Smart technology charges electric vehicles faster, cheaper and on solar energy


Electric car charging on solar energy

Amsterdam, 30 april 2015 – The new generation of electric vehicles have larger batteries and are able to charge at a higher power. To be able to charge at high power or charge multiple electric vehicles at the same time, the local grid connection would have to be upgraded. However, this is costly and unnecessary, because the power is already present in the meter cabinet, but it is not used efficiently yet. Clean tech startup Cohere has developed an intelligent load balancer in cooperation with Delft University of Technology. With the intelligent device, the charging power is adjusted dynamically, which enables the car to charge much faster than with just a charge point. When combined with solar panels, the capacity even increases and it becomes possible to drive purely on solar energy. Balancing local supply and demand of energy has never been done before in such a manner.

Charging directly on solar energy

The small computer in the meter cabinet connects the solar panel, the grid connection and the car. This way the charging power of the car can be adjusted to the amount of solar energy being produced, by which Maxem® enables you to drive on your own produced solar energy. With the power from solar panels the capacity in the meter cabinet even goes up. This means that you are able to charge faster when the sun shines brighter. But users are not bound by the amount of solar energy. The charging speed can easily be adjusted through the online application. “By managing energy flows in a clever way less energy has to be used from the electricity grid. This way there is less stress on the grid, while you automatically drive on your own sustainable energy.” As stated by Michael Coussement, CEO and co-founder of Cohere.

Research with Delft University of Technology

Within the research group DC Systems, Energy Conversion and Storage of Delft University of Technology new charging systems for electric vehicles are researched. The focus is on charging on renewables like wind and solar.

In a unique test environment for ‘smart charging’ at a lab of the University the most popular electric vehicles were tested with Maxem®, because every car demands a specific communication protocol. Professor Bauer of Delft University of Technology: “Charging on solar energy entails a genuine sustainable solution, because no CO2 is emitted in the chain from energy production to the wheels of the car. It really is unique what has been done here. In the relative new world of electric transport there is no beaten path. These have to be laid out by innovators, like Cohere.

Cohere participates in the accelerator of the European clean tech innovation program Climate-KIC with the focus on climate change. This helps Cohere realise its vision. The fact is that Cohere sees electric vehicles merely as the beginning. Next to charging stations and solar panels, also heat pumps, stationary batteries and other energy products can be connected to Maxem®. Its beta stage recently ended and it is now being placed at a growing number of customers. On a larger scale this system was recently applied to smart charging the 96 Tesla taxi’s of BBF SchipholTaxi who drive from the main Dutch airport. Read more about it in the press release of Cohere.

SchipholTaxi Cohere web

Electric Tesla taxis charge at high power at SchipholTaxi