IoT Leaders
IoT Leaders

Episode · 6 months ago

EV Charging: Returning the Power to the Consumer w/ Bryan Saignasith

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Electric cars run on batteries. Well, batteries store energy, which means they could potentially deliver energy back to the grid at key points – to the benefit of both the grid and the consumer.

In this episode, I interview Bryan Saignasith, Head of Hardware at Pod Point, about the future of EV charging, electric cars, and stored power:

What we talked about:

  • The importance of standards in IoT design
  • Electric cars have a bidirectional relationship with the power grid
  • Redefining the model of consumer with IoT data

If you have ideas for future episodes, input, or questions, email IoTLeaders@eseye.com or connect with Nick on LinkedIn.

This discussion with Nick Earle was taken from our show IoT Leaders. If you want to hear more episodes like this one, check us out on Apple Podcasts.

If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, you can find every episode here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for IoT Leaders in your favorite podcast player.

You're listening to Iot leaders, apodcast from Si that shares real IOT stories from the field about digitaltransformation swings ad, misses lessons learned and innovationstrategies that work in each episode. You'll hear our conversations with topdigitization leaders on how Iot is changing the world for the better. Letiot leaders be your guide to Iotu digital transformation and innovation.Let's get into the show. Welcome to the latest edition of Iotleaders, the podcast that attempts to shed light on the mysteries of Irt,where in each episode we invite someone to talk to me about the challenges, theopportunities and the experience that they've hard in the exciting world ofIot, my name's Nico and in the CITYO SSI and Iot company based out of the UK,with operations around the world, and I'm delighted in this episode towelcome Brian Sak Mespith of podpoint, whose head of hardware development forpodpoint and Podpointer a leading provider of EV charges and we're goingto talk about the whole industry of electric charging in the home and,what's going to happen in the future, so Brian Welcome to the podcast. Thankyou. Thanks for iving me, yeah and instantly listeners and viewers will beaware that that you have a slight non English accent, so maybe you can.Although I know you speak absolutely perfect, ingnision of been in newpaperquite a while. Maybe you just tort up by introducing yourself sort of alittle bit of your history and how you ended up at podwint, Olt Yeah, soobviously I'm French, I I came from careban actually and I studied inFrandmar from a Mank, so that was a master ofengineering in Mechanical Av Tudids for primarily automative market. In myfourth year I found a internship in put point a UK based company, which I runtraight to, and this was my first time...

...in England. That's the time where Istarted discovering the joy of manipulating and working with Vautudevice and as s where everything started so yeap from from that point, went back touniversity and ro came back to pot point once my degree was finished and Ihave since been working for pot point. So that's probably being about sevenyears now. Well, Welso you from university into myd point and beenthere, and I know you've done different roles. Maybe just O put them in context.You could just explain to wmou listeners. Some of them won't befamiliar with podpoints, but just in general tell us just a little bit aboutpodpoints and then also the roles that you've done in the years that you'vebeen there. Yes, certainly so, but potpoint is a designer manufacture of eletric charge.Point supply equipment. We operate primarly in the UK, so, as I said, wedesign me manufacture and we operate equipment which I intended to chargeelectric cous. But point is about eleven years old, but by Nov and we'vebeen from the first, probably the first one in the UK actually providing thatservice. It's really doing the market here. We also supply to other marketsin Europe. Shich aters are no way pimerly, but yeah. So pretty focused onthe on you, je generay speaking ou know. I always. I always heard that I used torun a testler. I don't anymore, but I loved it when I owned it had one of thefirst ones that came into the UK, and I always heard that testmer's marketshair was the highest in Norway and can you shede any lights? I always wantedto know. Why do people now way love electric cause so much? I think theywere pushed by the government. I believe in the early stage of electricience prodiction the Norway governments are in sensivy the purchase of ELECTRICKCAR by actually making ice, O Internan, conduction and Jine kals muchmore expensive than an electric a would...

...be so they increase the taks on normalconvention engines, making, obviously norigian people by massive teelectrickcars, which seems to have been a great move thin. One of the point is no waymarket is benefiting from the great reneuviable structure. I DIV got tonsof montains and therefore a lot of IDRA electric generations and thereforethey' go cheap electricity and so that I think, that's probably one of themain reason why the government's been pushing autthe people of Nowhar compoty.Well, thanks for answering that pot yerwas, I always wonderd that itnothing to do with the traction on Snow H, which was great on my Desa. So Iknow that you've done a few different rolls from you in hod point. So you hada hardware development. Now t you've done a few rolls while you've when I'vebeen in there yeah that's correct. I sturted, as as an engineer working ondifferent type of product development, everything from testing to generaleleconic design to electrical and mechanical design. I got alone with hegeneral concept of how do you createa a Naatie project which is pretty muchwhat we do today and at some point I wanted to learn moreabout the Business Chery speaking away from project development and I foundgap in the operation department which I was actually quite interested in. So Imoved away from development to operation and I took on a ship of thetechnical support Bot of ofper points and slowly taking on Eship of thesupporting bout as well and tha's realleed. The moment where I wul notinvove anymore, in product development but deeply involvin the operation dayto day management of business like Alik, ours, okay, so so you coer most of theareas you sort of comg o a circle, the whole areas of Iet, an broad experience.I think that's relevant for this podcast. It's called IOT leaders,because you know, one of the things we...

...found here at SI is that a lot ofpeople need IOT to be demystified this. It's so pregnanty the so many differentbits of technology, so many different options, but people are really justlooking for advice and and as how to get started, what to do and what not todo, and on that subject, I know that once a bit comes up lot when we took myev charging, which is, he say, is at clearly a boom area and he's beencontinued to boom for many many years people say: Oh, you know the issue ofstandards and protocols is really really key. What Wass your experienceof what the other than th the standard itself? If I ask you what's yourexperience of Whya standard is beneficial for you in your role intrying to deliver these IMT poducts to market meeme, the NEEDSEA, that'AtsoThats, very good question. I think he unfortunately me took me a little bitlonger than I wish you did to understand, getting into standard asearly as you can as a person which wants to understand the project thatyou designing is probably the best thing to do for anyone, whether it's,whether it's developer, whether it's a manager, it gives you keys that willunable you to develop faster and in a more efficient way. It will allow youto eliminate time wasting in trying to find phecebook solutions and ultimatelycome to a solution which has got you've essentially been helped to design asolution, because you had a professional working on the way. Thecharacteristic of you product, wat out the boundaries, and then you still haveha clever bit that must have been within it, but you have a good of viewof what to where to start from and what you' trying to achieve with setboundaries. And I just wish I got my head around standards way earlier whenI started being a developer, because it would have just made me stronger in myapproach to the design and the develop...

...and of iout. Generally speaking, onlybecause of the fact that you are working from something which isexisting and you're, not starting from scrutch, it's insing, as you say, say that anCetainy wee experience. We hove two thousand customers wee. We experiencedthat a lot of people, they obviously understand the potentialof vioty andthe basics midly. When often when, we ask them well what what data are yougoing to measure and why and how often Nan in what way they clad over a littlebit and say, don't know I'll kind of work it out as I go, and, and whatyou're saying is interesting is that in your case, the answer to a lone ofthose questions was in the standard the framework already, and that's because alot of, I guess it's because a lot of different customers inthe same insustry,contributes to the standard, so you're actually getting the collectiveknowledge as opposed to having to make multimor mistakes along the way. Iguess that's what you're saying isn't it IGT? I think there is obviouslydifferenttation between standard and open protocols, but in a sense it's theidea of a community working together toward a single goal and everyoneparticipating in providing one unified donumentation are to achieve that. Goand Toa Chit Te Gol more efficiently did the open source open, souce pringsyou go, have worked for a very long time and seems to be very efficient, soyeah. I think my general advise Tas for myself and anyone that I know I wouldalways push them to read standards, because it's so important and heunlocks things that you would not think could be unlocked great great advicefor people who are listening. So, let's broaden the conversation now the market,Podpointerin and and your competitors es actually much border than Ev Chargen.We called it EV charging, but but actuallyit's Te, electric vehiclesupply equipment, the evse market- and that's that's much broader, isn't itbecause that starts to take us into the whole supply chain from electrictygeneration to consumption, but all of...

...the Intermedi steps an and particularlythe role of the car, not just been being an electric arthwith the car at the center of the home and what could happen to the car in thehome on the edse market? What what's your? What's your views on where we areand that's what's needed to really make the disruptive breakthrough there yeah?I mean. Thus, that's obviously one of the big question of this year and thefew years to come. It's. What do we do with an electric cor essentiallyremains remain parkting for of a other ninety person of his lifetime, I'm surethere's a better nomber, but I'm n ninety person of the Likeis like r fivepercent, it alwas cried every time I thought HAV MUC CI paid for it. That is,and that's that's one. What that's one very key factor here is it's the firsttime that we actually have a load which is in new house that has this capacityto techanagy and potentially release the energy back right. We essentiallytalking about battery storage e car is only a battery that has the o capacitytoday to stor energy, but what, if that cow in the future, also had thatcapacity to deliver the energy back two degrades Ar, depending on the need ofthe greeps at any diveent point right, we have to remember that we very faraway from one hundred person Ae Tricki Adeletrification of our automotive Tuck,and when the when that will happen, we will obviously prove a significant lordonto the Grad and somehow we will need to be clever as how to manage the extraLord has been added Simt W. Looking at what you're saying is that I think manypeople, I'm sure, do think of it as a one way relationship. I mean I got mycar Itsto, my garage. If it's an letric car, I have a charger in my garage andand I put energy off the gridge into...

...the car o. What you're talking about isa bydirectional relationship where the car can can put energy back into thegrit which, which opens up a whole new series of possibilities and businessmodels. Dost man yeah, that's correct. I think this is personal, but I've gotthis view today. You've got rea to to to type of charging, YOUV GO ACcharging which is internative current and you've got Dec charging, which youfind generally speaking in motorway, so very fast charging. Today, the theconcept of what's called Theto g works on DC charges, so the ability totrumster the energy back and forth from the grade t the battery or the CorpeBatry back to the creat. Now the issue with the doing this on DC charging iswhen you use a DS charger. Often what you need is to have your cou charge.Very quick, because often you just are traveling r from a Tov, and the lastthing you want is from your battery to be discharged to help the great to cop,with with the lack of energy at any given points. Now, what becomesinteresting is if we have that same concept on AC charger, and why do Ithink it's completely pussive voice? You will have a nonball charger inelectric cab. Yonggo charge of functionality is to conper AC to DC,which is what the car does when Hes Pug into your house. Now, if that invertoron Wa charges, give ability to do it backwards and therefore use the ACchart poing to fit back an ectricity back to the Gread, you have the bestusecase, because your call is going to be plugged at home for of what eighthours DOS tats the menimer. You would stay from going to work and going backto work coming back from work and going to work in the morning and Tats wher. It opens a lot ofopportunities because you nen have tdisability to continue touse an equipment which is not too expansive from a customer point of viewyet allows the Ele Nag provider and ta...

...customer to organize a change of tarismethods. We coulds the customer, which owns an electric Gark, potentially helpthe electric creede to sustain the demone at any different point, becausethere is back and forth an and I'm not obviously saying hat this technology iscurrently being studied. So it's not just in my head right. We there is someactive progress on unabling this today yeah, and we talk about some of thatbecause there's also quite a few players, different players, people whoaren't in the car industry or say: Ah That's the role that we that we willplay. But before we get onto that, I guess what one thing it you're sayingis: It's not just I have some power, I don't think I'll need it and thereforeI can sell it back to the GRIDG. I think the idea of peak consumption whenit suddenly the grid as suddenly gets, is in danger of a brown ou as they callit, and the idea that you can access this during. I guess something like themiddle of a sports game or something like that. Is that what you're thinkingof yeah correct, I think there's this Welmin story about the Word Cup and atthe mid term, everyone going in the kitchen and turning the kettles on andand at creating a significant pike on the groups. I think if we are theability to to use this car, which obviously is plag because you'rewatching that footgood game and use thet energy to o feed e differentEletrick applion sthat, requires that energy for a short period of time. Thenthen you would put way less constrain to the greater tat Giveng points andand upsure the General Electric menifact as well. The electricityprovider will certainly want to have this kind of functionality in thefuture. You know I washeis g reminded when you said that I considered puttingsome sell panels on my on my house and en one of the big selling points of thecompany that I was talking to was...

...exactly this was that you know, if youactually look at when we need, I was likey to have a cirplus of electricity,and I could it was alviousl settled as a small business. I could actually makemoney by selling my power and this there's a lot of people trying to dothis. We, you know, we've heard similar aspirations from people who make themete electric neete. They say, oh well, be the home up. If you like, we'll bethis interpace te control point the electricto companies themselves aretrying to do. It seems to me, but you know they don't have this remoteofline storage and right now it's been these little ere. SMART, smart hubs,these little devices that measure usage- and it's really struggling to prove thevalue point of that, but even even the car companies themselves, like testere,actually of course, having batteries that Youre Hangi on the wall. It seemsto me, like the the common trend on all of these, is sort of the thedemocratization of power management, in that it's it's a common trend on all he iot usecases, but not necessarily a well known trend. What is happening is not justthe Iot, an abling of a of a single device like in your case the chargepoints tha the EV charges that you have they. They communicate back to pubpoint during their usage, but the power, the responsibility. The control pointis transferring to the user and and that's a really big change, becauseit's always been the brands. The big companies have the power. The bigcompanies have the brands you bought from them because they were the bigcompanies. They were safe, they had the brands, but what you're describing is afundamental shift where the the consumer, in fact millions of consumers,are actually now going to be determining whether or not this and howthis model works. That's a pretty big...

...shift, isn't it it is. I think we tend to forget one thing, so theelectric tow today is probably the first ever load in in t e mass consumermarket, which has this ability to draw a significant amount of power. U, whenyou think of your gypical Gar, we think we talk about seven kilgats. To putthis in perspective. An electric shower is probably between seven and tenkillewash. Oven will probably be up to focular watch and, depending on theHooven you've got on now. My point is: When you need to use your Hoven, youneed to use your Huben. You cannot stop using your Hoan because the great needselectricity. Likewise, when you need to use your shower, you need to use yourshower, but when it comes to the electric Cowr, because your period ofcharging is actually quite low, the fact that someone, an electric provider, the grap, is asking whether you couldpust your charge for a period of half an hour. It's not going to have asignifican impact from from your point of view. At the end of the nights, yourCOB wild likely be fully charged or very close to be fle charged and thats.Fine by you right so essentially means that we have a electricappliance if Ican call Anenetri ar and Ele cuickaplane, which can it be controlled and whichcan help the consumption of electricity to be control much better than Yishaveer been in the past. You Talk About Smart Meeter, but a smart bitter isonly just allowing to understand. The transfer of EELERGY does not meet tohase no impact on the control of that trunser, whereas the electric cackcomes as a tool that we can use and manipulate to organize a more flexibleconsumption of that energy, and you will found very, very few otherelectric appliance that can be used.

That way, because of the length of timethat you need to plug your electricard Freid to actually charg. So it's suchas, if you, if you save to sign the concept of vtgon AC, just just simplypuzsing the charge and stopping an electric, an electric consumption andeergy consumption that also have and can have a significant impact O on big.As we talked about earlier when you've got everyone turning the gettle on fortwo minutes, you can just pose everyone's cout charging for just twominutes. That's going to have no impact whatsoever on the customer point ofview, yet it will have a very positition fact on the great. It seemsto me that it could enable another fundamental change. We seektisintermediation in suply chains happening all the time we talked aboutit, a previous podcasts of of supply chains, getting disintermediated drivenbackwards from the consumer, but right now, of course you have a fixed as a consumer. I havea fixed relationship with electricity, Suppli Company, I someone who providesmy electricity and and unless I you know, go to youth switch or some otherservice and switch, which I can typically, I don't, but I have arelationship with them. It seems to me that once you put a hub in the middle,in this case the electric car charged by Bob pint charger and uppointtechnology, then you can almost set up a marketplace: AeB, intyou o views on this. You can always say well. Why do I have to havea fixed relationship? Can't I, by a sort of on a like a commodities marketkind of buy and sell electricity on a market, because now now the car isalmost acting as a switch. It can switch between different providers ofelectricity, including new entrance, who don't have to have have the meter inside your house? Don'thave te have an account with you, it seems like it could. It could enablequite a fundamental disruption in that sort of market place. Type CONCEPTA isthat does that seme reasonablty I mean...

...you vou. You got it right to think. Inmy view, energy broking, if I can call it Uwn, yet its has there's a huge opportunity when youlinked up electric car energy broking- and I think today in the UK.Specifically, you have few electricoveiter, which thaes that'stheir call model that they they stopp to get way more on customers which haveelectric cars, because they can then organize alongside woth the customerbetter period when the caw will be chargingand when you think, buying and selling electricity. Essentially, if you knowwhen you will have a certain amount of energy consume, it helps you to have abetter forgusting, meaning cheaper cost of the electricity that you buying onthe markeps and, after I think, you've said it very well to me. This isalready happening, and one one thing that we seen already today is so manytrack, provided will give you a specific, a Vev Tarif and thus probablyone of the reason behind it, because by telling you you can have eight peeperkill wards between nine PM and one am ten centifying you towords to chargeupening during that time, which is great for them, because that's whenthey actually can get cheaper electricity so y it startedg to happenyeah another another example of a Iot enabled disruption, because for all ofthis to work, you've got to have almost real time. Data Fed back from thedevices themselves it the charges, because the consumers, the devices inthe consumers, our own measure, consumption, and so you know the realpeople. We always say people don't want iotdvices. What they actually want isthe data from the IOT devices to create innovative and distruptive businessmodels, and that's certainly disruptive.

It's probably one of the biggestdisruptions that we've talked about so far in this series I af tl this podcastbecause there's a sort of front foot and backfoot orprouctive and reactive effected this. It's a huge opportunity for the carcompanies fut companies like podpoints, actually for energy brokers. I, likethat praise into you, know there will be new companies and you already seethem UKTV companies, I've never heard of offering to sell me, like myelectricity they're, clearly trying to do this, but at the same time it's bothan opportunity and a threats, wot the more established companies and that'ssomething that we will explore in future. PODCASTES.These ideas are great and it's good for small, innovative companies. But how dobing companies react and that's a lot to do with the just the size of thecompany and the Lefagy and it's hard to be innovative in the big company, butthe Changeis happening you know with with with the disruption thedisintermediation of the supply chain. You storp thinking about brand newmodels that were tractive wete, just unthinkable a few years ago. I thoughtthe innovation would be a little Tuny box in my house that Ad Atall a littledial that showed me what my consumption was: a Maka compare bar char grass tothe previous months, and'm thinking. Well, this is cool, but I don't thinkI'm going to do anything differently with the data anher than look at it.Hat's cool turn the eating down or something, and then you know I canswitch you Lik Jis supplier and twenty minutes and dormest as easy as they sayon the TV advert, but not quite, but now what we're defining is just atotally different model. You know as a consumer, I'm at the center of thismodel, and I think that is one of the more fundamental effects of Iot. So sowe talked a lot about it and fairly pup point is one of the most innovatevecompanies in this space. I'm sure we're going to hear a lot more going forward,but there are other innovative companies. ND, and one thing we alwaysask about is in these podcastes as we get towards the end of them. We sayeach episode. We say what other innovative companies have you seenoutwhere, because just just doing the...

Cellyla conactivity, which we do in thedevise design, we enable obviously you to connect all of your charges and meetthese standards. But there are other innovatev companies out there that arereally key to the IOT, a value stack and it comes back to you know yourlearning. She talked about standards, but o you have another upeven, asuggestion of someone we can invite to a future podcast. You can talk aboutanother element of this vallu stack yeah. I mean, I think the first thingthat comes to mind would be a company I've been in touch with orfor winor the COL divice pilogs. It's a UK based company and essentially Outhink the commodel is to word the data analysis of project that, like we doour it projects, it's all about the ability to visualizethe data in a different way, and I think from people like me in genors weobviously good with the numbers we understand or to make spreakshits inthe like. But today, when you look at how deep we can go in analyses of dataand what we can get from those analyses Ou, you want to have patformed. Ithelps you to give sense to your data and went towindors, allowing you to have some very strong quaries running simutanously andproviding you insiht that you would could you could have, but it would takeyou ages to thet and I think tose those guys are doing an amazing job on tats. I've used them for personal projectsand auderst, but they very the work they do is very important forIOT company, especially small business, often lacking the resulce that youwould want to actually spend time on doing that. Bittedayto analytic, which...

...has insight, but are they? Are they bigenough for you to consider the cost of having them in Your Business Model? Ithink that they help you to not think about that question anymore. So yeahstrongly. We recommen, okay, yeah and you know I'll get my deaon on that. It's the prase using O, give context to the data to help youmake the decisions and- and I often use a analegyy which I share with you witpeople. When I talk about the value of data and people say well, I've got thedata yeah, but the problem is you've got too much data and it's really hardto know what the data means. I use a car analogy because I always say it'sthe it's the often it's the trend of the data tha the way the datais moving,which is much more. The trend, is much more important than the absolute value.So what I've often said to people is, if I said to you, you know thetemperature of the water in your radiator at any point in time your carradiator was, I don't know. Ninety two degrees CENTI grade is that good or batand people say I don't know, because I don't know whattempture Wat is supposed to be in a radiator of course, non electric cardexample and of course point is well that's the point you don't know, but ifI said to you it's four degrees more than it was ten minutes ago. Oh Yeah!Well, that's bad, because the water is heating up. So so your point aboutabout when you have IOT enables tens of thousands of dataputrs. You know wehave a proliferation of sensors. We can measure things at a very gramuler level,and so what happens is when you start on an IT project. You get you get moredata than you ever had, but it's also more data than you can interpret andancontectualize and analyze. So the idea of a a management dashboard or aportal that actually is graphically based and can help you, but rules inand triggers and events and alarms to help you interpret the data to make thedecijons is a really important stack...

...because otherwise the data justoverwhelms you, and especially in the case of ev charging, which is justgoing to become. I mean tens, if not hundreds of times bigger in the nextfew years, because the what's happening, the government level what's happeningwith the green agender Etctea, the amount of data is just going to beexponentially grow and the challenge is going to be the the analytics, theinterpretation and the action that you take yeah, because it's very easy totake the wrong action on the wrong data. And I guess that's why you're sayingthat's important a indeed- and I think, just just to Co to top out on this Onei.If you give one dayto set to two different person, they can give you two different resorts,because it's all about the definition F of what you're trying to get. If, ifthe areput that you expecting is not clearly defined, then the same data setcould give you two different point of view, a D and well, we meseges todaywith the media. They very good at making different sense to one singlethrough frigt and and ithink. That's kind of what I like with with theirpatform, is disability to allow you to see multiple point of views from onesingle day to say, but without having to spend so much time every time youwant to change that definition of the outcome you expect and and that' that'sgot such a value because utimately you have to define what you are trying.What you want to see that's very important, but I think the ability tomanipulates watc the definition ease and get to the resort of differentdefinition very quickly has such a beneficial aspect. In my view, maybemaybe a future podcast idea could be around the theme of Herlies Dam liesand Iot data, the laws of unintended consequences,but anyway listen Brian. Let's leave it there. We could go on for a very longtime, but it's been very, very...

...informative and a very exciting area. Imean frankly, if we did another one of these in a year's time, we would havetwo to three times as much material because of the speed at which the vsemarket is moving. So so, thank you again not just for being on the PODCAST,but also from my penteview been one of our customers and I hope our listenersand Vou, as indeed enjoyed this podcast just as a reminder, we will be doingregular episodes of the IOT leaders. PODCAST would be publishing and if youhave any suggestions or any any of the listeners, have any suggestions pleasereach out of people who you think would make indistion guess on the podcast.But in the meantime, thank you again, Brian and best of luck with podpoint.It is really a very interesting world that we're moving in where consumers caactually drive the whole ebse market backwards from their own Lome at halftime during the England, France, football game ide. Thank you for laving me, yeah,thanks for being on okay, thank you, everyone and goodbye. Thanks for tuningin to Iot leaders, a podcast brought to you by Si our team delivers innovativeglobal Iot seular connectivity solutions that just work helping ourcustomers deploy, differentiated experiences and disrupt their markets.Learn more at SICOM. You've been listening to Iot leadersfeaturing digitization leadership on the front lines of IOTI. Our Vision forthis podcast is to fee your guide to eye of tea and digital disruption,helping you to plot the right rate to success. We hope to day's lessons stories.Strategies and insights have changed your vision, AF bioteeth. Let us knowhow we're doing by subscribing rating reviewing and recommending US thanksfor listening until next time.

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