20 Energy Firms Form Alliance for EV Charging with UPI-like System in India


20 Energy Firms Form Alliance for EV Charging with UPI-like System in India
A consortium of over 20 energy companies has come together to create an alliance for the Unified Energy Interface (UEI), an open energy network designed to facilitate seamless payment and transaction interoperability within electric vehicle (EV) charging networks. The initiative aims to address interoperability challenges related to EV charging and grid demand response by collaborating with electricity distribution companies (Discoms).
The alliance comprises companies such as ChargeZone, Pulse Energy, Kazam, Sheru, Trinity, and Turbo. UEI serves as the recommended interoperability standard by the Department of Science and Technology.
"As the transportation sector shifts towards greater electrification, it's crucial to ensure that EV drivers can access charging infrastructure easily, regardless of their vehicle's brand or the charging network", stated Raj Kumar, Executive Director of Trinity.
Leading public policy think tanks and research organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Institute and the World Resources Institute have also joined the consortium in an advisory capacity to advance the initiative.
ChargeZone has enabled its chargers to be discovered and transacted over the UEI network, while Kazam and Pulse Energy have allowed their customers to discover, pay, and charge at any of their chargers via the UEI network.
The alliance is committed to ensuring that the protocol remains relevant and adaptable to market needs, guiding technical evolution and governance.
Reji Pillai, CEO of India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), emphasized the potential of UEI to enable peer-to-peer (P2P) payments directly between peers. He also noted that utility energy wheeling charges could be levied in electricity bills by the utility.
"This is going to unleash a green energy revolution in the country, particularly with 10 million rooftop solar PV systems being rolled out on fast track under the PM Suryoday Yojana", Pillai added.
The non-profit alliance is being formed to help fund the working group and any minimal infrastructure costs the network may have at the outset. The costs will be equally split among all alliance members.
To date, the network has facilitated 1.4GWh (watt-hour) of energy transactions across the entire network and is poised for substantial growth with more B2C apps expected to join the UEI network in July.