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Smart charging with NIO

Wessel Bakker, Product Developer at Vandebron, has been working on the innovative product Smart Charging for the past two years. Recently, he facilitated a collaboration with NIO, an automotive manufacturer, which enabled a new application for Smart Charging. NIO uses swappable batteries that can be quickly exchanged at special stations. By sending signals to these containers via Smart Charging, the electricity grid can be balanced.

Setting up the project between NIO and Vandebron was not easy for the team: “Technically, a common language had to be developed to communicate with the battery containers, and strict rules from Tennet had to be followed to receive compensation for grid balancing. Automating these processes was complex, but continuous improvements are being made.”

The collaboration with NIO also brought challenges such as language barriers and differences in company culture. Nevertheless, Wessel managed to overcome these obstacles together with the team and continue the project. He served as the link between Vandebron and NIO, ensuring the right people were in the right places.

Although the project took longer than expected, Wessel is pleased with the results so far; namely, the effective communication with four containers in the Netherlands. “I am particularly looking forward to further optimization and expansion of the product in the future, to even more containers.”

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