Charging stations are often occupied, which can lead to local tensions: keeping it occupied all evening, angry e-mails to colleagues or neighbours. Furthermore, owners usually want to charge their electric car immediately when they get home, creating huge peak loads for electricity suppliers.

In his winning thesis, Rotterdam School of Management student Angelo Tsereklas-Zafeirkis sought a solution to this problem. In his research, he used an app which influences the behaviour of electric car owners by varying the price of electricity.

Price at the pump

‘In our view, this is the route that students should take’

Jury chairperson Jerwin Tholen

Based on what is measured, the app determines the ‘price at the pump’: this discourages car owners from all wanting to charge their cars immediately when they return home and distributes peak loads better. In the words of jury chairperson Jerwin Tholen (KPMG): “The app designed by Tsereklas-Zafeirkis contributes to a solution to a potential problem: long waiting times at charging stations when everyone wants to recharge their car battery.”

The jury was very impressed by the structure of the research in the thesis. Tholen: “The research is a combination of literature study, an analysis of hard facts and the design of financial models based on new consumer data acquired by means of an app. In our view, this is the route that students should take: the application in research of technology in daily use.”

Cash prize

The KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award is presented every year by accounting firm KPMG to a thesis which contributes to a sustainable society. Besides Tholen, the jury also consisted of Jan Bom, editor-in-chief of P+, Bert Tulleners from the Rock Group and Henriette Davelaar, head of sustainability at PGGM. The winner receives a cash prize of 1,000 euros.