GM and Honda publish specs for decentralized electric car charging network

The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) has launched a global standard for integrating blockchain technology into a decentralized vehicle charging network.

The storage of excess energy generated by wind or solar is a big problem for the renewable energy industry as batteries are very expensive. But electric vehicles already have significant storage capacity so there’s been a lot of work around plugging them into decentralized energy grids to store renewable energy.

MOBI’s Electric Vehicle Grid Integration (EVGI) Working Group’s first design specifications seek to lay the foundation for decentralized charging networks that better utilize excess green energy, detailing systems for “vehicle-to-grid-integration,” “tokenized carbon credits,” and “peer-to-peer applications.” 

MOBI founder and COO, Tram Vo, asserted that the standard will offer benefits to firms representing “all sides of the electric vehicle and charging ecosystem,” stating:

“Electric vehicles, chargers, and electricity producers can have a secure identity, communicate with a standard messaging format, and automatically record transactions such as charging, generation, and exchange on a distributed ledger.”

The EVGI standard is chain agnostic, seeking to ensure that “pertinent data attributes and functionalities of each use case are available for organizations to utilize in creating their own applications.”

The EVGI Working Group launched in May, with top automotive companies Honda and General Motors (GM) co-chairing the organization. Distributed ledger technology firms Accenture, IBM, the IOTA Foundation, and R3 are also notable members of the group. 

Senior project engineer at Honda R&D Europe, Christian Köbel, emphasized the “massive transition” the energy sector is currently undergoing from “centralized power generation in big power plants, towards more distributed and volatile power generation:”

“Decentralization and the concept of direct P2P interaction is set to become a key factor in leveraging this new market and building meaningful tools for energy-conscious end customers.”

Green energy is increasingly emerging as a major frontier for blockchain technology, with Ripple and Energy Web Foundation announcing the ‘Energy Web Zero’ protocol to decarbonize distributed ledger networks last week. 

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