Announced today by Share&Charge on Twitter, the new application is designed to give drivers seeking charging stations a roadmap to find them. It also allows those who own stations to list their locations on the map.
As previously reported by ETHNews, Share&Charge's model allows owners of stations to set prices, display payment options, and even implement special rates for friends and family. The owner's share of the profit is transferred automatically to their Share&Charge wallet, which can be used to pay for charging their own vehicle at other stations, or can be transferred to a bank account. The executable distributed code contracts (EDCCs) that regulate transactions were developed by internet of things (IoT) startup Slock.it. Share&Charge hopes it will be simple to adopt the app, which doesn’t require third parties to manage the points of sale. The integration of blockchain technology and the physical hardware implemented into an energy grid represents a substantial step forward. This application of technology may be the fulcrum from which the wellspring of other use cases transition from on-paper research and development, to real-world operations.
Two of the key players behind this innovation in vehicle charging are German energy provider RWE and its subsidiary Innogy, which it formed in 2016 by rolling together its renewable, network, and retail businesses.
Diversifying with a direct focus on sustainability may prove to hedge the bets of RWE investors who saw shares traded on a downtrend last year; the net income to share fell in RWE’s 2016 financial report to -9.29 euros, while it was only -.28 euros in 2015. In regard to earnings, RWE operated in the red with a loss of 209,000 euros in 2016 and closed out that fiscal year with a gross profit of 10,461,000 euros – a drop from the prior year of 2015, when it reported 12,575,000 euros.
Innogy fared better on the markets for the 2016 fiscal year, showing a gross profit of 8,246,000 euros, right in line with its 2015 gross profit of 8,220,000 euros. The maintained solvency of Innogy versus the financial issues faced by RWE may be indicators of a market trend towards technological breakthroughs, such as the use of blockchain-based platforms to support physical infrastructure.
Whether the trend is corroborated by the coming 2017 quarterly reports remains to be seen.