Charging network operators, energy companies partner to create UPI-like network for EV charging | Autocar Professional

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20 Energy companies have come together to create an Alliance for an open energy network called the Unified Energy Interface (UEI). This UPI-like system is aimed at facilitating seamless payment and transaction interoperability within EV charging networks.

The Alliance includes member companies like ChargeZone, Pulse Energy, Kazam, Sheru, Trinity, Turbo, etc. Leading public policy think tanks and research organisations specialising in energy, climate, and technology, such as the Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute amongst many, are also joining the consortium in an advisory capacity to advance the initiative. 

While members like ChargeZone have enabled their chargers to be discovered and transacted over the UEI network, companies like Kazam and Pulse Energy who are tech enablers for UEI have enabled their customers to discover, pay and charge at any of their chargers via the UEI network. 

The UEI Alliance is dedicated to fostering global development, adoption, and compliance with unified standards for energy-related economic transactions between digital platforms. Their focus areas include scaling transaction volumes within the UEI network to enhance efficiency and reach. The Alliance is committed to ensuring that the protocol in action remains relevant and adaptable to market needs, guiding technical evolution and governance. Additionally, they promote a scalable model that facilitates the easy integration of both new and existing participants, streamlining processes and expanding their impact.

Raj Kumar, the Executive Director, Trinity said, “As the transportation sector shifts towards greater electrification, it’s crucial to ensure that EV drivers can access charging infrastructure easily, regardless of their vehicle’s brand or the charging network. Trinity has been a pioneer in such initiatives, like UEI, which aims for seamless integration at the backend. This approach improves convenience for EV drivers by eliminating the need for multiple access cards or accounts. Furthermore, it fosters competition and innovation among charging point operators, as they are motivated to provide better services and prices to attract customers.”

Akhil Jayaprakash , CEO, Pulse Energy said, “In order to accelerate the world’s transition to EVs, we need systems that are interoperable, and do business with each other seamlessly.”

Reji Pillai, CEO, India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) said, “India Smart Grid Forum has been promoting peer-to-peer (P2P) trading of green electricity from rooftop solar PV systems; and we have undertaken three successful pilot projects on P2P trading of green energy on blockchain platform in India. The key challenge in scaling up the P2P projects is the payment settlement mechanism between the peers involved in the P2P trading.”

“This is going to unleash a green energy revolution in the country, particularly with 10 million rooftop solar PV systems being rolled out on fast track under the PM Suryoday Yojana. UEI will herald a paradigm change in the fundamental operating regime of the power sector globally.”    

The UEI network has even received the green light from the Department of Science and Technology in their latest e-Mobility White Paper, and more importantly, it’s built on Beckn protocol – a Made in India open sourced protocol that enables open networks like Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), Unified Health Interface (UHI), Open Network for Education and Skilling Transformations (ONEST) and many more.  

The Not-for-Profit alliance is being formed to help fund the working group and any minimal infrastructure cost the network may have at the inception. The cost will be equally split between all alliance members. Till date the network has facilitated 1.4GWh of energy transactions across the entire network and is poised to grow 100X more with prominent B2C apps expected to join the UEI network in July. 

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