The Chubu Electric Power Company, the third largest electric utilities provider in Japan, has partnered with Internet of Things (IoT) startup Nayuta Inc and software company Infoteria in order to experiment with the possibility of using Blockchain technology to record the charging of electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrids. The Lightning Network is set to be used for charging micropayments for the electricity, reports TechCrunch Japan.
As part of its plan to build a new type of “collective housing” that contains an electric vehicle charging component, the Chubu Electric Power Company is simultaneously performing tests on both the Blockchain level, and second layer scalability solution Lightning Network level, towards the development of this project.
Nayuta’s development of a charging outlet that is compatible with Blockchain, in combination with Infoteria’s development of a tandem mobile application, means that users could hypothetically see the charge history of the electric vehicle as recorded to the Blockchain, according to local news outlet The Denki Shimbun.
A Blockchain record of electrical charges on a user-friendly mobile app “makes it possible to operate a highly reliable charge management system with a small introduction cost,” according to local news outlet Chuden. One example given as a result of the low costs is that an owner of an electric vehicle could install a charging system in his apartment using this technology, which is a key part of Chubu Electric’s collective housing plan.
According to TechCrunch Japan, even though the Lightning Network has already been implemented in several other forms, Nayuta is using their own independently developed open source software for the experiments in micropayments for electric vehicle charging.
Kenichi Kurimoto, the CEO of Nayuta, told Cointelegraph that he believes “protocol development is open-source activity.”
In relation to the relevance of the Lightning Network to this project, Kurimoto said, according to TechCrunch Japan, that “it can handle real time [...] and enormous transactions:”
Kurimoto told Cointelegraph that the collaboration is for experimental purposes, and that business cooperation will only be discussed once the experiment is finished.
Nayuta has developed two different kinds of power sockets for electric vehicle charging and making Bitcoin payments: one is a power socket, developed in 2015 that has been modified for a zero confirmation payment system, that has a pseudo SPV wallet software on a micro-controller, and the other has a Lightning Network software named “ptarmigan,” which Nayuta is currently developing.
Kurimoto told Cointelegraph that Infoteria has made a prototype mobile smartphone app for the service of the first type.
In the experiment for the second type of power socket, real time payment was made when a closed network, made up of “ptarmigan” nodes and other “Lightning Network specific software (BOLT) was configured on Testnet,” Kurimoto wrote.
Kurimoto writes that “ptarmigan makes [it] possible to conduct Lightning Network transaction with c-lightning, lnd, eclair in closed network on Testnet, although we ha[ve] been still developing it further:”
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