Successful IOTA testing in the Netherlands:
Charge your car and pay securely without a credit card


By Mari Kristine Buckholm, Smart Innovation Norway 11. September 2018

In April, ElaadNL released the first charging station in the world where charging and paying can be done with IOTA. After almost five months, several tests have been done – and the results are uplifting.

The new ElaadNL test site was officially opened on April 18th by State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, Stientje van Veldhoven. It contains all types of charging stations that are used in the public area in the Netherlands. This includes a fast charger, a charging island, a battery, two charging lanterns and the IOTA charger.

Machine-to-Machine interactions

The IOTA charge station is a proof of concept, with the purpose of showing the concept in mind: The IOTA Tangle is an innovative type of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) specifically designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) environment. It is an open-source protocol facilitating novel Machine-to-Machine (M2M) interactions, including secure data transfer, fee-less real-time micropayments.

“No back office and no communication protocol are required to operate the charging station; the transactions are exchanged directly without the use of a charge card or subscription,” explains Harm van den Brink, IT Architect Smart Grids & Distributed Ledger Technology expert at ElaadNL.

Multiple tests with mini-Tesla

The IOTA charging station operates autonomously and takes care of communication and payment with the end user. The meter values are stored every 15 minutes in the Tangle, which ensures reliable and irrefutable administration.

“The charge station has been tested multiple times with the special hardware (mini-Tesla) we built. We are currently busy implementing a QR-code display, so everybody can directly pay and charge,” says van den Brink.

So far, it is not yet possible for regular cars to use the technology, since it requires specific hardware to work.

“We are very pleased to see that this can work, even in a real machine-to-machine way. However, the software/hardware is still very experimental, and thus not ready for upscaling – in my opinion,” he adds.

Integrating into smart network

After nearly five months of testing, the next goal is to integrate the charger into a smart network that uses IOTA for distribution of information, such as information about the capacity load of a transformer. Additionally, devices can also send their energy usage to the Tangle.

“The transformer can ask connected devices to do smart charging, and if they listen to that they will get incentivized directly by sending them IOTA tokens. This will also be a proof of concept, and we expect results by the end of this year,” reveals van den Brink.



 

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