CrowdStrom: Analysis, Design, and Implementation of Processes for a Peer-to-Peer Service for Electric Vehicle Charging
Situation faced: An inadequate number of publicly available charging points is among the main reasons that consumers do not buy electric vehicles (EVs). To address this problem, we suggest a peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing approach for private charging infrastructures. We formed a joint consortium between academia and industry to design and implement a web platform and an underlying business model for an infrastructure of individually owned EV-charging stations for public use. Currently, there are no standardized processes for EV charging, so we had to look elsewhere for processes that could be adapted or partly adopted as a foundation for the proposed web platform.
Action taken: We interviewed representatives of seven organizations that are already operating in the domain of EV charging about the relevant business processes. Applying the BPM lifecycle (Dumas et al., Fundamentals of business process management. Springer, 2013), we analyzed the resulting as-is processes for best practices and redesigned them for the scenario of a P2P platform for EV charging.
Results achieved: Sixteen to-be processes that comprised registration, authentication, charging, billing, and administration were modeled in BPMN and implemented in a software prototype. The prototype and associated processes are currently being evaluated to ensure their validity and effectiveness in the target environment while the partnering utility company prepares the solution’s staged roll-out to operate their own charging stations and then open the system to other providers.
Lessons learned: Analyzing and then designing business processes to reach a common goal has been a unifying factor in our joint research project, where partners from industry and academia have differing backgrounds, expectations, and individual goals. BPM practices enabled the project team to create an innovative business model and corresponding business processes that will have an impact in practice.
This article was written in the context of the research project CrowdStrom. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), promotion sign 01FE13019E. We thank the project management agency German Aerospace Center (PT-DLR).
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