A new system, known as ELVIIS, will let you pay a fair rate for whatever juice your electric car consumes whilst you’re away from home.
ELVIIS (which stands for Electric Vehicle Intelligent Infra Structure) allows the car to identify itself to the grid before it begins leeching on power. Once your top-up is complete, the cost of any electricity you’ve consumed is added to your domestic utility bill.
ElVIIS should simplify the awkward process of ‘borrowing’ a stranger’s electrical outlet for a quick squirt of juice so the car can make it to its final destination.
It could also simplify the process of paying at public charging points — eliminating the need to join multiple independent charging networks. Instead, the system can use GPS to work out which post you’ve hooked up to, while an app on your smartphone will line up the ducks needed to update your account and credit the appropriate supplier. The system is even clever enough to negotiate the best price on your behalf.
The consortium behind ELVIIS will pool the skills of Volvo, Ericsson, utility provider Göteborg Energi and Viktoria Institute, a non-profit body specialising in automotive technology research.
Five of Volvo’s experimental electric C30 hatchbacks will pilot the scheme over the coming 12 months, and the intention is to use existing technology wherever possible. If it all hangs together in one harmonious whole, ELVIIS should have global appeal, just like its fleshy, cheeseburger-eating namesake.