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Grønn Kontakt (GK) Electric Vehicle digital platform
Electric vehicles (EVs) represent one of the most promising technology for reducing fossil fuels and cutting emissions. Norway has manged to provide a successful framework for uptake of EV cars that has led to EVs capturing more than 15 % of new vehicles sold in 2015. In 2015, Norway was the 4th biggest EV market in the world.
Building a sufficient number of charging points is fundamental for the future development of the electrification of the transport sector. In Norway the Government decided that the most cost effective model was to set up a network of charging stations based on free market principles. The market will build the infrastructure in accordance with the growing needs of customers in a cost effective manner. On the other hand lack of volume until critical mass is reached, illustrates the potential of stranded assets.
Even though, the market needs new companies providing chargers and charging services on the market. To handle the risk with a new product in a new market until critical mass is reached, both EVs and charging infrastructure is subsidized by the authorities. All players have to compete for subsidies based on political criteria for deploying the best, most cost effective and relevant public infrastructure.
Grønn Kontakt (GK)
Grønn Kontakt (GK) is a start-up/project in Norway offering DC and AC charging to EV cars in Norway. It is a start-up established in 2011 by 23 electric utilities in Norway.
The mission of GK is to provide all the services that owners of charging infrastructure need to offer and manage DC and AC chargers and to offer charging to all EV drivers wherever they live, work, and travel. The first complete charging station offering charging services to both German, Japanese and French EV cars was built by GK in 2013. GK is after 3 years operating a national charging network in Norway. During the last 3 years GK has built more than 70 charging station widely distributed in the country offering both DC and AC charging for EV drivers. From 1.1. 2015 to 31.12.2015 GK had the following expansion of the business:
- The amount of charging/day per chargers doubled
- The amount of charging stations doubled.
- The amount of registered customers 5-doubled
- The income 5-doubled.
The market is still in a pilot phase where new business models are tested. GK is also working hard trying to identify the most robust business model for charging in a competitive market in Norway. The competitive environment for service providers like GK offering DC and AC charging for EV cars in Norway is characterized by:
Players competing with a different business models
Revenue creation that reflects value creation and actual costs
The commercial risks have to be covered by the market players.
- The digital business model
GK has created a business model based on an digital business platform. Electricity is transferred to digital services. The company has taken over the physical market place created by commercializing the electrical sockets/plugs at the DC and AC chargers. The market place need large investments in charging infrastructure and in the digital architecture needed to offer back-office services.
GK has been one of the front runners in the deployment of digital technology necessary for providing smart charging infrastructure in Norway. GK has developed a new digital platform for the remote control and management that turns the DC and AC chargers into smart components within the IoT.
Apart from providing the basic customer services related to the EV charging process GK's digital platform provide additional features through online WEB which provide a range of value-added services including charging point location, charging activities, billing, real-time asset management while customers are charging their car. The digital platform provide charging services for both drop-in and registered customers.
The digital company stack consists of the following elements:
- Cloud computing.
- The mobile platform
- Internet of things
- Social network
- Big data.
The digital stack is developed in cooperation with several digital partners like Chargestorm, Giant Leap, COM4 and Visma. The software platform may be hosted either in internal servers or in the cloud.
The market place for digital services is internet based. Customers connection to internet has an impact on both businesses and customers. Internet make real time communication between both parties. Customers and businesses are becoming more digital due to a higher interaction with devices connected to internet (IoT).
Like internet, the modern electricity grid serves as backbone upon which a new generation of technologies, services and business models will be built. The DC and AC chargers represent multi-services gateways – comprising both hardware and software to offer choice of communications interface to enable multiple distribution grid applications.