The Nexus of Forces in Action – Use-Case 16: Electric Vehicles Ecosystem



The Electric Vehicles (EV) use-case aims to extend conventional cars through the implementation of the EV ecosystem enabling interactions between different actors ranging from designers and manufacturers to drivers and services providers. An open web-based system provides real-time control of the smart car data stream, enabling personal, relevant, and timely services from different perspectives.

Primary Industry Sectors

Manufacturing – automotive manufacturing, energy – smart grid

Business Value

Increase in QoS, user-centered service, decrease in maintenance and service cost, EV market expansion, multi-actor collaboration, increase in the availability of spare parts. High costs of EV act as a major drawback, and limit the access to this market. The business value is to leverage the potential endless amount of information that can be tracked, sensed, and created and evaluate current possibilities to associate innovative added-value services to enable smart and highly personalized EVs, and attract new customers.

Key Business Functions

Charging, management of charging stations and their internetwork, multi-actor collaboration, enabling collaboration across multiple locations and among different actors involved throughout the lifecycle, user management, repair

Primary Actors

Vehicle user/purchaser/driver, vehicle manufacturer

Secondary Actors

Distribution network operator, charging operator, local controller

Machine Actors

Ultra-fast grid electric charging system, automatic payment system service, vehicle maintenance planning, mobile location and service account management app, vehicle GPS tracking, vehicle driver usage analytics, vehicle component usage and self diagnostics system, messaging and alerts, social networks, cloud (private, public, hybrid, community), vehicle fleet/groups planning analytics

Key Technologies

IoT, cloud, big data, enabling technologies for interoperability (API connectivity, such as RESTful web services), mobile technology

Main Scenarios


EV’s market creates a new challenge in terms of charging infrastructure and interfaces with the smart electricity grid. This application scenario is also related to the requirements in terms of parking lots, ultra-fast charging, and automatic payment systems services. Indeed, the large-scale implementation of EVs requires a more advanced charging infrastructure capable of charging the EVs at parking lots and in a relatively short period of time.

User Management Services

Orienting drained battery cars towards a nearest charging station taking into account the other vehicles’ batteries within a given perimeter; providing dashboards to drivers with information such as engine and wheel status, battery status, recommended maintenance date, identification of the nearest geographic location of electrical vehicle plug-ins, current location analysis, recommendation of itineraries leading to the destination.

Repair Service Center

Integrating remote troubleshooting capability: for the purpose of monitoring and troubleshooting easily, concerning replacing parts or consumables in a charger. An EV service center manager can easily order the spare parts. Moreover, all spare parts will have a high availability.

Control Management Services

Enabling designers and manufacturers to control vehicle components and their behavior; thus enriching design processes to improve the user-centered and friendly design.

Maintenance Management Services

Enabling failures anticipation through battery lifetime monitoring, incident detection, and cloud storage of users’ information.

Interactions within the Ecosystem

Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-charging stations (possible scenario).

Key Data

Master Data

Charger product data, charger parts data, product’s BOL data about design detail

Current Observations Data

Product’s MOL data (using RFID technology, for example), problem detection signals concerning each part (based on sensors)

Historical Data

Visited charging station information (all stations, most-visited stations), periodical information on repaired parts.

Query Data

Nearest charging station, availability of technician and service station for special troubleshooting, customer feedback on the maintenance service (QoS).

Action Taken Data

Technician’s decision on repairing parts and/or replacing the whole charger, decision on re-using some parts of a charger (EOL recycling), vote on customer satisfaction

Real Business Examples


ChargeMap references 17,618 charge points for electric cars. (See the ChargeMap website.)

EV Ecosystems

This is a global task force (Task 18) launched by the International Energy Agency’s Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Implementing Agreement (IA-HEV). The aim of the project is to advance international policy and the design of EV ecosystems for smart cities. A global community of experts from 17 countries is engaging in workshops to establish future priorities for EV programs and to explore specific areas of opportunity. (Source: the EV Ecosystems website.)

Greening of Greenville

“Many cities and communities have installed EV charging stations. However, few vehicles are in the market to currently use them. Consumers are reluctant to purchase EVs without a reliable charging network and auto companies are reluctant to produce EVs without a network. The creation of the Greenville EV Ecosystem supports a charging network along with introduction of EVs into the marketplace for users to drive, on both a short-term basis, and mid-term rentals, to see if an EV can meet the needs of their business or lifestyle.”

“Enterprise has deployed EVs at the Downtown Buncombe Street location for regular rentals and at the Greenville Spartanburg Airport for visitors to use. A number of companies have also committed to six-month test use of vehicles in their fleets. GE, in cooperation with Thursopower and building owners, has deployed an extensive network of vehicle charging stations in addition to the existing charging stations in the Downtown City garages. Also, Enterprise has launched a pilot of its WeCar Program in Downtown Greenville using EVs. The vehicles are located at the Poinsett Garage at the McBee entrance. There is a Chevy Volt and a Nissan Leaf. WeCar is a membership-based car sharing program for people who are looking for an alternative method of transportation that lowers the cost and reduces the hassles of traditional transportation. Users only pay for the hours used and the rate includes all maintenance and insurance.”

(Source: the Greening of Greenville website.)

The Netherlands

The Netherlands has nation-wide EV charging networks. (See Jim Motavalli’s article in the New York Times.)


ABB has a charger monitoring and repairing service. (See the ABB website.)

Additional Considerations

Existing Interoperability Standards


Comments on Context

In order to trigger innovation on the IoT, we need to track and count not only the identifier, type, and version of a physical product which is known as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), but also its usage in all of its lifecycle phases which is known as Quantum Lifecycle Management (QLM). Here, the usage of the car can be tracked in terms mentioned in the third scenario above.


  • The modularity of the car needs to support a set of battery, connector, and power standards in addition to the IT information web service standards.
  • Optimize electric engines.
  • Optimize battery performances for fast charging and longer lifetime.
  • Reduce the weight.
  • Each product part of a charger should be designed in a modular way for the purpose of being tracked and repaired individually.