Signals of Change
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Signals of Change

Prototype blockchain electric vehicle charging and billing system


BlockCharge is a working prototype for a seamless electricity vehicle charging system that uses blockchain technology. It aims to be a worldwide authentication, charging, and billing system that operates without the need for with no intermediary. As opposed to many other ideas revolving around blockchain, BlockCharge has a physical artifact, the “Smart Plug,” which can be used like a normal plug, but has an identification code linked to it. Owners of electric vehicles can use any electric charging point plug to charge their vehicles.

Users install an app on their smartphones to authorize the charging process. It connects to blockchain, which manages and records all of the charging data. The app automatically negotiates the best price and manages the payment process automatically. BlockCharge’s business model is based on the one-time purchase of a Smart Plug and a micro-transaction fee for the charging process. It’s a collaborative project between energy giant RWE (Carsten Stöcker) and innovative blockchain company, led by former Ethereum CCO Stephen Tual.

So what?

Once induction charging for electric vehicles, say, at traffic lights, becomes a reality, BlockCharge could take over the entire charging process; overcoming current obstacles such as the lack of proper charging infrastructure, too many types of charging contracts, no interoperability and poor transparency.

— Signal of change spotted and written by Gemma Adams.


This article was first published on the Futures Centre on 29 Sep 2017.



Signals of change are small but important ideas and innovations that raise questions about future challenges and opportunities, and their implications for sustainability. What signals have you spotted? Let’s share them here.

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