Korea Electric Power Corporation (KPCO), which provides 93% of South Korea’s electricity and is 51% owned by South Korea’s government with yearly revenue of $50 billion, announced today they are planning to construct an electric vehicles (EV) charging station that uses blockchain technology.
Details are sparse, not least because of the language barriers, but the Electronic Times claims to have obtained KPCO’s plans which suggest they are going to use blockchain technology to manage data from charging stations, to handle foreign businesses of charging services as well as to support customers that use the charging stations.
“Besides EV charging stations, we are also looking into introducing blockchain to many areas such as Big Data platform. According to expansion of supply of electric vehicles, we are currently carrying out pilot projects that apply blockchain to management of demands and P2P,” said a representative for KEPCO ICT Infrature according to a somewhat rough translation by etnews.
A representative from KEPCO further stated that “along with pilot projects regarding charging stations, we are planning to apply blockchain to electronic delivery system. We are also looking into ways to expand block chain as a platform that is applied to all KEPCO by grafting businesses, electronic money (energy coin), and wallet services.”
This follows in the footsteps of an RWE subsidiary, Innogy, which has already launched hundreds of blockchenized charging stations using ethereum’s public blockchain, with smart contract technology seemingly finding significant adoption in the energy and automotives sector.
South Korea alone has nearly 12,000 electric cars, with the numbers expected to increase considerably. That gives manufacturers the ability to incorporate new bleeding edge tech, such as smart contracts and blockchains, because the industry is fairly new, requiring many more charging station installations.
Interestingly, KEPCO seems to go further in apparently aiming to connect big data and deep algorithms to blockchain technology, which suggests they may be looking at a bigger picture of connecting numerous technologies that have now become available to bring forth an autonomous future.
Toyota has taken some steps in that regard, as blockchain technology now comes out of the concept stage, having proven itself, and moves into the utilization stage.
However, we are still at prototypes and pilots, but resources in billions are now probably being utilized towards this space in industry, finance and beyond, so next year we may expect more mature products, at least by some household brands.