Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Electric vehicles: Recharging in private


An electronic payment system developed at A*STAR will protect the privacy of customers recharging their electric vehicles.                    

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular due to their environmental credentials and relatively low running costs. However, most existing electric vehicles need to be recharged every 100 to 150 kilometers, with each recharge potentially exposing information related to a customer’s payment and location. Now, researchers at A*STAR have described a new system that would allow quick and easy money transfers at electric vehicle charging stations, without jeopardizing customer privacy.

Electric vehicles require frequent recharging, which presents challenges for privacy and data protection.

© Mihajlo Maricic/iStock/Thinkstock

“Cybersecurity is an important factor for payment systems, but it is often ignored by users or administrators until the system is being attacked,” says researcher Joseph Liu from the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research in Singapore[1]. “No one should have their daily habits or behavior traced without their consent.”

The recharging of electric vehicles presents unique challenges for privacy, not least because some cars with solar panels are able to sell electricity back to the grid, meaning payments flow in both directions. Without tight security, payment companies or hackers could monitor where and when cars are charged, gaining insight into people’s lifestyles that could be exploited for targeted spam marketing.

“Some popular electronic payment systems like credit cards do not provide any privacy, while other systems like prepaid cash cards may not be suitable for large payments, or are not insured against card loss,” says Liu. “Cash is anonymous, but requires expensive machines to keep cash stores secure from thieves.”

The new system developed by Liu and co-workers is based on an in-car unit that resembles a smartphone or tablet and, along with a range of security benefits, allows two-way anonymous payments for recharging. Users can instantly shut down their accounts and retrieve unused credit. Also, if their car is stolen they can revoke the location privacy to help police trace the car. In the event of a dispute between a user and a supplier, either party can submit the claims to an independent judging authority for investigation.

The researchers tested their system by simulating three different types of attack: a hacker trying to track the transactions of an honest user, a user trying to underpay for services, and a supplier trying to slander an honest user. The system proved robust against all three attacks.

The team has now implemented a prototype of their secure charging system. They will install the tamper-proof in-car units on a fleet of 100 new electric vehicles that will arrive in Singapore later this year, thanks to collaboration with the Chinese carmaker BYD Auto.


1. Au, M. H., Liu, J. K., Fang, J., Jiang, Z. L., Susilo, W., Zhou, J. A new payment system for enhancing location privacy of electric vehicles. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology 63, 3–18 (2014).

Lee Swee Heng | Research SEA News
Further information:

Further reports about: A*STAR Electric Recharging cybersecurity electric vehicles privacy vehicles

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Hybrid excavator uses diesel-electric drive
25.11.2015 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht “move“ – on course for the mobility of the future
25.11.2015 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

Im Focus: Climate Change: Warm water is mixing up life in the Arctic

AWI researchers’ unique 15-year observation series reveals how sensitive marine ecosystems in polar regions are to change

The warming of arctic waters in the wake of climate change is likely to produce radical changes in the marine habitats of the High North. This is indicated by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Harnessing a peptide holds promise for increasing crop yields without more fertilizer

25.11.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Earth's magnetic field is not about to flip

25.11.2015 | Earth Sciences

Tracking down the 'missing' carbon from the Martian atmosphere

25.11.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>