives. Always asking myself the questions: “Do I have my cards with me, do I have the right card?”: This will all be a thing of the past with a blockchain e-mobility wallet and app like Share&Charge! I can only applaud with both hands for this universal service, usable by everyone easily and flexibly!!
My advice: To be developed quickly and offered in the market!
It is also interesting to have the possibility to know in advance the state of the charging pole (blue: available-> Grey: occupied). It happens more and more often especially on the fast charging terminals type DBT 43kw to arrive on the terminal and it is already occupied. With having the info before, I can now better adapt my driving!
Recap of Day 2:
We met Laurent at dawn, in the parking lot of ÉS in Mundolsheim. I found my electric vehicle recharged, but also Pierre Simon and Laurent Schaeffer, colleagues from ÉS, who are participating in this Oslo2Rome experiment on behalf of the EDF group. A few pictures of our three vehicles and then I went to the E. S. headquarters in Strasbourg to pick up Bernard Bloch, in charge of Innovation at E.S., who offered me the opportunity to take on board blockchain technology experts with us: Julien Bordier, co-founder of Talium, a Strasbourg-based software publisher and integrator of blockchain solutions, and Jonathan Klein, founder of Tresorio Mining, a blockchain mining company.
Gilles Deleuze, head of the Blockchain project at EDF R&D, asked me if ES could participate in the Oslo2Rome experiment to test the feasibility of the solution in France and Germany. As a result, it was extended to ES, and two companies as experts in blockchain were offered the opportunity to join us in order to gain critical analysis and experience feedback.
At 10.15 a. m., the three electric vehicles left Strasbourg for Germany and Freiburg-en-Brisgau, where Innogy, one of the seven European partners in the Oslo2Rome experiment, is waiting for them.
After downloading the Share&Charge application, I set up various useful criteria that are asked from me: my login/password, the license plate, the make and model of electric vehicle I want to charge the battery, the recharge power, the desired range, the maximum charge power, the capacity of the battery and the type of charger I have with me. I then check that my application is sufficiently loaded in encrypted currency converted into euros. Finally, I select the relevant charging station on the map and click on “Charge”. As a result, I connect my vehicle to the charging station and the charge is immediately starting! 20 minutes later, I’ll unplug everything. Result: 2.60€, directly paid from the wallet!
The three recharged vehicles then head south and cross the border at Fessenheim. After passing in front of the EDF hydroelectric and nuclear power stations, they fork in Chalampé, direction Mulhouse then Pfastatt where they find a new charging station and journalists, invited to a press briefing. On the charging side everything works well. On the media side, journalists seem intrigued and interested by the explanations given by Gilles Deleuze, Ludmila Gautier (local representative of EDF in Alsace), Bernard, Laurent, Julien and Jonathan. Bernard takes advantage of this pause to interview Gilles, who explains how this experiment represents a world first.
Pfastatt, 5:00h: Laurent leaves again for Nancy where he will test Sodetrel’s charging stations in Orschwiller on the Haut-Koenigsbourg area, then again Keskastel and Metz, without encountering any particular problems.
For Bernard and Gilles, a happy surprise awaits them. “We were drinking a cup of coffee and when we got back to the electric vehicle, VKW, the Austrian partner of the Oslo2Rome experiment, arrived! They left Lake Constance and braved the snow. After a new coffee that allowed us to compare our experiences and impressions, I’m back on the road to finish my journey.”