Building on their previous work, Elia Group and
Energy Web partnered to launch the ReBeam solution.
As electric vehicles (EVs) become a mainstream option for consumers, the practicalities of EV ownership, like EV charging, should not be a concern for consumers. ReBeam allows EV drivers and fleet operators to choose an electricity supplier of their choice at public charging points by integrating different technologies and tools, like self-sovereign identities (SSI) and the Open Charging Network (OCN), to improve and simplify EV charging.
Building on their previous work, Elia Group and Energy Web partnered to launch ReBeam. ReBeam leverages LamA’s, bloXmove’s, and Lichtblick’s key capabilities and components, like EV charging points and settlement solutions.
ReBeam’s consumer-centric approach gives EV owners the option to choose their preferred electricity supplier at any public charging point without having to sign multiple contracts or rely on third-party service providers.
ReBeam pairs the electricity used to charge an EV at a given charging point with the electricity injected into the grid by the chosen supplier (in the demo case Lichtblick) through Elia Group’s matching platform (Virtual Balancing Area) that conciliates the events to settle the transactions among all the participants using bloXmove’s settlement solutions.
ReBeam’s main components and technologies include:
Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) technology
Charging an EV is not as simple as connecting an EV to a charging point, it involves several parties (i.e., TSOs, DSOs, CPOs, OEMs, eMSPs, etc.) with different interests who need common frameworks to enable interoperability and ease-of-use. A key aspect of this multi-stakeholder setting is identity. ReBeam leverages SSI technology, allowing the issuance of decentralized identifiers (DIDs) and verifiable credentials (VCs). These DIDs are used to authenticate actors, validate claims, and sign messages between parties, who can verify these events and stay in control over their data and identity.
In ReBeam’s demonstrator, all participants are uniquely identified by their own DID and establish trust through VCs. Elia Group uses a VC to approve Lichtblick’s (the electricity supplier) participation in the VBA and Lichtblick issues VCs as proof to their customers. A driver who chooses to use a supported supplier like Lichtblick presents the corresponding credential to an SSI enabled Charging Point Operator like LamA, who verifies the validity of the credential and then unlocks the charging point. In the background Elia Groups VBA ensures that all energy is billed to the electricity supplier and their customer - minimizing the effort and risk for the CPO while maximizing the number of customers and charging sessions.
SSI wallet for different stakeholders
SSI wallets are digital wallets leveraging encryption technology used to securely store keys, credentials, DIDs, and other types of data. The credentials stored in SSI wallets are entirely controlled by the wallet owner, who can freely choose to disclose information, sign transactions, or send messages. ReBeam’s participants (e.g., the EV owner, the network operator, etc.) use SSI wallets to substantiate their identity, credentials, and claims, facilitating trustless transactions among themselves.
The Open Charging Network (OCN)
The OCN is an open-source platform for energy and e-mobility devices (e.g., EVs and charging points) and companies. Among others, the OCN enables data sharing, messaging, transaction signing, and verification. The OCN can be leveraged for existing use cases (e.g., green charging, grid flexibility, settlement services, etc.) or it can be customized for new ones with the assurance that it complies with industry standards, like OCPI. In ReBeam’s demonstrator, the OCN was used to enable interconnectivity between the different devices, and parties involved.
ReBeam uses verifiable time series to capture and verify all the transactions and the transactions’ details. Every time a user plugs an EV into a charging point using ReBeam a verifiable time-series records the start and end time of the charging session, which is linked to all the intermediate updates that have been collected at every minute.
The verifiable time-series links the DID of the charging point, the EV, and the chosen electricity supplier with the electricity (kWh) used to charge the EV. Then, the verifiable time series are used to settle the transactions among CPOs, electricity suppliers, and EV owners. By using verifiable time series, ReBeam ensures that the charging session data is flawless and incorruptible.
ReBeam increases EV portability by simplifying the EV charging process and providing a common framework, the OCN, where all the market actors participate and communicate.
By leveraging SSI technology and digital wallets, users increase the control and security over their data. Its tamper-proof VCs that record the details associated with the charging sessions avoid fraudulent or imprecise transactions.
Today EV drivers have to rely on third-party service providers to connect to charging points, increasing friction and costs. ReBeam avoids this step by directly connecting EV owners to charge point operators and giving them the tools to trust and verify each other.
ReBeam leverages Elia Group’s grid operations and matching platform, Energy Web’s OCN and identity and access management solutions, LamA’s charging point infrastructure, bloXmove’s settlement solutions, and Lichtblick’s clean electricity.
Elia Group is an electricity transmission system operator (TSO) ensuring that production and consumption are balanced around the clock, supplying 30 million end users with electricity. With subsidiaries in Belgium (Elia) and northeast Germany (50Hertz), Elia Group develops, maintains, and operates 19,271 km of high-voltage network and is one of Europe’s top five TSOs. With a reliability level of 99.99%, we give society a robust power grid, which is important for socio-economic prosperity.
As a response to Germany’s "Clean Air 2017-2020” program, the LamA charging network for electric vehicles project was deployed. The charging point network has over 338 points throughout Germany and is planning to add 142 throughout 2021 and 2022. This project is led by Germany’s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
Power & Mobility Ltd. is working on a decentralized network to interconnect electric power and electric mobility to balance renewable energy grids and reduce the carbon footprint. By coupling the energy and mobility sector, Power & Mobility Ltd. provides a solution to the challenge of balancing supply and demand of renewable energy grids. In a second step, the company is also enabling roaming between different power charging operators without the need of any third parties or additional costs. Power & Mobility Ltd. is the parent company of bloXmove. BloXmove is building a decentralized mobility alliance using the Mobility Blockchain Platform to make urban mobility more seamless and efficient.
LichtBlick develops intelligent solutions for a decentralized energy world. LichtBlick is Germany's largest independent green energy provider, and the market leader for green electricity and green gas. Lichtblick supplies 100% of the electricity for our private customers from German eco-power plants. LichtBlick also runs "SchwarmEnergie" (swarm energy), an IT platform designed to connect decentralized and renewable energy sources so that energy is generated whenever it is needed.
Once it's fully developed, ReBeam will provide EV owners with an EV charging process that streamlines interactions and reduces frictions between charging points, EVs, and electricity suppliers.