ViaVan teams with Shell on EV projects
The ride-sharing US startup ViaVan has announced that it is working with oil-major Shell to develop a system that will monitor electric vehicle battery range.
ViaVan was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and the ride-sharing service Via, which is based in New York. The company’s ride-serving service is currently available in 20 countries and the platform has organised over 70 million journeys since its inception.
The new system, which has been termed the “EV Operating System”, is being developed and trialled in Amsterdam and combines the on-demand mobility technology that Via has developed with the charging solutions that Shell is planning to install across Europe.
ViaVan and Shell aim to establish that the performance of EV fleets will improve when available routes to chargers are optimised by an app.
In Amsterdam, the two companies are combining their efforts to monitor the battery performance of the vehicles in Amsterdam’s ViaVan fleet.
The application being developed will be able to calculate how much charging is required and when, and it will then map a route to a Shell charging station.
The two companies think that the app will be of use to city authorities as they attempt to monitor energy grid usage and ensure that enough charging facilities are available, without overstretching the electricity network.
Via is also pushing initiatives for autonomous driving and launched its BusBot trial, an autonomous shuttle service at a retirement community in New South Wales, Australia, in July 2019.
The company also has partnerships in place with major transportation authorities such as LA Metro, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore.