ProjectRevenue Management for Electric Road Systems

Application Areas
Competence Areas at RISE ICT
Revenue Management for Electric Road Systems

Electric road systems (ERS) in which electrical energy is transferred during movement from the road to the vehicle for both propulsion and charging of battery, has great potential for reducing dependency on fossil fuels and increased energy efficiency in the transport sector. There are ongoing studies and demonstration projects around the world in order to explore different techniques for energy transfer and different use cases.

Regardless of the choice of technology for the energy transfer, the ERS deployed in commercial operation will need revenue management for billing the use of infrastructure and energy. The revenue management need to handle complex use cases with multiple actors, roles and commercial relationships. In addition, the future revenue management systems should be interoperable and independent of business models in order to flexibly meet the needs of new situations.

Rate of development, competition and especially the need to adapt to different business models has caused revenue management systems in the telecommunications industry to often be configurable to cope with changing commercial situations with multiple actors and roles, which corresponds with what the revenue management for ERS need to handle. Trading of electricity for railway transport affects fewer roles than what is expected to be the case for ERS and its revenue management system is therefore not deemed possible to reuse directly for ERS, but it is highly relevant to note the trend to calculate energy consumption based on distance reading of power consumption. A future system for kilometer tax with differentiated tariffs are likely to have similar information needs as a revenue management for ERS.

An important part of this pre-study is a proposed solution for ERS revenue management developed with inspiration from business support systems from the telecom industry and with the idea that energy calculation shall be based on the distance reading of power meters or sensors in vehicles. The next step would be a feasibility study which includes implementation of a prototype and proof-of-concept demonstration, the following step would be development of a revenue management product to be verified at a test track before deployment. Once the pre-study results go further into a feasibility study, it is important not to exclude any authority or part of the business due to choice of specific technical solution, but instead aim to include all relevant parties.

The pre-study has also studied the privacy aspects and noted that there are several reports dealing with transport informatics and integrity. There are different positions in different countries and a new EU regulation on privacy is underway. The central question is whether ERS revenue management will involve any additional privacy-related risks. This issue should be addressed in the context of a feasibility study and proof-of-concept.

It is also important to develop business models for electric road systems and to consider what should be the role and responsibility of the road operators. A possible solution might be certified service providers who will be responsible for procuring electricity, billing the use of infrastructure and energy, and offering of new innovative services.

Technical report (in Swedish) is published at the following www page: https://www.viktoria.se/publications/forstudie-om-betalsystem-for-elvagar.