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Ellen Hiep

New solar car Stella Era is the world’s first ‘charging station on wheels’

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On the 4th of July, Solar Team Eindhoven presented its new solar car Stella Era. Thanks to its solar paneled roof, this car contains enough energy to theoretically cover a distance of 1800 kilometers; it can also share its abundance of solar energy with other electric vehicles directly. According to the student team at TU/e, this makes it the world’s first charging station on wheels. On top of this, the car has self-driving functions, such as the ability to autonomously search for sunny parking spaces. This is the car that the Eindhoven team will be using to defend its world title during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia in October. And this is the car that will do

“We’re presenting not only a new solar car but a new era: an era in which cars are not energy consumers but energy sources. That’s why we call her Stella Era,” says Carijn Mulder, team manager of Solar Team Eindhoven. The team presented its fourth family car today, following in the footsteps of predecessors Stella (2013), Stella Lux (2015) and Stella Vie (2017).


“If we want to drive emission-free in 2030, as stated in the Dutch climate agreement, around 200 charging stations will have to be installed in the Netherlands every day from now on in order to provide all electric cars with energy by then,” Mulder says. “This is already unrealistic, and 85% of electricity currently comes from non-renewable sources. In short, our society is facing an enormous challenge.”

According to the students, the solution is to use cars as moving charging stations. Stella Era has a range of 1200 kilometers with four occupants, according to the standard European calculation for the range of electric cars. The distance that the students hope to travel by car during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge will be as much as 1800 kilometers. The average distance that motorists travel each day in the Netherlands is around 50 kilometers, leaving a large part of the energy available.


In addition, the car takes the weather forecast and the kilometers still to be traveled into account, accurately determining how much energy it has left to share. The Stella App, developed by the team, allows the owner to sell valuable solar energy to other electric cars.

Another striking new feature of the car is that Stella Era uses autonomous functions to drive itself to a sunny parking space, allowing it to be recharged throughout the day. “Stella Era is a car that always gets the most out of the sun, even without a driver – a car that looks for the sunniest spot in the parking lot itself. As a result, Stella Era is not just a solar car but also an autonomous source of energy,” says Mick van der Spoel, project manager of the student team.

Is this car going to get the world title to Eindhoven for the fourth consecutive time? Photo: Bart van Overbeeke


The latest Stella has a much greater range than the average electric car. This is due to the fact that the energy yield of the five square meters of solar panels has been increased while the energy consumption has been reduced.

“Aerodynamics, weight and electrical efficiency are all important for low energy consumption. We’ve greatly improved the electrical efficiency this year by developing the complete powertrain ourselves. What is currently on the market just doesn’t meet the requirements for a solar car,” says Van der Spoel.

It’s for this reason that the team has designed and built the complete powertrain, from the Battery Management System to the electric motors and from A to Z in just 10 months. As a result, Stella Era can travel more than four times as far with a battery pack similar in size to that of a today’s average electric family car, even without sunshine.


In October, the Eindhoven team will defend its world title during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. During the world championship for solar cars, in which 50 teams from all over the world participate, the students have to cover a distance of 3022 km. Solar Team Eindhoven is the only Dutch team that is participating in the family car class.

Van der Spoel explains: “In contrast to previous years, we are only allowed to charge twice, with the largest distance between two charging points being 1200 km. And because we want to cross the finish line even in the rain and with a headwind, we built this car so that it can cover that distance on one battery charge, even when the sun isn’t shining.”

Lightyear One: Dutch solar-electric car prototype revealed

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Dutch electric-vehicle startup Lightyear has unveiled a prototype of its first model – a solar electric car called the ‘Lightyear One’ with a range of 450 miles.

While the One is primarily charged by plugging in like any other electric model, it also incorporates roof-mounted solar panels in order to boost range and cut down on the amount of stationary plug-in charging required.

The company has applied a philosophy of ‘ultra-efficiency’ in designing the car, concentrating on making it as light and aerodynamic as possible, in order to extract more range from a relatively small battery.

Smart Circuit self-driving shuttles fuel Ohio State research

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The initiative bringing self-driving shuttles to the Buckeye state is driven by Smart Columbus and Ohio Department of Transportation’s DriveOhio, in partnership with The Ohio State University. The Smart Circuit demonstration will help engineers, researchers and policymakers from this partnership inform future deployments of self-driving vehicle technology throughout the state.

Keep track of California’s progress on green and smart mobility.

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The Energy Commission’s Tracking Progress webpage provides sector-specific summaries of California’s progress toward a cleaner energy future. Look here for more information.

In January 2018, Governor Brown issued an executive order for 5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030 and the installation of 250,000 electric vehicle chargers and 200 hydrogen refueling stations by 2025. Previously, he established the foundation to support 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025 and published a ZEV Action Plan. As part of its work on zero-emission vehicles, the Energy Commission provides funding for plug-in electric vehicle charging, hydrogen refueling stations, and guidance on plug-in electric and hydrogen vehicle infrastructure deployment.  

FortifID joins our Smart e-Mobility Program

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San Francisco, June 11, 2018: FortifID has joined the Trans-Atlantic Coast to Coast Smart e-Mobility Program to facilitate the development of the US and Netherlands Smart e-Mobility market.

“Coast-to-Coast Smart e-Mobility (S4C) is excited that FortifID is joining the partnership”, shared Peter van Deventer, Director. “As an innovator and disruptor FortifID brings unique expertise to the smart e-mobility sector.  Their privacy preserving data solutions on the blockchain may prove to be crucial for data integrity which is essential for Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared Mobility platforms.  I consider them to be a great asset to the transatlantic cooperation between Netherlands and California. FortifID’s ambition to support and accelerate solutions for smarter and cleaner electric transportation is inspiring.”

“By joining the Coast to Coast Smart e-Mobility Program we will be able to enhance use of the extended network, strong partnerships, unlock new business opportunities and contribute to the success of the Smart e-Mobility Alliance” says Anirban Basak, CEO of FortifID.


FortifID is a software company that enables a frictionless digital ecosystem with enhanced consumer data privacy.  The FortifID platform provides services to consumers, data providers and online service providers.  Consumers can create and use multiple personas that can be used to seamlessly obtain different online services while restricting the personal information divulged to get those services.  Data Providers form a “Circle of Trust”to allow vetted privacy-preserving data analytics to be invoked on their data via smart contracts on the blockchain.  Businesses can perform customer verification and market to individuals in a privacy-preserving manner.

FortifID helps businesses with GDPR compliance by making it possible to analyze consumer data without requiring the raw data to be copied or shared.

Commercial applicability for e-Mobility includes authentication/KYC, directly matching institutional business offers to consumers, enabling consumers to maintain data privacy while charging at public charging stations, and the ability for businesses to provide value-added services such as driver discounts in a privacy-preserving manner.  We also envision extending the “Circle of Trust”to include charging networks, allowing analytic solutions to be run on usage patterns to enable insights such as optimal placement of charging stations, and predictions about charging infrastructure requirements.


Demonstrator on smart charging presented at EV Roadmap 11

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On Tuesday, June 19, the Dutch smart charging company and S4C-partner GreenFlux will present a demonstrator for smart charging in Portland, Oregon at EV Roadmap 11. The demonstrator shows how smart charging works in practice by presenting online data of different projects in Europe where cars are being charged in a smart and sustainable way.

The demonstrator is a next step on the way to a Living Lab Smart Charging at UC Davis, CA, which was announced earlier this year and that will be implemented this Summer. The Living Lab Smart Charging is a cooperation between the Dutch – US Coast to Coast Smart eMobility Program (S4C) and UC Davis to combine and further develop Dutch and US knowledge and experience on smart charging.

‘Smart charging; the Dutch approach’ will also be the topic of a special breakfast workshop which will be organized by the Coast to Coast Smart eMobility program at EV Roadmap 11 on Wednesday, June 20.

Eneco Group and SET Ventures invest in GreenFlux

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Leading smart charging company for electric mobility secures EUR 11 million funding to accelerate international expansion

Sustainable energy company Eneco Group and independent investment fund SET Ventures have both acquired a minority stake in Amsterdam-based GreenFlux Assets BV (“GreenFlux”), as part of a total Series B round of EUR 11M. Existing shareholders BOM Brabant Ventures and ICT Group NV also participated in the round. The investment in a leading enabler of electric driving and smart charging supports Eneco Group’s and SET Ventures’ ambitions to accelerate the energy transition by means of technology. Fortaleza Capital acted as exclusive corporate finance advisor to GreenFlux on this Series B financing round.

GreenFlux provides an electric mobility infrastructure management platform that supports the operations of charge point operators all over the world. GreenFlux helps energy companies, grid operators and automotive players to manage charge stations, enable roaming and billing and implement smart charging for advanced energy management. The GreenFlux service platform is cloud-based and seamlessly connects with charge stations of any type or brand. GreenFlux’s award winning controller, enabling advanced smart charging, can be fitted in any charge station.

The coming years millions of electric vehicles will enter the market. For this transition to happen, charging must be frictionless and easy to use. The GreenFlux platform drives down the cost of operations for charge point operators and enables them to provide an outstanding service experience to their customers. Combined with state-of-the-art smart charging technology that ensures the stability of the grid, electric vehicles will become an important enabler for a sustainable future.

GreenFlux founders, Hans de Boer and Jurjen de Jong: ‘We are very happy this investment provides the opportunity to power dominant EV charge point operators in Europe, US and Asia. A big step forward in fulfilling our dream that all cars will be powered by renewable energy’.

Joeri Kamp, managing director Eneco Smart Energy: ‘Eneco is fully committed to speed up the transition to a more sustainable energy system. We believe that e-mobility and smart, real-time charging from renewable sources are essential parts of that system. This is a purpose we share with the team at GreenFlux. Through our investment we want to help them bring their front running service platform and controller to the next level and accelerate international expansion.’

‘The team at Greenflux has succeeded in establishing a leading position in EV infrastructure management’ said Anton Arts, Associate Partner at SET Ventures. ‘This investment enables them to accelerate international expansion and drive the pace of innovation in this market forward.’


About Eneco Group

Eneco Group is a group of companies active internationally in the field of renewable energy and innovation. Together with their customers, partners and more than 3,000 employees, they work on their mission: sustainable energy for all. They invest in wind farms, biomass plants, heat and solar parks to increase the supply of renewable energy. And they develop innovative products and services so that their customers can control how to generate, store, use or share energy.


About SET Ventures

Since 2007, Amsterdam-based SET Ventures has invested in European technology companies that impact the future of the energy sector. SET Ventures focuses broadly on innovative energy generation, energy distribution and storage and energy efficiency. SET’s investment priority is for those ventures that develop software-based services for the energy sector, with or without hardware components, defined by SET Ventures as smart energy solutions.


Dutch Secretary of State opens Test lab for research on charging of electric cars

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On April 18th, Dutch Secretary of State Van Veldhoven, opened the new test site of ElaadNL in Arnhem. At the test location, all different types of charging stations that are used in the Netherlands are available for tests with electric cars. For example, the effects of charging new types of cars on the electricity grid can be tested. Tests with Smart Charging are also possible. This means cars are instructed to charge faster or slower based on the availability of (sustainable) electricity on the grid. These tests are essential now the numbers of electric cars are growing. All are plugged into the existing network to charge.

The test site is located in business park Arnhems Buiten (former KEMA site) and contains all types of charging stations that are used in the public area in the Netherlands. This includes a fast charger, a charging island, a battery and two charging lanterns. Moreover, the site is equipped with meters so that unique tests and research can be carried out. For example, a new model of electric car can be tested on the interaction with all charging stations throughout the Netherlands before it enters our roads in large numbers. Grid operators can test what a car (actually a battery on wheels) does with the quality of the current. In addition, tests are being done with Smart Charging: instructing the car to charge faster or slower at certain times. For example when extra power from the sun or wind is available or in case an overload of the local electricity grid can occur. This way extra CO2 can be saved.

“An asset for the Netherlands”

State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, Van Veldhoven: “Charging your electric vehicle should be as easy as charging your phone. This testing facility is therefore a great asset for the Netherlands: here we can experiment and see what works, how we can charge and find ways to make electric driving as easy as possible. That knowledge is essential for making transportation cleaner, fighting climate change and fulfil the Paris agreements. Let’s reduce our carbon emissions by the megatons!
Onoph Caron, managing director of ElaadNL: “For electric cars it’s not just a matter of how well they drive, it’s just as important how well they charge. These are big electrical machines that can demand a lot of our electricity grid and our charging infrastructure. Together with our partners, we can now test and measure the way we charge vehicles with all charging stations available in the Netherlands. For the future of electric driving in the Netherlands, important things are going to happen here on this test site!”

More about the Elaad Test Lab

The Elaad Test Lab is a unique laboratory with a test site for research on and testing of Smart Charging, Power Quality and Interoperability. It includes, among other things, the various types of charging stations in the public space in the Netherlands, a fast charger, two charging lanterns, a battery (138 kWh), a charging island, solar panels and urban windmills that can all be centrally controlled via a computer system. They form a completely smart energy system. The Test Lab is equipped so that unique tests and in-depth investigations can be carried out. In this way, the charging behaviour of cars can be analysed in great detail and things such as switch-on peaks, inefficient energy consumption and high frequency disturbances on the current and voltage can be measured.

The tests mainly take place on three themes:

1. Smart Charging

Tests with Smart Charging: instructing the electric car and infrastructure to charge faster or slower at certain times. For example, when extra power from the sun or wind is available or if an overload of the local electricity grid occurs. We can also test whether an electric car is Smart Charging ready: can the car handle different charging speeds and delayed charging? Does it respond in time and is the car still charging efficiently at lower speeds?

2. Power Quality

Testing Power Quality. What effect does a charging electric car have on the quality of the electric current, the voltage and the stability of the electricity grid? If vehicles cause distortion of the grid voltage, this can lead to problems on other connected electrical devices, but also on electric cars and charging stations themselves. The effects can be recorded in detail and studied at the ElaadNL Test Lab.

3. Interoperability

Car manufacturers and battery manufacturers can test their products at the ElaadNL Test Lab on interoperability and compatibility. For example, a new model of electric car can be tested on the interaction with all the different types of charging stations in the Netherlands before it enters our roads in large numbers. This ensures car manufacturers that their car can communicate correctly with the different types of charging stations in the Netherlands, so that charging problems can be prevented.

The Netherlands ranks first in autonomous vehicle readiness

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Vice Governor Elisabeth Post of the Province of Noord-Holland and Dr. Maarten Sierhuis, Chief Technology Director, Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley teaming up to demonstrate tangible solutions for autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility challenges.
The Netherlands is the country most prepared for an autonomous vehicle future according to KPMG’s 2018 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI). The first-of-its-kind study evaluated 20 countries overall. The study judged countries on their ability to adopt and integrate self-driving vehicles. The study also highlights best practices for accelerating AV technology.
But there’s more for anyone interested in autonomous driving.
  • NACTO is an association of 62 major North American cities and ten transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. NACTO’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life.
  • How will autonomous vehicles (AVs) affect the evolution of our cities, the way we plan and design our multimodal transport infrastructure, and provide mobility to all socio-economic groups? Have a look at the latest research of Fehr & Peers, on how will autonomous vehicles influence the future of travel?
  • The National Street Service Cities Program is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to make streets better for their community. During the program, people look at, listen to, and observe their street; create opportunities to help others reimagine what the street is for; and collaborate on projects to make streets welcoming for everyone.


Achmea joins our Smart e-Mobility Program S4C

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Achmea, the largest insurance group in the Netherlands, has joined our international Coast-to-Coast Smart e-Mobility program S4C. The world of mobility is changing ever faster. As a large non-life insurer Achmea plays an important role in many of these changes. Achmea joins partner networks to shape the future of (electric) mobility together with other parties. As part of the S4C-program Achmea will share their expertise in the area of insurances with sector partners, universities and governments in The Netherlands and the US.

Contributing to mobility concepts of the future
Robert Otto, member of the Executive Board of Achmea: “Innovation in the area of mobility is relevant to our customers in many sectors. Joining the S4C-program offers us opportunities to contribute to mobility of the future. The future of mobility is shaped with input from many parties. Sharing knowledge through platforms is the preferred way to foster strategic innovation. “

Achmea brings knowledge and expertise
“As the largest insurer of the Netherlands, Achmea brings unique expertise to Smart e-Mobility. Achmea has a clear focus on innovation and development of new companies. “I consider Achmea of great value to the trans-Atlantic partnership between the Netherlands and California”, says Peter van Deventer, Director of S4C.


 About Achmea 

Established in 1811, today Achmea is the largest insurance group in the Netherlands. In its home market, Achmea is market leader in non-life and health insurance. Gross written premiums for the group totalled approximately 20 billion euros over 2016, while the group’s solvency ratio remained strong at 185% at the end of June 2017. The group also offers income protection insurance, life insurance, pensions services and mortgages. Asset manager Achmea Investment Management, oversees over 117 billion euros in assets under management. Internationally, Achmea is active in Turkey, Greece, Ireland, Australia, Slovakia and Canada. Each insurer has deep understanding of its local market and customers.