E-TRAIL is one of the three pilot activities of the project e-MOTICON. RDA of Gorenjska, BSC, Ltd, Kranj in cooperation with the company Gorenjske Elektrarne, is testing the so-called back office, which enables the interoperable management of 10 electric charging stations in the Gorenjska region. The pilot was launched May 1st 2017 with the preparation of 8 electric charging stations and installation of 2 new and the purchase of the software, enabling communication between computer program and e-charging stations – back office. The back office allows the control of the use of e-charging stations according to demand, time, location and, on the basis of the acquired data, adjusts the voltage in the charging station, thus saving energy. In addition to the aforementioned, it enables monitoring of the operation of the e-charging station and the demand for charging at certain time intervals. It is also the basis for establishing payment services.

The pilot idea of e-TRAIL was based on the identification of discrepancies between the existing and emerging e-charging stations and the management of systems in the regions of the Alpine Space. The elimination of discrepancies improves the potential for connecting regional e-charging station networks to transnational interoperable and roaming (eRoaming) systems.

In the Alpine area there are e-charging stations that are not interoperable. E-charging stations were still being set up without technical software for interoperability. The objective of the pilot activity has been to increase the availability of local, regional e-charging station networks to connect local, regional, transnational interoperable and e-roaming systems, and to improve regional, local policies for investment by potential domestic or foreign investors in e-mobility infrastructure and to simplify user experience in using e-charging stations, regardless of where the user is coming from.

e-TRAIL, in addition to the aforementioned, deals with user information platforms for publicly available information on e-charging infrastructure and services. Existing differences in information platforms are in non-unified information, irregularly updated data or lack of data on new e-charging stations, different methodological approaches to informing users and the like. This can confuse users and service providers. In some partner areas, information platforms did not exist. They are established within the e-TRAIL pilot activity.

In the partner areas where the above is not a challenge, the following objectives are achieved within the pilot activity: e-charging and e-mobile service networks will become part of the information system combined into a mobile application that will connect multimodal transport links to improve service for users.

Pilot group e-TRAIL is joining partners from France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Slovenia.

e-TRAIL intervention logic

Establishment of interoperable systems

Benefits for users: indirect and direct benefits that allow the user to have a properly functioning e-charging station in the right, accessible location, the possibility of charging the vehicle with price differentiation with respect to the charging time. Interoperability, in view of the narrow definition of information exchange between two or more systems, allows different aspects of interoperability. One of these, for example, is that the user in some cases avoids the necessity of contracting with each service provider.

Benefit for the operator: possibility to monitor the variables (time of use, voltage, frequency of use, vehicle type of use …) enabling to properly localize the e-charging station, apply present or future differentiation of charging costs – service payment, establish help line, establish payment systems (pay by cash, pay by ID card, pay on-line …), being included in eRoaming systems.

However interoperability of more than 1 ESC is not a necessity for eRoaming. Owners can skip operator and connect directly to the eRoaming platform.

User information platforms

Benefits for user: free of charge information, easily accessible on line without registering (signing up), providing information on:

  • location (find)
  • features of e-charging station (can I charge my e-bike, e-car, e-truck, how fast I can charge it, do I have the right plug for the socket …?)
  • accessibility (do I need a key, do I need an ID card, do I just charge and drive …)
  • payment (how and if)
  • availability (is it operating, not operating – out of work, is it reserved, can I make a reservation …?)
  • other information of interest like who set the e-charging station up, when was it installed, type of, how fast is it …?

Benefit for businesses: promotion of their e-charging stations and subtle marketing; platforms may provide the information about who is the owner, operator, electricity distributor, whether the e-charging station is a part of eRoaming platform; inclusion of the e-charging stations into the information platform may be upon payment from the owner/operator of the e-charging stations to the owner, manager of the information platform.

eRoaming platforms

Benefits for user:

  • location (find)
  • reserve
  • connect
  • authorize
  • pay

Users can charge their e-vehicles at all charging stations included in the eRoaming platform. They pay the service and their payment goes via an app through centralized system managed by the owner of eRoaming platform. Unified payment solutions are possible. Monitoring of recharging the e-vehicle battery is possible se well.

Benefit for businesses: the owner of the eRoaming platform makes his profit by economy of scale by eRoaming charging fees. The ones integrated into the eRoaming platform use the services of the platform: market their e-charging stations, have simplified payment transactions and standardized cross bordering cost for charging services.