Open standards within the EV charging ecosystem A comparative case study exploring potential gaps between the intended and perceived openness

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master's Thesis
Entrepreneurship and business design (MPBDP), MSc
Friman, Sara
The urgent need for the development of sustainable transportation solutions has called on electrical vehicles as part of a potential solution. In parallel the automotive industry is facing a shift going from hardware to a software solution focus. Thus, putting pressure on the knowledge intensity of the firms and requiring a greater knowledge stock to be distributed throughout the organizations. Open innovation tools, such as open standards, have been pointed out as potential facilitators for the development of sustainable transportation solutions. However, with the presence of paradoxes of innovation and a current knowledge gap in how to apply open standards to improve the interoperability of the solutions, the actors of the electric vehicle charging ecosystem are left with a complex dynamic of challenges. By understanding the potential gaps between the various layers of electrical vehicles interoperability, one may start to prioritize the efforts of enabling open innovation collaborations. Through a comparison of the layers of; communication - open standards (within the electric vehicle charging ecosystem), and business - the Swedish electro-mobility business ecosystem, this paper investigates the openness, intended openness, and perceived openness, to explore potential gaps, to further the insights of how open standards can be used to facilitate the electrical vehicle adaptation of sustainable transportation solutions. The findings of the study show that the electric vehicle charging ecosystem is indeed a current area of great interest for sustainable transportation, with the potential for information and communications technology developments to be used within cross-industry and cross sectional applications. The study confirmed the existence of potential gaps between the intended and perceived openness. The results allured at there being a dissonance in the early and late phases of the standard development. Specifically pointing towards the (technical) interoperability, where the intended openness was evaluated to be high, while the real-world experienced openness where not perceived to be at an optimal level for the application. Further, the study displayed that the absence of a common concept of openness could be directly correlated to the lack of both internal and external interoperability in the business layer of electrical vehicles. Thus, creating barriers for the knowledge sharing that is required for the innovation efforts to be effective. The electro-mobility business ecosystem actors’ positive attitude and realization of the need for open innovation, such as open standards, indicate that there is a common perception that the complexity of the emerging information and communications technologies within the electrical vehicle adaptation, invokes new forms of open innovation management. However, the actors were hesitant to be the ones to make the first move. With the high stakes of losing out on value creation through poor intellectual asset management, the participant hinted at the need for a higher governance structure to take on a more operational functionality than the current governing organs of the innovation ecosystem. Hence, generating a clearer landscape with set rules, designated recipients, and responsible roles. This may very well be the primary action needed for mending the gaps and the creation of a stable environment for future open innovation collaborations to grow within.
EMBE , EV , Interoperability , Openness , Open Standards , Open Standard requirements
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