The third largest electricity utilities company in Japan, Chubu Electric Power Company, has partnered with Internet of Things (IoT) specialists Nayuta Inc. and Software company Infoteria. Their objective is to use the Blockchain technology to record the charging of electric vehicles. Bitcoin and the Lightning Network will be used for micro-payment purposes.
According to Japanese news outlet The Denki Shimbun,
“Nayuta’s development of a charging outlet that is compatible with Blockchain, in combination with Infoteria’s development of a tandem mobile application, means that users could hypothetically see the charge history of the electric vehicle as recorded to the Blockchain.”
Hidemi Noda, the head of the chief research planning group of Chubu Electric Power Technologies Development Division told The Denki Shimbun that although the experiments were successful, there is always place for improvement:
“This verification is the first step, I’d like to improve the service by finding out the problems and trying to improve it.”
According to the local journal, there are many advantages to using Blockchain for electric automobile charging:
“Charging is possible by issuing an instruction to the charging outlet from the application downloaded to the smartphone, if it is authenticated. Since history management can be performed if there is a charging outlet, the initial cost can be kept low. Also, by using the block chain, it is unlikely that the history will be tampered with. For apartment owner owing to tampering, the risk of being charged arbitrarily decreases.”
The CEO of Nayuta, Kenichi Kurimoto, told TechCrunch Japan:
“There is a tremendous number of transactions in the IoT field, there is a possibility that using the Lightning Network can handle a larger number of transactions than using it in the cloud.”
For now, the partnership is for experimental purposes only. A real business partnership will be discussed once the tests are over.