According to the German government, one million electric vehicles (EVs) are intended to use the country’s roads by 2020. Acceptance of e-mobility and the seamless integration of EVs (e.g. cars, busses, scooters) into the electric grid is an ambitious task since EVs still have to deal with strong acceptance problems. In addition to the acquisition costs, primarily the low range of the battery deters potential customers. Also, the massive spread of EVs may cause another problem: Charging all EVs within similar charging periods (mostly at night), would mean a huge pressure on the power grid and might lead to instability and blackouts of the electricity system.
The goal of ELECTRIFIC, a three-year project funded by the EU-program “Horizon 2020”, is the development of a complex navigation system for EVs. This system is intended to extend the life of the vehicles’ batteries, to increase the attractiveness of EVs and to optimize the users’ behavior. Another major impact of ELECTRIFIC are benefits for the electricity grid. Grid-aware EV travel planning and energy management is intended to prevent grid instabilities, improve the power quality, preclude severe voltage fluctuations and increase the share of renewable energies in the energy mix. This is particularly important not only for the evolution of e-mobility but also for the energy turnaround.
Part of this intelligent navigation system is a Common Information Model which is used to aggregate and process data from grid, charging stations, EVs, drivers and weather forecast data. Based on this information, an Electric Vehicle Smart Algorithm (ELSA) calculates optimized charging, including route planning with optimal charging times. The ELECTRIFIC Advanced Driver Assistance System, which additionally is aware of the EV’s battery status, supports the driver in charging and adhering to the route suggestions.
The ELECTRIFIC research team works across disciplinary boundaries. The activities at the University of Mannheim are led by the Chair of Information Systems II and deal with the following topics:
Financial Incentives for EV Users
Financial incentive mechanisms are necessary to reward the driver for exemplary behavior and adhering to the ADAS suggestions. This can be based on dynamic pricing, incentive payments, penalties or other economic mechanisms. The challenge will be how to intertwine economic incentives with supportive psychological research, which is done in close collaboration with the Chair of Consumer Psychology and Economic Psychology.
Metrics for EV Users and Stakeholders
Existing metrics are identified, analyzed and new metrics are developed. User-oriented metrics as part of the navigation system provide direct feedback to the EV driver. Metrics for the stakeholders measure impact and success of the ELECTRIFIC system regarding increased renewable share, impact on the voltage band or EV attractiveness.
Scenario Planning and Requirements Engineering
Scenario planning and scenario building are essential factors for the success of this project. Baseline and vision scenario are the foundation for all further activities in the requirements engineering process, which includes the definition of business requirements and functional requirements. The project-wide coordination of scenario building will be done in cooperation with the Chair of Software Engineering.
Overall Design, Common Information Model and Prototype Integration
In ELECTRIFIC, a technical framework is developed. Central aspect of this system is the Common Information Model, which organizes all data storage and processes the information flow. Conception and implementation are based on a distributed SOA. One example issue is the question, how the ADAS can access live weather and grid data in order to decide which charging station should be approached next.
For students: If you are interested in writing a thesis within one of the research areas of the ELECTRIFIC project, please don't hesitate to contact us.