RFID Enhances the Electromobility Ecosystem

A Summary of the Key Advantages

Mobility of the Future

Electromobility s rapidly gaining popularity as a sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation system. As electric vehicles become more widespread, the need for an efficient and reliable charging infrastructure is becoming increasingly important.

RFID technology plays a crucial role in the expansion of the charging station network. RFID solutions enable secure and convenient identification of e-vehicles at charging stations.

Success Story powered by: the Think WIOT Group and iDTRONIC. By Roger Kochendörfer, Managing Director Idtronic.

Mobility of the Future

Six Super-Charged Advantages of RFID

  1. Vehicle & Driver Identification
    RFID tags can be attached to electric vehicles or held by drivers as RFID cards / key fobs to authenticate them and allow for seamless charging.
  2. Real-time Data Collection
    Track electric vehicle usage, including charging times and patterns, which can be used to optimize charging station placement and usage.
  3. Accurate Billing
    Charging stations can accurately track and bill electric vehicle users for their charging usage, reducing the risk of errors or overcharging.
  4. Increased Security
    By ensuring only authorized users can access charging stations and by tracking vehicle usage, reducing the risk of theft.
  5. Scalability
    Facilitates the deployment of large networks of charging stations and the management of large fleets of electric vehicles.
  6. Future-Proofing
    Highly adaptable and flexible technology, meaning it can be easily upgraded or integrated with other technologies in the future, ensuring it remains relevant and useful.

RFID technology can be used in a variety of ways to enhance the electromobility ecosystem.

RFID Technology and E-Mobility

RFID Technology and E-Mobility

The most significant application of RFID technology in electric mobility is in the charging infrastructure. The network of charging stations for electric vehicles has been growing steadily for several years. An increasing number of service station operators, companies and supermarkets are equipping their parking lots with charging stations.

Customers want ease of use, uncomplicated handling and safety. Charging station operators, therefore, need a secure and easy-to-implement solution that simplifies the charging management of electric vehicles. Successful implementation can be ensured through optimal interaction between hardware, software and service. By integrating a RFID module with Near-Field Communication (NFC) the charging station, the authorization of designated drivers is possible.

RFID transponders, such as programmable cards, key fobs or smart devices, can be used as access data to unlock the charging station. The management of charging infrastructure also plays a crucial role as EV charging stations are often located in public areas and require constant monitoring.

Embedded RFID modules can be used to track the usage of charging stations, monitor their status, and identify issues that may require attention. This allows for efficient management of charging infrastructure and ensures that the charging stations are always available for use.

Another way RFID technology is being used in electric mobility is through the tracking of EVs. This allows for the efficient management of fleets of EVs, such as those used by companies or public transport services.

RFID tags can also be used to monitor the performance of the EV and track its maintenance needs. This allows for proactive maintenance and reduces the downtime of the EV, leading to better performance and increased efficiency.

In addition to the above applications, RFID technology can also be used to enhance the overall EV driving experience. RFID readers can be connected to the vehicle’s CANbus network to provide personalized services such as pre-configured charging preferences, preferred route recommendations, and access to loyalty programs, to name a few. This enhances the convenience and comfort of EV driving and encourages more people to adopt this sustainable mode of transportation.

The diverse array of RFID applications in E-Mobility can best be described by exploring real-world examples (i.e., case studies) that RFID technology suppliers receive over time. Each client project has its unique challenges and the following case studies aim to illustrate this point.

Networking CAN Be Easy

CANbus (Controller Area Network) is a communication protocol used in vehicles that enables the exchange of data between different components. One of the benefits of CANbus is its ability to integrate with other technologies, such as RFID.

RFID is used in vehicles for various purposes, including keyless entry and start, toll collection, and tracking inventory.

By integrating RFID technology with CANbus, vehicles can communicate with RFID readers and tags, enabling more advanced features such as real-time tracking and monitoring of vehicle location and cargo. This integration results in enhanced functionality and improved safety in vehicles, making them more efficient and reliable.

Electric Scooters

Smaller electric vehicles, such as scooters, mopeds and quads, have gained in popularity and will continue to do so in years to come. With the electrification of vehicles also comes the desire for digital access, which poses a challenge for manufacturers looking to replace the time-honoured mechanical key.

A manufacturer of electric scooters faced the challenge of equipping its vehicles with a keyless, contactless ignition lock. The wireless technology had to be secure, reliable, and cost-effective. Electric scooters are often used as leisure vehicles and used sporadically (i.e., in summer months, during good weather), meaning battery consumption in Standby Mode needs to be minimized.

The initially tested Bluetooth Solution (BLE) had a high consumption rate and batteries were required in both the sender (beacon) and the reader (smartphone). During testing, connection problems arose when Bluetooth, WiFi or mobile networks weren’t stable.

Integration of an automotive grade HF/NFC RFID reader with a CANbus interface, which is powered by the vehicle’s battery. The sender/transponder could take the form of a battery-free smartcard, key fob or wristband.

  • 0 % battery consumption by RFID reader in Standby Mode
  • Stable connection via HF/NFC (13.56 MHz) frequency
  • High security standards (3DES Encryption) – Advocated by insurance companies
  • Automotive Grade Quality (temperature resistant, robust, standardized connectors)

Replacement for the mechanical key: Ignition lock without key and with contactless interface.

Electric Scooters


Using RFID tags in go-karting to optimize manual processes.

Einsatz von RFID-Etiketten im Go-Karting
Go-Karting mit Fahrerzuweisung & Renninformationen

Go-karting is a popular recreational activity that has been enjoyed by people of all ages for decades. In recent years, go-karting facilities have turned to RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to enhance the experience for their customers.

The first challenge was to ensure that the correct drivers were assigned to the correct go-karts. Previously, this was done manually, which was time-consuming and prone to errors.

Additionally, the facility wanted to track lap times and speeds for each driver, as well as provide real-time race information to spectators. Furthermore, the ability to reduce the performance (hp) of the vehicles based on the age of drivers was sought after.

Each driver was assigned an RFID tag, which was attached to their helmet. Each go-kart was equipped with an RFID reader, which was connected via CANbus interface to a central computer system. When a driver entered a go-kart, their RFID tag was read by the reader, and their information was transmitted to the central computer system.

The central computer system was equipped with specialized software that tracked lap times, speeds, and other race information for each driver. This information was then displayed in real-time on large screens located throughout the facility, allowing spectators to follow the race and track the progress of their favourite drivers.

  • Improved accuracy in assigning drivers to gokarts. No more manual errors.
  • Ability to track lap times and speeds for each driver improving the racing experience
  • Providing real-time race information to spectators
  • Higher safety standards for younger drivers through horsepower regulation

Mercedes UNIMOG

RFID-based tool tracking system to identify Unimog vehicles with RFID technology.

Mercedes Unimog Fire truck
Mercedes Unimog Transport vehicle

Mercedes Unimog is a multipurpose vehicle that is widely used for off-road transportation and construction purposes. The vehicle is known for its versatility and ruggedness, which makes it ideal for various applications.

However, the use of the vehicle in industries and construction sites involves the use of various tools and equipment that are necessary for completing the tasks. It is essential to keep track of these tools and ensure their proper usage and maintenance.

A construction company that uses Mercedes Unimog for transportation and construction purposes decided to implement an RFID-based tool tracking system.

The company faced issues with tool loss and lack of proper tool usage and maintenance. Therefore, they decided to retrofit their Unimog vehicles with RFID technology for tool identification and tracking.

The company installed UHF RFID readers on the Unimog vehicles at strategic locations over the CANbus interface. They also installed a central database system that would receive the data from the RFID readers and store it for analysis.

The database was also integrated with the company's inventory management system, which allowed the company to keep track of the tools and their usage.

The company then tagged the tools with UHF RFID tags and provided the Maintenance Staff with mobile RFID terminals. They also trained their employees on how to use the RFID system and the importance of proper tool usage and maintenance.

  • Ability to track tool usage and ensure regular maintenance
  • Reduction in tool loss and theft, leading to significant cost savings for the company
  • Improvement in their inventory management, which led to better overall efficiency
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