Provides tools to help utilities, charge point operators and end-users to transition to e-mobility
As electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly popular, they are set to alter the mobility ecosystem as we know it. New services (e.g. EV charging facilities) are added to the mix and existing legacy systems (e.g. power utilities) are required to up their game to adapt to new age mobility.
However, utilities have been slow to register active participation in the e-mobility landscape. While there is a lot of focus on the overall development of smart charging infrastructure and tools, little is being done at utilities’ end to prepare for the transition.
The idea behind Elocity
“Though the utilities are the fuel providers for new-age mobility, it is rather odd that they are being reduced to a bystander in the whole ecosystem development”, observes Sanjeev Singh, Co-founder and CEO at Elocity.
Sanjeev is a seasoned professional in the software and clean technology industry, with decades of domain expertise in the global energy & utility sectors. Prior to this, he led Solutions & Pre-Sales at Tech Mahindra and delivered multimillion-dollar growth over a time span of six years. He has led international assignments for utility clients like San Diego Gas & Electric, Tata Power and others. Moving to Ontario – a Candian province with an environmentally supportive system, prompted him to develop solutions targeted at utilities.
An increased EV penetration will lead to more electricity consumption and revenue for the utilities. Sanjeev felt that the utilities should prepare to embrace the transition and even promote the EVs. However, they need the right tools to manage this new demand and engage with EV users.
“In 2018, I onboarded a few like-minded folks including Prof Bala from Ryerson university and we got our first pilot project with London Hydro – a utility in Ontario. The pilot was a successful proof of concept and validated our commitment to the utilities’ cause and our ability to introduce efficiency to the power distribution system”, he says.
Elocity entered into Indian EV charging market in 2019 and is currently operating in Bangalore and Delhi. The other co-founder and COO, Arvind Kumar, had previously led Optym India, an analytics company that provides solutions for the transport industry and has served Indian Railways and many other airlines and trucking clients in the US.
“We met through a common colleague in July 2019 and I was intrigued by the potential and impact of Elocity’s solutions. Analytics has immense scope in the field e.g. to control the peak, understand the user charging patterns, setting pricing signals etc. The synergies between my experience in analytics and Elocity’s work prompted me to come on-board”, says Arvind who joined Elocity as a co-founder in Sep 2019.
Elocity has developed an integrated digital platform called HIEVTM that provides necessary tools and interfaces to utilities, charge point managers, businesses and EV users to efficiently transition to e-mobility.
Elocity’s solution for utilities manifests in the form of a cloud application that can be integrated with its back-office systems.
The challenge for the utilities is to induct the EVs (as a consumer) in an efficient manner while ensuring grid reliability. DISCOMs need to make the most of existing capabilities while avoiding the need for expensive infrastructure up-gradation unless necessary. Arvind notes, “Utilities perish if they don’t perform. Elocity provides tools that can give them reliable information on usage patterns; help forecast demand; implement variable pricing models (Time of Day, Time of Use) to influence charging behaviour and limit consumption during peak times”.
“In essence, we are talking about how EVs can be smartly connected to the grid. The technology we are advancing allows more EVs to be managed without forcing the utility to make big investments, grid expansions and upgrades”, says Sanjeev.
The start-up also offers Charging Management Solutions (CMS) and mobile App for EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) manufacturers and charge point operators to seamlessly manage EV charging. Through the mobile App, EV owners can locate, reserve and charge their vehicles and pay online without any hassle.
“Our OCPI+OCPP stack can be customised based on customer’s requirements and supports EV charging roaming. We provide a vendor-agnostic smart-charge controller which integrates with EV charging units. It helps charge point managers to work with both utilities and EV owners, and support EV charging at the right cost”, says Arvind.
Elocity’s HIEVTM Plug is developed using a green button framework and Blockchain for maintaining data privacy of EV owners. EVPlug that can be fitted to any charger including non-smart chargers and bring it on the network, make it visible to the utility and enable metering as well as smart charging capability.
For home users, the HIEVTM solution provides a mobile app where customers can view their consumption data and set a charging schedule. The app also acts as a communication tool for DISCOMs to engage with the customer and incentivise favourable charging patterns.
Scale and the road ahead
Elocity is headquartered at Toronto, Canada. The start-up is currently in an early growth phase and has 25 employees, 15 in India and 10 in Canada. They have raised over 2M Canadian Dollars till date with the latest round led by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) seed fund.
Elocity is currently working on pilot projects with North American utilities and intends to collaborate with Indian DISCOMs. The company has successfully integrated its CMS with a Portuguese, an Australian and many Indian EVSE manufacturers with many more in the pipeline, and set to commission a large project in Europe in partnership with a leading company in blockchain technology that aims to bring utilities and charge point operators together.
“Sectoral collaboration and digital integration are vital for an effective transition to e-mobility. Using AI and IoT enabled technology, our HIEVTM platform helps utilities manage EV charging demands and integrate EV charging into existing grid infrastructure. We aspire to bring utilities to the forefront of e-mobility that will give them a voice in the overall planning”, says Sanjeev signing off.
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