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The Energizer - Volume 55


  • On October 15, 2019, automotive giant Ford announced that its pilot program testing geofencing technology for its plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (“PHEV”) will incorporate blockchain to help track the number of “green miles” logged by these vehicles. Through the pilot program, Ford has already installed plug-in geofencing technology to a few PHEVs in London, Valencia, and now Cologne to test the technology’s ability to promote compliance with these cities’ low-emission zones. Cologne, like many European cities, created low-emission zones to improve air quality by deterring high-emission vehicles from driving through them. Ford’s program helps drivers understand how to comply with these zones’ restrictions and alerts drivers to their location. 

  • By incorporating blockchain, Ford hopes to create a secure digital record of its test cars’ emissions that demonstrates their compliance with the low-emission zones’ restrictions. Once a vehicle enters a controlled zone, the vehicle’s electric drive mode begins documenting its zero-emission miles. This information is recorded on a blockchain to which city officials have access. The geofencing capabilities allow the PHEVs to adjust in real time to specific emission zones, automatically switching to the low-emissions mode when needed, while the blockchain creates a golden record of the zero-emission miles driven because of the real-time switch to the low-emissions mode. The trial program will run for 12 months with 10 PHEVs enhanced with blockchain and geofencing abilities.


  • On October 22, 2019, Navigant Research released a report entitled “Energy Blockchain Applications Overview” that forecasts the global development of blockchain-based energy industry applications through 2028. The report recognizes and assesses how blockchain technology is being used throughout the energy industry value chain. Based on those use cases, Navigant Research projects that the blockchain-based energy industry will generate more than $19 billion in revenue over the next decade. The annual market size of the technology will reach $7.7 billion by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate of 66.9 percent.

  • Navigant Research found that energy grids globally are becoming more digitally based, distributed, and decentralized. These features require advanced platforms to support the growing and complex transactions conducted. Navigant Research identifies Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and parts of the United States as prime areas for further growth in such platforms. According to Johnathon de Villier, a research analyst at Navigant Research, “Blockchain is one of several distributed ledger technologies that could serve as a framework for these emerging markets by providing a mathematical basis for information management and coordination across participants in a network and minimizing the role of intermediaries while reducing transaction costs and friction.”

Copyright 2020 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 304


About this Author

Buck B. Endemann, KL Gates, energy infrastructure lawyer, remediation projects attorney

Buck Endemann is a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office, where he is a member of the energy practice group. He provides comprehensive counseling on energy, infrastructure and remediation projects, including advice on air, water and waste compliance issues, and represents clients in related litigation. 

Mr. Endemann has extensive experience on the commercial, land use, and regulatory aspects of renewable energy and infrastructure projects throughout the Western United States, with an emphasis on California. He has a particular expertise...

Benjamin Tejblum, KL Gates Law Firm, Energy Law Attorney

Benjamin Tejblum is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and focuses his practice on energy and infrastructure projects and transactions. Mr. Tejblum’s clients include electric utilities, electric transmission owners, independent power producers, power marketers, and public utility holding companies that are active in the electricity markets in the United States. Mr. Tejblum regularly represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and has counseled clients on matters involving mergers and acquisitions, interconnection procedures and agreements, transmission rates and cost allocation, and market-based sales of energy. Mr. Tejblum also counsels energy start-up companies on a variety of regulatory matters.

Daniel Cohen, KL Gates Law Firm, Washington DC, Finance Law Attorney

Daniel Cohen is a first year associate in the Washington, D.C. office.

Admitted only in Virginia / Not Admitted in D.C.
Supervised by Soyong Cho, member of D.C. Bar

Toks A. Arowojolu, KL Gates Law Firm, Washington DC, Environmental and Energy Law Attorney

Toks Arowojolu is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office where she is a member of the oil & gas and power practice groups. She focuses her practice on energy regulatory law and assists clients with navigating the FERC process. She also conducts regulatory due diligence for clients exploring M&A opportunities.

*Admitted only in Maryland / Not Admitted in D.C.
Supervised by David Wochner, member of the D.C. Bar

Olivia B. Mora Environmental & Energy Lawyer K&L Gates Law Firm


Olivia Mora is an associate at the firm’s Houston office. She is a member of the oil, gas & resources practice group.


Ms. Mora served as a summer associate at the firm where she gained experience supporting associates and partners.