Motivation: Why do we need EVOLVE?

The transportation sector is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to European Environmental Agency (EEA) in 2021, 22% of GHG emissions were contributed by the transportation sector, which is the second-largest source of emissions. To meet the European Union (EU)’s set target of 60% lower emissions from transport by 2050 as compared to 1990, full-spectrum decarbonisation is required. The transition towards low carbon transport, i.e., electric vehicles (EVs) is vital for achieving these ambitious targets.

As the number of EVs is expected to increase, more recharging points will be needed. It is estimated that around 440,000 publicly accessible recharging points will be needed by 2020, and 2 million by 2025. Realisation of a complete eco-system that facilitates smart charging, seamless vehicular to everything (V2X) connectivity, immersive quality of experience for EV drivers to reduce driving range anxiety, demand management in smart grids, and cost-effective operation of EV charging stations is a complex challenge that involves cross-sectoral interactions.

The charging station deployment strategy needs to be optimized given a priori information of traffic flows, EV penetration rate, energy demands, and future forecasts. A separate information and communication infrastructure is required to implement an application-level logic for an online recommendation system that can provide optimal suggestions to EV drivers. The recommendation system should enhance quality-of-experience (QoE) for EV drivers by reducing range anxiety while working with other factors such as dynamics of journey and availability of the energy. These factors will be crucial for unlocking the potential for widespread adoption of EVs in society. Therefore, initiatives are required which can help tackle research and development challenges related to the next generation of EVs such as: 

  • seamless charging and connectivity

  • smart grids

  • environmentally cognizant, resilient, and safe EVs.

EVOLVE aims to tackle these issues by assembling a multidisciplinary team from industry and academia.

EVOLVE’s vision is to realize innovative novel charging point recommendation systems which exploit machine learning(ML), artificial intelligence(AI) and Internet-of-things (IoT) technologies. The research and innovation (R&I) exchange program is based on inter-disciplinary, intersectoral, inter-country mobility to realize the envisioned design goals (see Objectives). We believe that EVOLVE’s team is best placed to design such a framework due to the multitude of expertise in the consortium. The team contains researchers spanning the areas of power systems, communication networks, embedded systems, distributed computing, AI, business models, and vehicular networking. The key novelty of EVOLVE is that rather than considering the charging management system as a separate entity, it explores how this could be built in an applicationcentric manner on top of currently evolving 5G cellular networks. This not only requires developing the intelligent algorithms which can be hosted on commercial platforms but also demands developing several components of the platform itself.

Therefore, the work-streams of EVOLVE focus across two different but complementary dimensions:

  1. Development of technological solutions for EV charging

  2. Translating the requirements of EV charging into a flexible software/hardware platform technology that can be unified and integrated with 5G networks.

EVOLVE believes in modular development of core components that are exposed as services and available for rendering a multitude of tasks across solution space.