When it comes to electric mobility, we at innogy want to make life easier and more convenient for people, which is why our experts at the innogy Innovation Hub are working on the idea of making cars behave like wallets. The technology is called car-e-wallet. Carsten Stöcker, one of our Innovation Hub employees explains: “You use an app to find all the charging points in close vicinity. Then you just drive up to one. The car registers with the charging point all by itself and automatically organises the billing process with the energy provider.”
We use block chain technology for this, where all the necessary monetary transactions are handled within a peer-to-peer network. The method of payment is often via bitcoins – the internet currency typically used by online gamers. For the general public, innogy will offer crypto euros that can be exchanged on a 1:1 basis for real euros. Parking and motorway fees could be paid this way in the future too, without any fuss, time-wasting, cash or credit card involved. The first trials are already underway.
“In future, such technology will be built into the car, so there will be no need to use a smartphone”, says Carsten Stöcker. “We are currently discussing how this might work with various car makers and subcontractors.”
Many other possibilities are conceivable for this car-e-wallet system. Simple billing for car-sharing customers, for instance, or even parcel delivery right into the car boot space. The car would simply read the code on a parcel and automatically open the boot for the courier. “I would go as far as saying the possibilities are almost endless”, says Carsten Stöcker. “Charging electric cars, sharing cars and renting them to each other with this wallet technology are just some of the initial ideas. In any case, such transactions will be much simpler than they are today and our lives will be made that little bit easier.”