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Artificial Intelligence based Smart Charging Assistant for Electric Light Commercial Vehicle Fleets

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Smart charging assistant to drive market uptake of electric light commercial vehicles

Limited driving range and charging infrastructure hamper the integration and management of electric light commercial vehicles(eLCVs). To overcome these barriers to market uptake, one initiative has created a roadmap for the development of the first artificial intelligence (AI)-based charging assistant for eLCV fleets.

Digital Economy
Industrial Technologies

According to the International Energy Agency, 2018 marked another record-breaking year for global electric vehicle (EV) sales (1.98 million). This brought total global stock to a total of 5.12 million. For the same year, Europe’s 385 000 sales parked the continent in second place worldwide. From the outset, the Konetik eLCV project envisioned a first-of-its-kind machine learning-based smart charging assistant. This is to be based on a unique algorithm developed by the coordinating company Konetik that combines advanced energy management and telematics. Driving discovery and disruption The foreseen impact is a disruption of the European and international market through significant savings on eLCV charging and reduced downtimes for clients. Profit generation is estimated at EUR 5.1 million by 2022 and the creation of 42 new jobs at company level alone. Prior to the project’s launch, Konetik had already developed an automated EV feasibility and charging infrastructure advisor to help fleets integrate EVs. During the project, the Konetik eLCV team executed a product discovery analysis and conducted technical and commercial feasibility validation. “We have confirmed that the AI-based charging assistant is feasible from a technological and commercialisation point of view,” project coordinator Balazs Szabo reports. Market research and competitor analysis in the e-mobility scene revealed “developing competition in the broadening plate of e-mobility solutions,” as noted on the project web page. “However, the combination of state of charge data, location data and charging information proves to be still a less utilised area.” Partners also expanded on a business model and market access strategy. Results of the technical feasibility validation and feedback from LCV fleet managers informed the creation of a minimum viable product roadmap. Interviews with fleet managers and e-mobility experts confirmed the project’s hypothesis regarding difficulties with charging management. They also underlined the customer need for a holistic solution. “The team has identified a currently unresolved potential market need for eLCV management,” Szabo states. Wide-ranging impact By making electric fleet operations seamless, Konetik indirectly supports EU zero-emission targets. The coordinator elaborates: “Our innovation contributes to the development of a greater sustainable mobility, which will allow cleaner transport, contributing to the achievement of 60 % emission reduction in transport within the EU by 2050.” This is the target outlined in the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport’s 2011 ‘White Paper on transport’. Looking back on the work and outcomes of this SME Phase 1 project, Szabo expresses the team’s pride in having successfully identified and validated a potential niche market need. “Based on our technology and market research, our AI-based charging assistant can ensure business continuity in the operation of eLCV fleets,” he says. As for the future, Konetik is progressing with product development and planning the 'go-to-market' strategy of its AI-based charging assistant. “We are planning to launch our new service in the European market by 2020,” Szabo concludes.

Keywords

Konetik eLCV, LCV, transport, AI, EV, e-mobility, smart charging, light commercial vehicle, eLCV fleet, electric vehicle, energy management

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