Smart charging
in gear

What if you were able to charge your electric car while the sustainable energy supply is ample and the price is lowest? That is exactly what Jedlix allows you to do with #ichargesmart, an app that makes electric vehicles even more appealing, and puts the customer in control.

Wind and sunlight are not always available. At night, there is little demand for energy, while a lot of wind power is continuously being generated. Prices are lowest at that particular time. This app capitalises on that fact by ensuring that your car charges itself at the most profitable time. The user simply decides by which time they want their car to be fully charged, and the app takes care of the rest. This notion may seem quite futuristic, but start-up company Jedlix is making it into a reality these days with #ichargesmart.

Innovation

Jorg van Heesbeen is one of the founders of Jedlix. During his traineeship at Eneco, he came up with an app for smart charging. ‘There were several different initiatives to organise power in a flexible manner, but I wanted to see whether we could make something happen for electric transport in the context of flexibility and create a link between smart homes and ‘connected’ cars. The aim was to make electric vehicles more appealing to consumers. Eneco put their faith in us and wanted to invest in our idea. We got to work with a team of experts, using Tesla software. And when Microsoft came on board as a partner, we were able to present our first demo to the world. That was the kick-off for the market’s first smart charging app that actually works.’

Box of Legos

Partnering with Microsoft was crucial in getting the app to work. Lex de Visser, technology strategist at Microsoft, says: ‘Our software is like a box of Legos; it contains ready-made building blocks that you can use to create a successful product. Jedlix had a clear objective in mind, which allowed us to combine the right building blocks and make progress quickly.’ And they continue to keep up the pace; the start-up has since partnered up with Tesla, BMW, and Renault.

On top of that, the market share made up by electric vehicles continues to increase. The Netherlands is a market leader when it comes to electric vehicles, compared to neighbouring countries. ‘We want to be able to put residual capacity to good use locally. If it’s sunny in Utrecht, you can use solar power to charge your car, and use the electricity in your house in the evening. In other words, it allows us to offer people a home battery. This way, people can take their power supply into their own hands.’

Future

This app is part of a bigger system. Cars are becoming more intelligent all the time, and sharing vehicles is very popular. Jorg: ‘This forces the infrastructure in urban areas to change, which in turn affects the supply and demand of sustainable energy. We are already talking with several parties to come up with a clever mix of technology, mobility, data, flexibility, and efficiency. This will allow us to continue to offer smart, affordable solutions in the future. We are also working on pilots in the UK and Germany. Our dream is to turn affordable electric driving into the standard for the entire world. It would be amazing if Jedlix were able to contribute to that process.