IBM (NYSE: IBM) is teaming up with ESB Networks in Ireland to develop and implement a fully integrated smarter charging IT system, the objective of which will be to manage electric vehicle charge-points in public spaces.
These charge-points are being rolled out all over Ireland by ESB Networks, and the partnership means EV drivers will be able to access, charge, and pay using an identification card. Moreover, the project will help provide utilities access to energy usage data that may improve smart grid operations and reduce power strain during peak hours while maintaining a reliable energy supply to customers.
ESB Networks has already made available more than 1,000 charging points, and it will now use IBM’s Intelligent Electric Vehicle Enablement Platform to manage them.
Ireland’s energy policy aims to produce 40 percent of current domestic electricity needs from renewables and to make every tenth car on the road an electric one by 2020. The current project should also help Ireland support EU-wide legislations to reduce greenhouse emissions by 9 million tons by 2020.
The Herald Online comments:
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Green energy and cloud computing are key sectors being targeted by the Government as part of our Action Plan for Jobs. This innovative partnership between an Irish energy company and a global IT leader puts Ireland at the forefront of global developments in the electric vehicle sector by using cutting edge cloud technologies, and represents a clear demonstration of what is possible in this area. Ireland will now be the first country globally to put in place this system on a national basis, and I am determined to ensure that through continued implementation of our plan we will see further examples of leadership in these areas.”
The IBM platform will help ESB Networks connect with energy retailers and charge-points. Of course, ESB will have access to analytics and other information to accurately gauge usage patterns and other vital information.
The payment aspect will also be quite comprehensive, including financial, settlement, and management services. The IBM Intelligent EV Enablement Platform resides in the cloud, which makes for additional flexibility.
Customers will be able to access all charge points using the IBM platform via a single ID card, allowing them to charge their cars regardless of their individual electricity provider. They will also be able to locate nearby charge-points through a mobile application, check availability, and make a reservation.
IBM has been partnering with several companies in efforts to develop smart solutions for renewable power and transportation; the company recently announced the Smarter Charging demo with Honda Motor Co., Inc. (NYSE: HMC) and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE: PCG).