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Matrix Charging: Novel, automated charging infrastructure for electric vehicles

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Matrix Charging (Matrix Charging: Novel, automated charging infrastructure for electric vehicles)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2019-10-31

Over the next 15 years continuing growth of urbanisation & sprawl will increase the demand for individual mobility & the increase of traffic density will produce many adverse impacts that have direct effects on the quality of life for people living in cities. To lead Europe into a sustainable & competitive future, novel innovations are essential to increase transport efficiency. Vehicle electrification & autonomous driving are two promising new technologies that have disruptive potential for individual mobility whilst giving support “Towards an energy-efficient, decarbonised transport sector”. Sales of Electric Vehicles (EV) tend to be met with high resistance primarily due to range anxiety (max. 100-400 km), variable power costs & long refuelling times (5-8 hours to charge) thus slowing down leadership in electro-mobility. Though these arguments may be valid now, future batteries and charging stations (CS) will reduce these disadvantages. The EV market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 29% & 20 million EVs are going to be on the road by 2022. In 2010, public charging points for EVs were few. Today, there are 112,500 public or semi-public charging points in Europe and is expected to surge at CAGR of 29.8% and reach €10.8Bn global market by 2022. As EV’s become more autonomous, there will be greater importance on automated charging. With Matrix Charging® we will have the potential to revolutionize automated EV charging by being the world’s first fully automated conductive charging technology that has no moving parts outside the vehicle. The key innovation is delivering the solution with 99% transmission efficiency, at 30% lower cost than nearest competitor and a 6-fold higher performance with 9% additional efficiency, as we validated with BMW. With a phase 2 cost of €2.9M in early Q2 2018, Matrix Charging® forecasts a €24M gross profit in Yr5 (€44M gross profit Yr1 to Yr5 inclusive period), with a return on investment (ROI) is a very attractive 920% (9.2).

• Development and production of the generation G3.2 and G4 prototypes and development of generation G5 prototype including preparation for series development (know how transfer).
• Revolutionize automated EV charging by being the first fully automated conductive charging technology that has most simple mechanics in the vehicle and no moving parts on the parking lot, allowing for a fast and area wide automatic charging infrastructure rollout.
• Address the challenges of conductive EV charging with an innovative solution while giving support towards an energy efficient decarbonised transport sector by: Facilitating an area wide, cost-effective, efficient, automated charging network that enables intermediate charging of vehicles along their route chain compensating for customer range requirements.
• Deliver a solution with 99% transmission efficiency, at 30% lower cost than nearest competitor and a 6-fold higher performance.
• Be a low cost, easy to implement, automated EV charging system that will offer benefits to the end user in terms of ease of use, removal of range anxiety and reduction in cost through high efficiency and economical charging behavior.
With the Matrix Charging® Project, Easelink revolutionizes EV charging fostering vehicle electrification, smart charging solutions and autonomous driving. These promising technologies give support towards an energy efficient decarbonized transport sector to enhance the quality of life for people, especially in urban areas.
During the first period, the product development team was able to establish the automotive requirements of the Matrix Charging Connector, the part of the system that is implemented in the car, and the infrastructural requirements of the Matrix Charging Pad on the parking lot. To document these requirements, a Product Requirement Specification document was established that also includes necessary international standards like IEC 61581 that deals with conductive charging. Several test benches were developed to ensure that the Matrix Charging meets all standards.
In the next steps, Easelink’s product development and mechanics team started the manufacturing process of the Matrix Charging Generation 3.2 units for a first validation of the Product Requirement Specification. The material selection process was also included in this phase, as the different options for a future serial production were discussed and were subject to testing activities. After finalizing the manufacturing process having all prototyping considerations in mind the integration and validation of Generation 3.2 prototypes was started. All these tasks led to the next steps performed internally and externally. The vehicle and endurance testing will be further conducted and based on the data gathered improvements of the real environment use cases will be implemented in the upcoming G4 prototypes.

In the meantime, the technicians were also involved in the international standardization process of automatic conductive charging. This commitment has led to us being included as a company in the CharIn initiative and being included in committees of the German and Austrian standardization associations.
Since the very beginning of the Matrix Charing development, the establishment of a wide patent portfolio has been given high priority in order to protect the technology in the best way. Prior to the start of the project nine patent priority applications and one utility model application were already filed. Due to progress of the technology during the project phase additional steps had been taken, e.g. implementing an invention disclosure procedure.

Dissemination and commercialization
The H2020 grants have made it possible to significantly advance the establishment of the cooperation with stakeholders. In the course of the last period a sustainable network to large OEMs in Europe and China was initiated. In order to be able to take the step of series production, Tier 1 companies were addressed and cooperation agreements were established on an ongoing basis. In order to realize the pilot phase in advance, there have already been discussions with representatives of the municipal administration and stakeholders in order to be able to bring Matrix Charging more broadly onto the street.

The professionalization of public relations was an important focus at Easelink. On the one hand, contact with German specialist magazines was intensified and global press realized. The participation in awards and the appearance at congresses and trade fairs further strengthened Easelink's external image.
With the Matrix Charging technology, Easelink strives to enable automatic charging at every parking stop, completely unnoticed by the EV user. Matrix Charging not only prepares the charging process for autonomous driving, but also opens entirely new possibilities in the field of urban e-mobility and smart cities. From a macroeconomic point of view, Seamless mobility reduces weight, costs and energy consumption of electric vehicles as the battery size will be reduced by charging at any stop. The anxiety of not having enough power will be reduced or even deleted as the drivers of electric vehicles do not need to think about the next charge point, if it is available and if the plug system is working.