eCharge is an upcoming German project that aims to leverage blockchain technology in an effort to reinvent the way electric vehicles stay charged.
It is a timely project as it seems like the mass adoption of electric vehicles is just around the corner. The International Energy Agency reported approximately 2 million e-vehicles on the road in 2016. This number could grow to as high as 20 million by 2020. By 2025? Up to 70 million. By 2050, a staggering number of e-vehicles could be in use, potentially even approaching 500 million.
This will be possible due to the important work industry leaders like Tesla are doing to advance the efficiency, affordability, and practicality of owning an e-vehicle. But with so many of these vehicles on the road, how will drivers manage to keep them charged, without causing an overwhelming impact on the environment?
Here what’s you need to know about eCharge that will help you understand the important role this ICO will play in the (surprisingly near) future of e-vehicles.
The eCharge Vision
As renewable energy sources are rapidly approaching a point of being universally cheaper and more cost-effective than fossil fuels, it is becoming profoundly clear that e-vehicles will eventually dominate a significant portion of the consumer automobile market.
With this in mind, eCharge CEO Markus Dold has preemptively positioned eCharge as the solution to a problem that will certainly occur in the future — a severe shortage of e-vehicle charging stations.
Although some regions may have a reasonable density of consumer charging stations, e-vehicle drivers who wish to travel longer distances outside of these areas may not have the option to do so. Worse yet, drivers who choose to risk long-range trips may overestimate the distance their e-vehicle can travel without a charge, resulting in them being left stranded on the open road.
Dold has a bold, but ingenious plan to establish a network of affordable eCharge stations in hotel parking lots across the European continent. Not only will these eCharge stations improve the e-vehicle drivers’ ability to travel long distance, it will also provide hotels with a uniquely valuable utility that they can leverage to attract guests.
Some might call that a win-win situation.
eCharge aims to install 50,000 of these stations across Europe in 2018, but Dold has his sights set higher and wants to distribute 1 million by 2019.
How eCharge Works and Its Benefits
It’s important to note that eCharge is a project that is hardware-based, rather than the purely blockchain-based ICOs that have hit the market. Their vision is to provide infrastructure to support e-mobility.
The company is offering to set up their smart charging stations in hotel parking lots at no initial cost. In exchange for this service, the hotel pays recurring rental fees and another fee each time a customer charges a vehicle.
This removal of the upfront investment costs could be seen as an incentive to hoteliers as it clearly rewards them for offering their guests clean and reliable e-vehicle charges via the eCharge network.
But what really sets eCharge apart from many of its competitors is the way blockchain technology will be used to optimize the transactional process that is involved with charging an e-vehicle. This is possible because the platform is built upon cutting edge blockchain-based smart-grid infrastructure.
eCharge Balances Supply and Demand Using Smart Micro-grids
The smart-microgrid system that will serve as backbone of the eCharge network works by connecting distributed sources of renewable energy to form a network of providers. When demand peaks, this network can also connect to the larger grids in the area as necessary to offset supply drops.
Thanks to blockchain technology, these networks will also have the technical capacity to accurately meter the amount of energy being produced and consumed by all participants in real-time. This ensures that all transactions occurring across the eCharge network are fairly coordinated.
Because the amount of energy being put into the system by each user can be accurately tracked via the blockchain, hoteliers can even benefit from investing in their own renewable energy sources and connecting them to the grid.
Similarly, e-vehicle drivers could recoup some of their energy costs by selling off some of the power stored in their car batteries when demand in the network is high. The eCharge team calls this impressive functionality the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) network.
But don’t worry, there is no risk of depleting your battery and having to wait for it to recharge again in the morning using the V2G network. It is designed to draw power from car batteries mostly during peak hours (typically overnight) to keep the supply balanced, while still making sure that the car is fully charged before morning.
The eCharge App Offers Convenience to E-Vehicle Drivers
Using the eCharge mobile app, e-vehicle drivers will be able to identify where they can find a charging station that is connected to the eCharge network and plot their routes accordingly. Rather than relying on luck to find a charging station when they need it, the app gives drivers certainty that chargers will be available en-route to their destination. The application also features a wallet that will allow users to receive, store, and use ECH tokens.
The Team Leading the eCharge
eCharge has the potential to revolutionize e-mobility. As such, a team of intellectuals and business people is needed to smoothly implement this complex business model. These are the minds leading eCharge.
Markus Dold is a German serial entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of eCharge. Before founding eCharge in 2016, Dold found success in developing software products for eCommerce and businesses in the hotel industry.
Holger Czesnat is a veteran of the hospitality industry and the COO of eCharge. His qualifications for this role are made clear by his experience as founder of Booking.com. Under Czesnat’s leadership, this highly successful hotel booking platform became Germany’s top online booking system after only 5 years.
These two well-established leaders have a team behind them working to help eCharge develop a charging network that will be able to accommodate the needs of the growing community of European e-vehicle drivers.
The eCharge Token Presale and ICO
If you have read up to this point, you should be able to see the validity of eCharge’s business model. (To get a deeper understanding, give the eCharge whitepaper a read.) But the leadership of eCharge understands that without proper strategy and access to an appropriate level of funding, even the best of ideas are bound to fail. That is why they opted for an ICO.
Through the ICO, eCharge will be able to implement their strategy faster and with a higher level of efficiency. By involving people who understand how revolutionary technological advancements can shift economies across the globe, they are also helping build a community of eCharge users that will promote growth within the network.
What You Should Know About the ECH Token
The ECH is a ERC20 cryptocurrency that will be used exclusively for eCharge as its native token. In its upcoming ICO, eCharge will distribute 37,000,000 ECH tokens to investors in order to raise funding for the project.
Another 200,000 tokens will also be airdropped (distributed for free) to ERC20 wallets leading up to and during the ICO. Another 5,000,000 will be kept off the market and retained by eCharge to maintain liquidity within the network. This is a smart move that shows investors the eCharge team is thinking hard and smart about possible contingencies.
ECH will be the currency used to pay for all services offered in the eCharge ecosystem and can be purchased using either a credit card, PayPal or cryptocurrencies (primarily Ether). It will allow for cross-organizational means of settlement across the network, simplifying the transactional processes for all involved parties. This is great, because casual users of the eCharge network won’t need to worry about the complexities of navigating cryptocurrency exchanges when they can just purchase ECH using a traditional payment method.
It’s also important to know that each time a token is used, it is “burned” by a smart contract — meaning it no longer can be used. This ensures that the value of ECH will rise over time as the number of existing tokens diminishes.
ECH Token Distribution
Unlike many ICO projects to date, eCharge is linked to a real hardware-based service that requires far greater initial investment compared to a digital product offering.
As this is the case, eCharge has announced exactly how the funds garnered through the ICO will be allocated. Sharing these details is certainly a refreshing aspect of the eCharge ICO.
Below is the current estimation of how ICO funds will be spent:
- 53% – Purchasing eCharge stations and distributing them to hotels
- 20% – Marketing eCharge to encourage growth of the user base
- 10% – Introducing new features and functionality to the eCharge.work mobile app
- 5% – Research and development to enhance the platform
- 2% – Legal services to ensure compliance with applicable regulations
ECH Token Sale Procedure
The private keys for the ECH tokens being distributed will be created offline and secured with a password. Exchange rates for purchases will be determined based on the international market for ether. Because of this, each user needs an ether address to join into the token sale.
Following each purchase, all transactions and balances will be recorded in the ledger system. At the end of the sale period, every transaction will be verified by the eCharge staff. Tokens will be delivered 2 weeks after the token sale has been officially finalized. This is par for the course with many ICOs, so there is no cause for concern that tokens aren’t being doled out immediately.
eCharge ICO: Final Thoughts
One concern with this ICO is the sophisticated nature of installing immense volumes of hardware that must be integrated with the systems of an equally large number of energy suppliers across Europe. As 2018 progresses, we will learn more about how steadfastly Dold can maintain his goals.
According to their whitepaper, we can expect to see them install charging stations at 500 hotels in Germany and another 500 in Austria. Additionally, they aim to introduce additional revenue-generating functions for the platform, like hotel booking and e-commerce-related features in the eCharge app.
eCharge is traversing mostly uncharted territory as they prime their firm to service the e-vehicle fleets of the future. Of course, nobody can be certain how things will play out but so far eCharge has made it clear that they have the capacity to pivot with changes as the e-mobility market grows.
To take part in the eCharge token presale which is currently live, visit their website.