California Startup To Launch Blockchain Smart Infrastructure For Electronic Vehicles

California-based startup Oxygen Initiative has announced that it is launching its second-year partnership with German energy company innogy SE and is familiarizing the US market with smart infrastructure that utilizes blockchain technology within electronic wallets for drivers.

German electric utilities company and parent company to innogy SE, RWE, invested in Oxygen Initiative in February 2016, designating the startup to be the exclusive licensee of RWE’s eMobility platform in North America. 

As per Thomas Birr, senior vice president of innovation and business transformation at innogy SE:

“Following successful tests in Germany, we are very happy to roll out our mobility blockchain products in the United States with our partner Oxygen Initiative."

With the trial period in Germany completed, Oxygen Initiative will be adapting the electronic wallet technology from the German private peer-to-peer (P2P) charging network Share&Charge for use in the American market. Drivers of vehicles with smart infrastructure can enjoy having highway tolls, parking fees, and fees for sharing electric charging stations automatically managed for them.

"E-mobility technologies are ushering in advancements in transportation that could foster the adoption of clean-tech autonomous vehicles (AVs) and electric vehicles (EVs), which could bring the dream of less congestion and pollution, shorter commutes and lower operating costs into reality," said Stephen G. Davis, founder and CEO, Oxygen Initiative. "We're excited to do our part by introducing blockchain technology for the mobility space to the United States, starting with access and payment solutions for electric charging stations."

In addition, Davis tells ETHNews that Oxygen Initiative is commercializing ISO 15118, the new grid integration standard for electric vehicles that allows for ‘plug and charge’ – automatic owner account authentication at charging points that prevents data manipulation and initiates seamless ‘smart charging’ of electric vehicles. Though only a few vehicles currently possess the technology, Davis predicts that the number of cars equipped with ISO 15118 will grow significantly over the next year. Oxygen Initiative is working alongside automakers, utility companies, and state/local governments (including the state of California) to establish standardization for smart infrastructure.