Image: SWTCH

A new blockchain solution out of Canada is aimed to grow electric vehicle (EV) adoption by reducing the transactional costs.

The blockchain-based EV charging management platform is being implemented by two Canadian companies. These are Toronto-based SWTCH Energy, a provider of EV charging and energy management solutions, and Opus One Solutions, a provider of transactive and distributed energy management software.

The two companies are integrating transactive energy networks that leverage EVs as distributed energy resource assets, using bi-directional vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging and blockchain technology.

The platform will initially be demonstrated in Toronto, with plans for national and international expansion.

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The goal of the initiative is to promote the commercialisation of innovative EV charging technologies by leveraging blockchain and V2G within transactive energy networks. Ultimately, with these drawing on both location and time-specific price signals, the transactional costs of EV charging should be reduced and grid efficiency enhanced.

A particular focus in Toronto and other cities in Canada is EV charging accessibility in high density, urban multi-tenant settings.

“As EV adoption grows and our energy systems become increasingly decentralised, our blockchain-based solution is poised to deliver the greatest value to all stakeholders involved in integrating EVs into the distributed energy ecosystem,” promises Carter Li, CEO of SWTCH.

The transportation sector in Canada accounts for 25% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The increased adoption of EVs is thus key to decarbonising the sector and transitioning to a low carbon future.

The collaboration is supported with CA$1 million (US$0.8 million) from Natural Resource Canada’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration (EVID) programme. Other partners in the CA$2.6 million project include the utility Toronto Hydro, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, city planner IBI Group and US EV charging station provider PowerCharge.

No details have been made available about the blockchain technology being implemented. However, earlier work on blockchain in EV charging at the University of Waterloo identified a lack of trust among charging service providers, property owners and owners of EVs, and highlighted the need for an open platform to mitigate this trust issue.