On 28-29 June, the eCharge4Drivers consortium gathered in Athens for its 4th plenary meeting, which was held for the first time in person, as the project started during the COVID-19 travel restrictions. The meeting was the occasion for all partners to discuss the project’s latest developments to improve the charging experience of users of electric vehicles and look ahead at the future of the project.

The leaders of all pilot sites of the project reported on the progress of the demonstrations that are now commencing in their respective cities (Barcelona, Berlin, Grenoble, Bari, Zellik [Belgium] and Luxembourg) and on TEN-T corridors (in Austria, Greece, Northern Italy and Western Turkey).

Highlights from the technical work of the project include:

  • Progress on ABB’s new EV charging station that will be demonstrated in some of the pilot sites, one including a credit card payment terminal. These will be ready end of summer 2022, with Plug-and-Charge (PnC) and booking service to add later;
  • Development by VUB of an enhanced microgrid concept and interface specifications for the Austrian pilot site;
  • Work by Powerdale on a Direct Current (DC) multi-outlet charging station for electric cars and light Electric Vehicles (EVs): a master station and 4 charging stations for passenger EVs are now ready;
  • Progress on two alternative battery swapping services by Swobbee (Berlin) and Scutum/Silence (Barcelona). Swobbee has installed 20+ battery swapping stations, compatible with six different battery vendors, and these are in operation with the respective mobile app, together with incentives and pricing schemes. In Barcelona, Scutum (Silence) has a battery swapping solution for 2 and 4 wheeled Light EVs already in operation with 75 subscribers, more than 25 points of sale and about 10 swaps per day;
  • Regarding the task on location planning, work is progressing on Demand Forecast (led by VUB), Location Optimisation (led by ICOOR) and an Online tool Interface (led by Mosaic Factor). Work also includes an enhanced route planner (ICOOR) including a module of predicted occupancy from historical data and a booking service (Politecnico di Bari);
  • Work on analysis of market models is now commencing (University of Sussex), which includes developing agent-based user behaviour models, a methodology for an EV charging market model, followed by the integration of trial data and user attitude findings with market and behavioural models.

Lastly, with more live events and physical meetings now taking place, as well as the demonstration sites starting, dissemination and communication is being ramped up. Recent events where eCharge4Drivers participated were the ITS World Congress 2021 Hamburg, the CIVITAS Forum 2021 Aachen, ITS Hellas 2021 and the ITS European Congress 2022 Toulouse. In the autumn, we will be present at TRA 2022 in Lisbon and the POLIS Conference 2022 in Brussels, so watch this space for more!