IOTA (MIOTA): Technology is gradually catching up with almost every sector, not long ago, the idea of charging a car instead of using petroleum products would be laughable. In Netherlands, the progress made in the mobility sector is already in test for integration with the now famous ‘blockchain networks’. Back in April 2018, an innovation centre known as the ElaadNL became the first to release a charging station whose payments can be made by the IOTA coin. Today, results from the tests conducted on this milestone are quite promising.
The ElaadNL is a Dutch initiative by the Netherland based grid operators. Its main focus is within the smart charging innovation space as well as education in the blockchain industry. Given that electricity would greatly reduce petroleum-related costs, the development of the smart charging infrastructure is evidently important.
Grid operator collaboration with ElaadNL will help the entity access data to help in its overview of network efficiency. Furthermore, these measures taken to maintain the proper services will put into consideration E-mobility developments.
Stientje van Veldhoven, the Netherlands State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management opened ElaadNL’s site for testing in mid-April 2018. The site is all inclusive of the available public charging stations located in Netherlands. At the moment, they include IOTA charger, two charging lanterns, charging island & fast charger.
IOTA & Machine Intelligence
The innovative smart charging network by ElaadNL and IOTA uses a Proof of Concept (PoC) in order to break down the concept idea. IOTA’s blockchain ‘Tangle’ is an internet of Things (IoT) platform built with a modern digital distributed ledger tech (DLT). This new open source protocol developed by IOTA facilitates Machine interaction thus enhancing data security and cuts fees related to transactions. IOTA’s blockchain network and coin was therefore a suitable match for the ElaadNL tech advancements in mobility. According to ElaadNL’s IT Architect, Harm van den Brink,
“No back office and no communication protocol are required to operate the charging station; the transactions are exchanged directly without the use of a charge card or subscription,”
Mini Tesla ‘smart charging’ Testing Phase
IOTA’s blockchain network efficiency has proven its use in the charging station idea, the platform operations are autonomous relaying payments and communication to users. Its blockchain ‘Tangle’ stores the values recorded from the meter within a span of 15 minutes to hence the reliability in its consensus and trustable administration.
“The charge station has been tested multiple times with the special hardware (mini-Tesla) we built. We are currently busy implementing a QR-code display, so everybody can directly pay and charge,” says van den Brink.
However, the technology is yet to be made compatible with normal cars, additional hardware changes would have to be made to the existing vehicles to accomplish this. Therefore, the work in progress with the software is still too young for integration with the real-world cars. Van den Brink added that it may take a while before the upscale to bigger machines is done.
Smart Charger integration with IOTA
With almost half a year into testing the smart charging product, the next milestone is its integration with IOTA’s blockchain network. This will enable the smart charging technology to leverage IOTA’s ability to gather information and act on requests made via its blockchain ecosystem. The grid operators will obtain the specifics on a transformer’s load capacity via this technology. Van den Brink briefly summarized how this will work,
“The transformer can ask connected devices to do smart charging, and if they listen to that they will get incentivized directly by sending them IOTA tokens. This will also be a proof of concept, and we expect results by the end of this year,”