Intelligent EV Charging using Cohere’s Maxem

With the sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV’s) increasing over 30% per year, we are at the brink of a revolution in the automotive industry.

With this many electric vehicles coming to market each year, there is a need for intelligent charge systems. Intelligent charge systems which optimises the speed of charging, minimises the base grid load and strain on the internal system, and can seamlessly implement energy coming from renewable energy sources whenever and wherever possible. Introducing Cohere’s ‘Maxem’ smart charging solution, enabling both consumers and larger companies to get a grip on car charging. It manages how and when their electric vehicle(s) is/are charged. 

Value Proposition

Cohere’s Maxem, is ideal for facilities with multiple charging stations such as parking garages, large companies, shared driveways etc.; as well as electric car drivers commuting between home and work, charging their vehicles at either location. Cohere’s ‘Maxem’ solution easily fits in a meter cabinet and it ensures that electric vehicle(s) are charged as fast as possible based on the available power. This results in faster charging and the facilitation of more charging spots at any given location. The Maxem system provides a solution for a problem that is left unseen by most EV owners; the non-dynamic, and simply ‘dumb’ way their grid connection is set. Existing alternatives are severely limited in their charging capacities by the maximum load they can take from the ‘internal’ system, that is; the maximum load at which the vehicle can be charged while all other electric devices i.e. (for households) hairdryers, frying pans, sauna’s, electric stoves etc, are on. Maxem makes use of the added capacity normally reserved for electronic devices and uses it to speed up the EV charging. When a device is switched on, Maxem reacts and limits the speed at which the EV is charged.

It can be connected to renewable energy sources and stationary energy storage systems. Giving full-control to the end-user and enable them to charge on their preferences; some users may prefer slower charging using solar panels during the day, others might want a quick charge to get back to work, as fast as possible.

From the bottom to the top

Cohere has been active since 2011 and has grown to a team of 6, with their Maxem smart charger installed at numerous locations in the Netherlands. Cohere delivers a back-to-back solution to its customers, providing both product and service to its customer by supplying the hardware (cables, meters, charge stations) needed, handle the installation, give advice and after sales. Cohere has set-up close partnerships with three major charge point manufacturers, and managed to set-up a network of over 12 installation companies throughout Belgium and home country the Netherlands.

Cohere entered the Climate-KIC Accelerator in May 2013. Cohere’s CEO Micheal Coussement: “With the valuable coaching and training sessions, as well as access to added activities such as access to the masterclasses organised by Climate-KIC we quickly progressed through the programme”. Cohere was awarded the €25.000 of stage 2 by the end of 2013, and has just been accepted in stage 3 of the programme. Cohere’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed and was awarded with RVO Netherlands e-mobility voucher which they used to start a cooperation with Delft University of Technology, one of Climate-KIC Netherlands core partners. During their collaboration the team was able to conduct a large smart charging test in one of TU Delft’s Laboratories for Electrical Engineering in which they were able to test nearly every EV present on the market that day.

Opening up the world of E-Mobility

Cohere states that their invention can save up-to 3,9 ton CO2 per charging station per year when charging of the grid, but the greatest climate impact can be achieved from demand side management. By optimizing the charging power of multiple EV’s to solar or wind energy produced and adapting the demand of energy to the supply of sustainable energy the business case and the CO2 savings are increased even further.

This last point was especially been picked up by German manufacturers which have approached Cohere to bring its solution to Germany. The German energy market has a great share of renewables in its energy mix, making it an ideal market application for Cohere’s Maxem which enables users to use their renewables to charge their EV(s). Moreover, in the not so distant future it is possible to charge their EV using energy coming from any renewable source specifically; adopting to and implementing the roll-out of smart grids.

The Cohere Solution

So what will the future look like? Cohere brings an all-in-one solution for home energy management into the meter cabinet. Charging electric vehicles faster and cheaper by Dynamic Load Management and connecting renewable energy sources to charge sustainable. By connecting other energy storage, like stationary batteries or heat pumps, supply and demand of renewable energy can be adjusted to each other. Maxem is cheaper than its direct competitors with a low production cost per unit by being primarily based on open source software. Cohere specialises in being user oriented, giving users a friendly and visually appealing interface. The Cohere team further prides itself in how easy their solution can be fitted almost anywhere and remain interoperable by using standardized communication protocols it will be able to connect to charge points of any manufacturer.

Cohere brings the world of e-mobility closer to the end costumer, opening up opportunities for faster, cheaper and overall better integration of charging solutions to users. Hopefully their efforts will continue to expand and further increase the rate of adoption of EV(s), forever narrowing the gap between Electric- and ‘traditional’ combustion-vehicles.

Contact details

For more information refer to the company’s website www.cohere.eu or mail to 

Michael Coussement
Willem de Zwijgerlaan 350, 1055 RD Amsterdam, the Netherlands
+31 20 770 87 13

Team members: Michael Coussement (CEO); Erik Lintjens (CFO); Savine Tellier (COO); Thom Bogers (CTO); Menno de Brie (Web Developer); Dick Prins (Embedded Systems Designer)