IoTecha uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology to connect electric vehicle (EV) charge points with the electricity grid, homes, and buildings. bp Ventures has just invested in the U.S-based company and the energy giant plans to integrate IoTecha’s products into its EV ecosystem.
Auto Futures has been talking to Oleg Logvinov, IoTecha’s CEO.
During their time at the electronics giant STMicroelectronics, the founding members of IoTecha created the ‘System on Chip ST2100; device. After spinning off from STMicroelectronics in 2016 to start IoTecha, the team began using the ST2100 to create smart charging stations and cloud services.
“IoTecha is unique in its end-to-end expertise, spanning from electrons and silicon gates to products and cloud services, creating a one-stop shop for Smart Charging technology,” says Logvinov.
IoTecha uses the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to connect electric vehicle (EV) charge points with the electricity grid, homes, and buildings. It simplifies charging for EV drivers by removing the need for charge cards and multiple payment systems and creates savings by enabling unused electricity to be sold back to the grid.
“The technology allows private and fleet vehicles to communicate seamlessly with charging stations to signal when they need to be recharged, preparing the charging stations to provide electricity at the most cost-effective time,” he explains.
The company’s Intelligent Power Platform, IoT.ON, allows private and fleet vehicles from any manufacturer to communicate seamlessly with charging stations to signal when they need recharging. The platform gathers information over time, identifying patterns and the energy requirements of each user across all forms of EV charging.
The transition to electrification brings both charging infrastructure cost and charging cost into focus. These two components have the greatest impact on the profitability of fleet operators.
“Smart and reliable charging enabled by IoTecha’s products and services allows fleet operators to minimize infrastructure investment and optimize the cost of charging by balancing the needs of the fleet and cost of the power available from the grid and other resources. ‘Plug and Charge’ technology further reduces the cost of charging by automating the process of EV authentication and charging management. These features, combined with the infrastructure aware power management and fleet management integration, enables further cost optimization,” explains Logvinov.
The information gathered by the platform can be utilised by fleet operators to save time and to cut costs.
“Smart Charging and Charging Optimization is a complex process that benefits from data that can be gathered from many sources including vehicle, grid, facility energy management system, fleet management system, etc.”
“By analysing the charging needs of EVs, costs and sources of energy, charging preferences and goals, and many other data points the charging process can be optimized to reduce charging costs while improving charging experience,” adds Logvinov.
The technology also enables EV owners to sell unused electricity back to the grid through Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) or bi-directional charging.
A recent report funded by the UK’s Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy showed that EV drivers could earn more than £700 a year selling surplus power back to the grid.
“EVs have pretty large batteries. These batteries can be utilized to store energy and release it back when needed. This is often called Vehicle-to-Grid application (V2G), but in reality V2G is an umbrella for the whole family of use cases, among them are Vehicle-to-Load (V2L), Vehicle-to-Building (V2B), Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Anything (V2X),” says Logvinov.
“Without a doubt autonomous transportation and electric propulsion were meant for each other.”
In June, 2021, it was announced that bp ventures has invested $7million in IoTecha, as part of a $13.2 million investment round. bp aim to provide over 70,000 public EV charging points worldwide by 2030.
“As demand for EVs grow, we are excited to explore how IoTecha can connect with bp’s wider EV infrastructure in support of bp’s global electrification strategy. Together, bp and IoTecha will work to accelerate mainstream adoption of EVs and support the transition to more sustainable mobility.”
IoTecha intends to use this investment to scale our operations and says it will work closely with bp.
Richard Bartlett, SVP Future Mobility & Solutions at bp, states: “IoTecha is at the forefront of the trend towards electrification, and their unique technology combines EV charging with smart connectivity to deliver cost and energy savings. As demand for EVs continues to grow, we are excited to explore how IoTecha can connect with bp’s wider EV infrastructure, in support of our EV charging point targets.”
Logvinov sees many initiatives around the globe where electrification is being adopted in passenger and commercial vehicles, two- and three-wheel transport, boats, and aircrafts.
“I see two major trends in action, the first one is the shift from ICE to electric propulsion, but the second trend is even more interesting,” says Logvinov.
“The path to 2030 will be dominated by the first trend. The second trend will reshape how transportation as we know it looks like as we approach 2050. Without a doubt autonomous transportation and electric propulsion were meant for each other, this is pretty obvious. But what else could be there? I love the new hydrofoil boat concept where the use of hydrofoils enables an incredible reduction in energy use and drone like gyroscope/accelerometer control creates a very smooth ride even in choppy waters,” he adds.
“Electric propulsion allows us to change traditional architectures of various forms of transportation. Combined with other innovations it is likely to create forms of transportation that we have not thought about yet. One thing is for sure, these forms of transportation will work in concert with green sources of energy, significantly reducing our carbon footprint,” concludes Logvinov.