Berlin, November 30th, 2017: ubitricity, a Berlin-based startup has developed technology that enables street lamps to be easily converted into charging stations for electric vehicles. Siemens has invested in this promising, new technology.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) would like to see 100 million electric cars on the road worldwide by 2030. The idea is to stay on course to achieving the goals of the Paris climate accord. In addition, the IEA wants one fifth of all road vehicles, including motorcycles, buses and trucks, to run on batteries by then. The Paris city council might even ban vehicles with combustion engines from entering the city from 2030 on. In addition, also by 2030, the European Union is planning to have 30 percent of all new vehicles equipped with electric or other alternative drive systems.
Clearly, electric mobility is on a roll. However, to make the vision of greenhouse-gas-free transportation a reality, we need not only enough renewably-generated electricity in the grid but also charging stations in the right places — especially where vehicles park for long periods – in other words, at work and at home. People who turn parking times into charging times will drive off with fully charged batteries and help spread the use of renewable energies, because their cars will become energy storage devices. Unless they are making a long trip, drivers will then rarely have to stop at quick charging stations to rapidly recharge their vehicles’ batteries.
ubitricity, a young company based in Berlin, Germany, has developed a technology that enables drivers to obtain electricity generated from renewable resources from the grid at almost any location. What’s more, it could turn vehicles into smart storage devices while they are connected to the grid. In view of this, Siemens has now bought an interest in ubitricity, because the startup’s technology plugs into a number of Siemens’ business activities at the interface between electrification, digital systems, and smart grids.
A Smart Technology with a Mobile Electricity Contract
At its heart, ubitricity’s technology encompasses three elements: a smart electric meter that is incorporated into the charging cable and handles battery charging billing, a mobile electricity contract that is linked to the charging cable, and power sockets that can be installed anywhere — essentially creating docking stations to the grid. Known as SimpleSockets, these outlets can be inexpensively installed in parking garages, residential and commercial buildings, and existing infrastructure systems such as street lamps.
In a pilot project, SimpleSockets were installed in dozens of street lamps in several London boroughs. Drivers merely need to park next to such street lamps and use the mobile “tap” to purchase electricity that is then directly billed. It takes only half an hour and around €1,000 to convert a street lamp — a fraction of what it costs in time and money to install a separate charging station.
After a smart cable is inserted into the socket, it identifies the charging point and turns on the power. Once the charging process has been completed, the associated data is transmitted to ubitricity via a secure mobile communications link. The company then forwards the data to mobile power suppliers, who bill the users each month for the electricity they have consumed.
“Ideally, the smart charging cable will make the charging of electric cars as easy as using a smartphone,” explains Frank Pawlitschek, CEO and co-founder of ubitricity.
Because power sockets can be inexpensively installed in walls and street lamps and produce almost no ongoing costs, they are ideal for large structures such as lampposts.
“At least one to two percent of the ten million street lamps in Germany could be converted immediately,” says Pawlitschek. “Thus we could enable the drivers who recharge at street lamps to quickly and easily get what they urgently need when they purchase an electric vehicle: an inexpensive way to recharge batteries right outside their front doors.”
The technology could also provide other benefits in the future, because the cables can control the charging processes in line with grid loads and integrate vehicles into the smart grid for use as decentralized storage devices. The basis for this is provided by the data generated by the smart charging cables themselves.
Moving Electric Meters into Cars
Because of these considerations, Siemens’ Energy Management Division decided to get involved in ubitricity — financially and in other ways. The company plans to contribute its know-how regarding digital grids and other technologies to the partnership so that large-scale charging infrastructures can be created.
“We are not particularly interested in single charging stations,” says Moritz Ingerfeld from Siemens Energy Management. “Instead, we’re interested in offering scalable solution packages and digital services to our customers, including energy utilities, industrial companies, logistics firms, and real estate businesses. These packages and services are needed for installing charging infrastructures in parking garages, large company parking lots, building complexes, and entire streets. In this way we can work together with our customers to enhance their business models.”
ubitricity also augments Siemens’ portfolio of wall-mounted and quick charging stations, as well as the company’s existing involvement in ChargePoint, a U.S. startup that is already very successful in the United States.
However, the smart charging cable is by no means the last word in mobile electricity for automobiles. In the next step, Siemens will further optimize the smart meter inside the cable and eventually transfer it into vehicles, because most of the electronics that are installed in the smart cable today are already available inside automobiles.
“We want the technology to ultimately develop in the same way the satnav system did,” says Pawlitschek. “Initially it was a piece of supplementary equipment, but later it became part of the vehicle. We are convinced that in the future cars will be sold together with vehicle-related green power contracts. That way, cars will play their proper role as major electric consumers within the grid.”
ubitricity is the leading charge point operator in the UK and hosts a network of over 6,000 public charge points. Supplying lamppost, bollard, fast and rapid charge point solutions, ubitricity works alongside local authorities to expand public charging infrastructure inline with residents’ needs. Based in Berlin and London the company also operates in other European countries such as Germany and France. ubitricity is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Shell Group
The companies in which Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate legal entities. In this announcement “Shell”, “Shell Group” and “Group” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These terms are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular entity or entities. ‘‘Subsidiaries’’, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this announcement refer to entities over which Shell plc either directly or indirectly has control. Entities and unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to as “joint ventures” and “joint operations”, respectively. Entities over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in an entity or unincorporated joint arrangement, after exclusion of all third-party interest.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “aim”, “ambition”, ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, “milestones”, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘risks’’, “schedule”, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘should’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘will’’ and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this announcement, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, judicial, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; (m) risks associated with the impact of pandemics, such as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak; and (n) changes in trading conditions. No assurance is provided that future dividend payments will match or exceed previous dividend payments. All forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect future results are contained in Shell plc’s Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2020 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov). These risk factors also expressly qualify all forward-looking statements contained in this announcement and should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this announcement, 30th November 2017. Neither Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this announcement.
The content of websites referred to in this announcement does not form part of this announcement.
We may have used certain terms, such as resources, in this announcement that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strictly prohibits us from including in our filings with the SEC. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website www.sec.gov