Saturday, September 18, 2021

Mer Chooses Driivz To Manage EV Charging Network In Norway, Sweden

Mer, Europe’s largest renewable energy provider, will use the software of Tel Aviv-based Driivz, to standardize its electric vehicle charging network in Norway and Sweden, the two companies announced Wednesday.

The decision came after a successful rollout of Driivz’s energy management system for Mer’s charging stations throughout the United Kingdom and Germany.

“We wanted an international EV charging solution that could serve our entire business areas,” Mer Chief Technical Officer Camilla Moe said in a statement. “After exhaustive evaluations and successful integrations and months of live use in Germany and the U.K., re decided to move all our operations the Driivz platform.”

Mer is owned by Statkraft, a hydropower company operated by the government of Norway. Mer is installing EV chargers in workplaces, parking garages and residential areas where people don’t have access to their own garage or driveway.

Reliability is one of the biggest challenges in developing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, demand for which is projected by Deloitte to grow from 2.5 million vehicles in 2020 to 31 million by 2030.

While about 80% of EV charging is done at owners’ homes, there is still anxiety about the availability of charging stations on drives of more than 200 miles.

A recent J.D. Power study asked 6,647 EV owners about their experiences between January and June 2021. Of those who had problems, 58% said they tried to use chargers that were out of service.

Doron Frenkel, Driivz CEO and co-founder, said that between 22% and 30% of the time chargers have issues that disrupt drivers’ ability to charge their vehicles.

The problem is complex. There are dozens of different companies that make the chargers. They, in turn, must rely on utilities that must contend with surges in demand for all electricity and price their service accordingly.

“Load increases, from EV charging demand may eventually push local transformers beyond their capacity, requiring expensive infrastructure upgrades,” said Oren Halevi, Driivz head of product development. “In an unmanaged EV charging environment only a limited number of vehicles can charge to full power.”

Because EVs, like most cars, are idle for between 90% and 95% of a given day, Driivz also can help a fleet operator or building management firm to draw electricity from the parked vehicles during their idle hours to reduce their buildings’ energy consumption.

The EV’s batteries are then recharged from the grid during times of lower demand in the building, such as late night or very early morning hours.

Driivz software enables the charging stations and their utilities to communicate so there is a steady flow of electricity, allowing the charging network to meet peak demand. The system also is available to fleet operators such as buses in urban areas and companies that have fleets of EVs for their employees to drive.

By developing an algorithm, Driivz can remotely address most operational problems with EV chargers. Its platform is compatible with more than 120 types of chargers, according to a recent study by Frost & Sullivan.

Driivz has customers in 28 countries. Those customers include Volvo Group, EVgo, Gilbarco Veeder-Root, ElaadNL, ESB and Centrica.

“Mer’s vision of linking EV charging to renewable energy sources is perfectly aligned with our own goals of helping create a more sustainable future and reduce carbon emissions,” said Frenkel.


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