One of the biggest obstacles to mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is a lack of compatibility and plug & play capabilities. The LF Energy EVerest project aims to tackle this challenge and others related to EV charging globally. By utilizing a “code first” approach, the project aims to increase innovation tenfold in the EV sector.
EVerest wants to aid the move away from an overabundance of standards and instead utilize an open source base structure, essentially becoming the Android of electromobility and bridge the compatibility-gap between the many different vehicle and charger producers. The aim of EVerest is to impact all types of charging:
- Fast public charging
- Smart charging such as using solar energy to charge at home
- DC charging
- Bi-directional charging and emergency energy backups for electric blackouts
Additionally, using EVerest will reduce CO2, as development and volume rollout can be accomplished much faster, using fewer resources and avoiding stranded assets.
The project originated with Marco Möller and his team at PIONIX, but the idea of EVerest was sparked by one of PIONIX’s previous consulting projects, where they realized how behind the times and overly complex the EV industry is. Similar circumstances had appeared during PIONIX’s previous MAVinci project, which had to do with surveying drones.
In the case of MAVinci, the open source community took over and ensured code sharing and compatibility. After developing an open source code base, everyone was then able to concentrate on their specific goals and USPs, since flying the drones itself was solved. That’s what the EVerest project community wants to repeat.
Both PIONIX as a startup and EVerest as a project have been growing rapidly. To date, there have been some large code donations from the corporate side and others are planned, but more community involvement is needed. The project is looking to onboard more contributors and better documentation is a key factor of achieving this. The technical steering committee (TSC) is working on scaling up a documentation team parallel to the development team. At the same time, many commercial projects are already adopting EVerest in the background, with the existing open source project community supporting them as much as possible. This includes new commercial projects like Texas Instruments, PHYTEC, chargebyte and chargeBIG by MAHLE.
“As commercial adoption continues to grow, many industry players are discovering significant overlap between their commercial projects, which is one of the benefits of working with an open source community,” said Marco. “LF Energy has been a huge benefit in supporting the EVerest community with knowledge of open source best practices, legal and marketing support, as well as many exciting networking opportunities in the energy industry.”
The EVerest team recently hosted an ‘academia kickoff’ event where they presented details of the project to researchers around the globe, and invited them to participate and begin using EVerest within their research projects. The development team also has a laundry list of ideas for dealing with different types of default hardware, and in expanding the use of the project into home and local energy management.