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Harman and German Utility Company RWE Demonstrate Intelligent Charging for Electric Cars


Harman International and German utility company RWE are working closely together on the development of an infrastructure for electric cars. The two companies will launch a number of innovations at the 80th Geneva Motor Show, using two electric cars, a Micro Vett 500 and a Tesla Roadster, to demonstrate for the first time solutions for intelligently linking charging infrastructure and electric cars and online access to locations with available charging stations that can be transmitted to the navigation system with ease.

Charging is becoming more intelligent - the transfer of data via the charging cable opens up a whole host of new opportunities for electric cars. “The fast, secure connection will enable us to develop a wide range of new applications and services. As an active part of the intelligent energy network, electric cars will offer some promising opportunities, said Hans Roth, Director Global Business Development & Marketing, Harman International Automotive Division.

“The fast data connection using the data cable is not just advantageous in the charging process itself, it now also enables media content and large volumes of data to be downloaded quickly and cost-efficiently, as well as facilitating convenient, time-saving access to the Internet and additional services during charging,” says Carolin Reichert, Senior Manager E-Mobility, RWE Effizienz GmbH. “In future the electric car will have as many functions as a Smartphone!”


Convenient and highly efficient “plug & charge” capability thanks to the charging cable

Together Harman International and RWE will show the many and varied functions of an intelligent charging structure using a charging cable on the “Micro Vett E500” electric car. Audio and video data or personal data from the home or office can be accessed quickly and easily using the infotainment system while the car is connected to the energy network. Likewise, passengers can surf the Internet using broadband access or tune into the Internet radio station of their choice. All the data required is available at immensely high speeds.

This convenient, extremely efficient “plug & charge” capability is enabled by a simple cable, whose power line is used to establish communication by means of a highly secure protocol between the Infotainment system and the charging station. The secure connection is established through the charging cable immediately the car docks with the charging station, and the contract partner is automatically identified using unique authentication techniques. The driver can view the information about the charging station, the amount of energy charged and the meter reading, as well as his contract and meter number on the infotainment system display. The display also offers a number of other control functions for the intelligent energy network.


Online access to locations with available charging stations

Online access to locations with available charging stations will be demonstrated in another presentation using a Tesla Roadster belonging to RWE. Availability data is retrieved by the Harman infotainment system from its portal with RWE and transferred to the navigation system. This means that drivers are kept informed of the nearest electricity refueling stations and can use the Internet to reserve a space at a charging station, for example. At the same time, the infotainment system could be used to calculate the car’s current range and the most energy efficient route. The infotainment system’s tracking function based on the Harman portal using the Internet on the home PC also allows a logbook to be created and documented. Likewise it would also be possible to display the distances already traveled.

RWE already has five Tesla Roadsters on the road in several major German cities. Harman International has equipped the electric cars with the relevant infotainment systems, so that experience can also be gathered here with the growing supply network.

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