AC2SG Software Oy (AC2SG) is a software solution start-up founded in 2012. Their solutions are based on either software products, specific development projects, consulting services or a combination of them. So far, AC2SG has been focusing on the electric vehicle charging business, demand response and distributed energy generation and storage, and lately on Mobility-as-a-Service consulting and development.
Although typically smart grid development is focused on the technical infrastructure, AC2SG’s viewpoint on Smart Grids is that the essential aspects for the proliferation of Smart Grids are information and the new services and possibilities that they offer to the consumers. The technological advancements are important and significant for the overall energy industry and its effectiveness. However, in practice, the customers pay for the investments and make choices on the use of smart grid technologies. Thus, the most important aspect in the smart grid development and technology utilisation is the use of the information to manage the grid differently than in the past.
The use of information was the starting point of the service development in AC2SG during this project. Having worked closely before with multiple customers on planning the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging, AC2SG turned their attention to the assessment of the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, when it has been deployed, and the customers are beginning to use it. Especially, as the infrastructure network turns bigger and there are dozens of charging points and hundreds of users, the task of analyzing the usage and trends gets increasingly difficult. At the same time, this task becomes more and more important. In order to deal with these challenges, AC2SG introduced a new service that allows this analysis to be performed as a service, with quick turnaround time.
AC2SG started the development from the consumer perspective, i.e., what makes a charging point or a new service compelling to the customer, and how information about this can be used for steering the behaviour in a positive manner (“opt-in”). They were especially interested in the capabilities and the use of e-mobility to positively impact commuting, e.g., by designing charging locations and new services for commuters so that private EV use could be efficiently combined with public transport.
The service offering from AC2SG for analyzing the performance and the usage of the EV charging infrastructure was launched in August 2016 and tested with the EV charging data for Helsinki (since summer 2015). The data was acquired through Virta, and in this respect, this analysis was related to the strengthening charging network in the corridor based on the collaboration between AC2SG, Virta and the municipalities in GCF. The situation in 2017 in the capital area was that the locations of the charging points were not chosen based on the viewpoint of commuting, although some charging points are near metro and train stations. This fairly small dataset already showed the potential to be analysed in various ways and combined with other data to enhance its usefulness. And although no attempt was made to impact people’s behaviour in commuting, new park&ride&charge incentives for parking outside of town centres could be envisioned.
The insights from the analysis mentioned above led to a development effort in collaboration with the University of Tampere and the city of Tampere where the efficient positioning of EV charging infrastructure was considered as a part of the future transport and city planning. AC2SG Software’s role was the optimisation of the location of infrastructure based on a number of factors: usability, park+ride use, shared cars, and utilisation of public transport locations. During this development effort, city planning data was utilised and also extended by enhancing current CItyGML models with EV charging infrastructure data.
As a result, a mobility and service hub concept was developed for the new tram line in Tampere (the figure below). In this concept, certain stations in this line would be developed into mobility hubs with a set of services connecting the needs of users and more sustainable mobility with the wider aims of city and transport planning. In addition to promoting the use of active modes in close proximity of the tramline, sustainable mobility in this concept included the combination of private and shared electric vehicle use with mass transport services when mobility needs originate from outlying city regions (Car City Fabric).
 Lintusaari, J. (2017) Smart Mobility HUBs. Presentation held at the closing seminar of the BOMAAS project, 23.10.2017, Team Finland –house, Helsinki, Finland. Available at: https://tapahtumat.tekes.fi/uploads/ae5e31197/6_Lintusaari-9141.pdf (Accessed 15.10.2018)