November 1, 2022

From Grey Parking Spaces to Green Solar Carports

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Source: Hello Zuidas, november edition

Impact Nation and AmperaPark are working together on a sustainable mobility solution

Getting from A to B plays a big part in our day-to-day lives: we go to work, visit friends and family and go on holidays to far-flung destinations. Cars, buses, trains and planes get us there. But if we want a cleaner future, we absolutely have to green our mobility. Richard Kokhuis of AmperaPark is plugging into this imperative by transforming grey parking spaces into smart solar charging stations. Supporting him on this mission is Impact Nation, a programme that is harnessing the power of collaboration to help entrepreneurs accelerate their sustainable innovations.

The programme is headed by Julia van Boven and Jeljer Haarsma.

 

What is Impact Nation?

Julia: ‘’Impact Nation is an initiative of ABN AMRO in partnership with The Next Web (TNW) and Impact Hub Amsterdam (IHA) to accelerate sustainability in business. It arose from the bank’s desire to support customers through concrete sustainable solutions. ABN AMRO didn’t have all the skills or access to the right networks to do this itself. So, that immediately led us to seek partnerships with TNW and IHA. With them, we developed a six-month accelerator. Now, three years later, 23 companies from a whole range of sectors have taken part. Impact Nation focuses specifically on encouraging participants to share their knowledge, experiences and networks.’’

How does Impact Nation help entrepreneurs create impact?
Julia: ‘’Specialists at ABN AMRO, TNW and IHA help companies formulate a single coherent and concrete sustainability challenge aligned to their long-term vision. The next step is looking for innovative partners around the world that might have a solution. Impact Hub’s network alone encompasses more than 16,500 socially-motivated innovative start-ups and scale-ups. Once we find the right partner, we launch a 100-day pilot phase with our participant and their new partner. This is when we log the first tangible results. The experts at Impact Nation guide the collaboration and help measure the actual impact. On demo day, we celebrate the first steps and share them with other parties, who are often inspired to step up their sustainability efforts in turn.’’

What role has Impact Nation played for AmperaPark?
Richard: ‘’Impact Nation actively supported AmperaPark to accelerate our technological development. At the time, we were specifically looking for a partner to create a solid user interface. AmperaPark designs and delivers smart solar charging stations, which are even smarter if they can communicate interactively with users. Our users are people who drive electric vehicles, and we want to serve them by providing comfort and convenience. With easy payment, for example, and the option to reserve charging points. AmperaPark charges on solar power to the extent possible, but for that we need some user data. Impact Nation put us in touch with a Dutch-Indian IT company with which we developed a platform to do this. Right now, we are testing this option in practice and expect to roll out the technology at all our AmperaPark locations in 2023.’’

How is your mobility solution contributing to a greener world?

Richard: ‘’AmperaPark generates solar power in locations where electric cars are parked – so companies, hotels, shopping centres and so forth. It’s a smart way of plugging into the existing environment. Our energy management technology (EMS) lets us optimally calibrate the energy exchange between the grid, solar panels, external batteries and electric cars. In other words, to convert the maximum number of rays into green kilometres with minimal grid supply. Rising grid congestion is making this more relevant than ever. If AmperaPark can make EV charging easier and greener, more people should be willing to take the electric leap. That will have a huge impact, because driving on green solar energy is one of the most sustainable forms of mobility around!’’

Richard Kokhuis Managing Director, AmperaPark

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