"Thanks to wherever SIM , we have the M2M SIM card that allows us to think globally. No matter where our batteries are used, connectivity is guaranteed."

Lars Hillermann

Managing Director AES Akku Energie Systeme GmbH

AES Battery Energy Systems

M2M SIM cards for successful eBike fleet management

Hamburg-based AES Akku Energie Systeme GmbH develops and produces innovative battery systems for various applications and is the exclusive battery supplier for Deutsche Post AG. AES is currently developing a cloud-based IoT platform for its customers that provides data on the batteries used. In this way, battery data is made available in real time, which in turn enables more efficient battery management and thus time and cost savings.

The eBike fleet of a German mail carrier is a pilot project on the platform. The M2M SIM card from wherever SIM guarantees secure data transmission in this project, from the bike battery via the mobile network directly to the cloud. On the recommendation of wherever SIM , AES brought the Hamburg-based company Globaldatanet, a specialist in cloud development and AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, on board to develop the platform.

AES battery in use - Deutsche Post

Battery as a Service: From vision to implementation

Resource conservation and cost savings through more efficient battery management and Battery as a Service - a complete all-round package for customers. The idea of Lars Hillermann and Matthias Behlke, the two managing directors of AES Akku Energie Systeme GmbH, marked the start of a huge project. To implement it, they are relying on smart batteries and an IoT platform that holds relevant battery data for both AES and customers.

"At AES, we are thinking in a completely new direction. Instead of just selling our batteries like other manufacturers, we want to offer a complete service package with predictive maintenance, tracking, geofencing and much more. The rather complex component of the battery should become as simple a part of our customers' projects as possible. explains Behlke, one of the founders and managing directors of AES. The focus of all considerations is on the changing requirements of customers and projects, which AES wants to meet as flexibly as possible.

Early intervention prevents standstill

In order to offer customers the best service for their batteries, AES needs information about the batteries. "However, depending on which devices the batteries are currently being used in, this is extremely time-consuming," adds Hillermann, also Managing Director of AES. "Let's take the eBike fleet from our current project. The eBikes are in use all over Germany. The batteries installed in them cannot be checked collectively once a day.

An eBike or the battery in it is only checked if there is a problem. This means an enormous amount of work for our customer: the bike cannot be used, but the mail has to go out. So a replacement has to be found at short notice while the defective eBike is checked. What is the fault? Is this an issue for the customer's own service department or do I need external support? This costs our customers time and money.

We therefore start much earlier so that, in the best case scenario, the eBike doesn't even break down due to the battery." For this reason, M2M SIM cards from wherever SIM are installed in the mail carriers' eBike batteries, which regularly transmit battery data to the new IoT platform from AES.

"With the service from wherever SIM , we have the opportunity to easily retrieve all battery data, no matter where the bikes are and without any special effort for the customer. This allows us to identify potential problems, such as abnormalities in charging behavior, at an early stage and take countermeasures before a battery is damaged." This is not only worthwhile for the customer, but also conserves natural resources.

Battery as a Service: From vision to implementation

From the battery to the cloud: data transmission via mobile radio

There was no alternative to using an M2M SIM card and mobile communications for data transmission from the battery. Tim Müller, Managing Director of wherever SIM GmbH, explains: "Mobile communications is an established, standardized technology and the infrastructure is available almost everywhere. And not just in Germany, but worldwide. Especially for devices such as eBikes, which are not only distributed at different locations but are also constantly on the move, the nationwide availability of mobile communications is an unbeatable argument."

Another important point for AES when choosing wherever SIM is the simple remote management and inventory of the M2M SIM cards. wherever SIM In addition to an online portal, AES also offers its customers a comprehensive API to manage data in their own systems independently of the wherever SIM portal.

"If we can't get the batteries to one central location, the same applies to all connected components, including the SIM card. We therefore needed a solution that works remotely and from anywhere. And we also wanted to have the SIM card data on our platform so that we didn't have to work with multiple portals. The API from wherever SIM allows us to do just that," explains Behlke. The IoT platform from AES now not only provides users with an overview of the battery status, but also contains the metadata of the installed M2M SIM card. For example, how high the data consumption is, the duration of the data connections, which mobile network it is connected to or the location. A reset is also possible via the platform or API connection in the event of a fault.

Constantly on the move: Advantage of embedded SIMs

In addition to the constant changes in location of the eBikes, the movement itself also placed special demands on the M2M SIM cards. "To guarantee a reliable connection, the M2M SIMs used in the bike batteries must sit firmly in the GSM module despite regular vibrations. At the same time, the overall solution must be small and as light as possible; after all, the eBike has to be moved," says Müller. For this reason, the M2M SIM cards were permanently installed in the bike battery as an embedded SIM, or eSIM for short. The advantages of an embedded SIM: they cope better with vibrations, are less sensitive to large temperature fluctuations and dust and are therefore less susceptible to faults overall.

The advantages of wherever SIM in eBikes and batteries:

  • The best possible connection on site at all times and everywhere
  • Available as embedded SIM for firm fit in the GSM module, even in case of shocks
  • Simple and clear SIM management via online portal or API in your own system
  • In border regions, access to the networks of neighbouring countries - for best local coverage
  • Static IP addresses, OpenVPN, IPsec or private APN
  • IMEI lock for protection in the event of theft and theft against third-party costs
AES battery in the wheel

Past the Internet: Highest data security

"Because we started from scratch with the IoT platform for AES, we were able to develop the platform without taking existing systems or technical legacy issues into account," illustrates Marc Schröter, CEO of Globaldatanet GmbH. "We were able to concentrate fully on what the platform should do and create the appropriate basis in AWS to achieve this."

This constellation has led to some special technical features, for example in the data transfer itself: "The combination of the M2M SIM or API from wherever SIM and the infrastructure of the IoT platform means that all data sent automatically by the battery, such as position data, is transferred to the platform via the Internet," says Schröter. He adds: "The data goes from the mobile network directly via a dedicated line to the AWS Cloud of wherever SIM, where the core network of wherever SIM is located. From here, the data is then transferred to the AWS Cloud from AES." This is made possible by connecting VPCs (Virtual Private Cloud) from wherever SIM and AES via an AWS Transit Gateway. "It doesn't get any more secure than this," concludes Schröter.

Outlook: Global growth

"In the long term, the platform will be the linchpin of the Battery as a Service concept. That's why it was important - and here we are very pleased with the suggestions from Globaldatanet and wherever SIM - to create a basis now that can continue to grow in many different directions. Although the pilot project is a really exciting use case and ideally suited to kick-starting the platform, its requirements do not yet exploit the full potential of our platform," explains Hillermann. "Thanks to wherever SIM , we have the M2M SIM card that allows us to think globally. No matter where our batteries are used, connectivity is guaranteed. That's a big issue that we won't have to worry about in the future."

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