Openness

"Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them. That is only valid for information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes."

- Peter M. Senge

Question: How difficult would it be to design and build an electric car completely by yourself without any reference material or help from others?

Answer: Very. It would take a very long time, it would be very expensive, and maybe even very dangerous.

Thankfully, there are many ways to gain the knowledge needed to build an electric car by sharing in other people's experience: online forums, build blogs, books, magazines, newsletters, email mailing lists, and, if you're as lucky as us, monthly meet-ups.

We want to encourage this collaborative and community-oriented approach and extend it to EV system development. We are taking things to a different level by proposing the following:

the 'OpenAPI EV Management Initiative.'

"Open" in this case describes how accessible the information pertaining to the communication standards are. We share the packet structure of our AutoBlocks for example. Openness generally refers to the degree to which information is shared.

API stands for: "Application Programming Interface" and traditionally refers to software interaction. In our situation, we extend this notion to EV software AND hardware. The communication and software interaction is open, well-published and freely available (thus OpenAPI), while the internal workings of specific pieces of hardware remain abstracted.

why would we want to do this?

We believe that a collaborative and community-oriented approach is ideally suited for the purpose of EV system development. EV innovation can develop more quickly if developers can access standard protocols instead of re-inventing existing wheels.

It seems that more and more EV components are being designed and built all the time. Battery management systems, motor controllers, and battery chargers are among these EV parts being developed by people throughout the world. To create a complete and versatile EV system, these components must be able to communicate with one another in some fashion. The challenge arises when each of these autonomous components speaks a different language.

In addition, every EV application will be slightly different, and designing one system that is fully compatible with everything would be impossible. This fact further demonstrates the need for well-published standards.

RechargeCar Inc. will lead by example. We will publish all of our communication protocols (USB packet structure) for our products. By doing so, we will encourage the EV community to use our standards, improve upon our software interfaces, and work with us and others toward our common goal: to build better electric cars.

What do you think?

Are we crazy? Want to help?

Let us know:

community@rechargecar.com