In 2019, I once again had the opportunity to attend Hubject’s intercharge network conference in Berlin. I wanted to share some insights from this year’s edition.
Günni shows what it’s all about
On the train home from Berlin, a tiny toy train called ‘Günni’s Freight Train’ demonstrated the essence of this year’s conference. My son received a new toy train from Deutsche Bahn. In previous years, they have given out small toy trains to their youngest travellers. This year, however, one thing has changed: the toy no longer uses the company’s own gauge printed on the tabletop of the family car, but the de facto BRIO wooden track standard. For me, this is the perfect example of why standards are about putting the user first.
By adopting the ‘wooden track’ standard, the toy train has become much more valuable to the user. In addition to play on the train, it can also be used for play off the train – increasing the value of the toy itself as well as the value of the existing wooden track infrastructure. A ‘win-win-win’ situation that creates value for the user, the product and the infrastructure.
Standards enable interaction, interaction creates value
Applying this to electromobility, the key lesson is to support standards. Supporting standards is about creating value. Don’t try to lock your customer into limited systems, use standards to enable interoperability. By enabling interaction (and thus your customer’s use cases), value is created on all sides. A charging subscription that is not connected to the Intercharge network, a car or charging station that does not support ISO15118 is missing out on value creation. Make sure your product can be part of a system, be open and do not be afraid of the open market, to quote Hubject‘s CSO Nils Dillum from his keynote.
Standards enable open interaction between market players, competitors or business partners, governments, customers and users. As a result, open interaction allows previously unimagined use cases to leave islands and enter the world. This is play = going beyond imagination. Putting the user at the centre, enabling all use cases, means supporting standards. This year’s intercharge network conference once again showed the way forward. Thanks again to the Hubject team for making it possible!