The backbone of electromobility

    A charging infrastructure is crucial if electromobility is to succeed. But its development is seriously lacking.

    A charging infrastructure is crucial if electromobility is to succeed. But its development is seriously lacking.

    Electromobility needs a good charging infrastructure

    The expansion of the charging infrastructure is an important component of electromobility. From the customer's point of view, the attractiveness of electric vehicles depends on how easy they are to use – thus, charging the battery is a decisive factor.

    This is not just a question of the number and distribution of charging stations, but above all of user-friendliness. The decisive factors here are unimpeded access, a uniform, simple payment system, and the charging duration. The latter and the location of the charging station depend on the different use cases: Charging at home, at the employer's, at the destination, each with a shorter or longer dwell time, as well as fast charging on the road when covering longer distances.

    As the chart shows, charging is most frequently done at work or at home. To ensure charging in the private sphere (85%), electromobility must be integrated into building, home ownership, and rental law.

    Normal and fast charging stationsSource: Bundesnetzagentur, January 1st, 2021

    When the Charging Pillar Ordinance came into force on March 17, 2016, the Combined Charging System (CCS) was made the standard for all charging pillars in public areas... The combined charging system ensures both charging at normal charging points with alternating current (AC charging points) and fast charging with direct current (DC charging points). This means that all applications can be covered.

    The public charging stations are recorded and can be viewed in the charging station register.

    Position on charging infrastructure in Germany

    Only with electromobility can the ambitious goal of sustainable mobility via electrification of vehicles, as required by legislation in Europe, be achieved. For a successful market ramp-up of e-mobility, the expansion of the charging infrastructure is the most important prerequisite.

    Overall, different financial measures and regulatory provisions are needed, as charging takes place at different locations.

    The VDA has therefore drawn up a position paper together with its member companies, because only consistent action by all those responsible can make Germany a lead market for e-mobility.

    Grid integration

    The development of electric vehicles suitable for everyday use has made considerable progress in recent years.

    However, there is a clear gap in one area: the infrastructure of buildings and thus the crucial interface between the property and the vehicle. The place where most owners (would) charge their e-mobile on a daily basis is in the vast majority of cases not technically prepared for this task. To this end, the VDA, together with the ZVEH, the VDIK and the ZVEI, has drawn up recommendations for electromobility and building infrastructure in the document below.

    The increasing share of electric vehicles should also be accompanied by their intelligent grid integration. In addition to vehicles, the "smart grid" must also take into account other flexible end devices in a customer system, such as battery buffer storage or heat pumps. In the document below, the VDA has described a target architecture for future grid integration with a uniform method that is scalable and future-proof.

    In addition, the theoretical impacts on power grids studied in the simulation become more concrete. In order to control local load peaks, charging management systems will be used to help avoid massive grid expansion. Part of these charging management systems is the principle of regenerative charging. In principle, this function is considered useful and technically feasible, but requires further evaluation and concretization within the framework of national regulations. The document below describes the contents and boundary conditions of regenerative power supply.

    Tip: With the information campaign „Our power grid: backbone for electromobility“, VDE|FNN addresses end consumers and shows measures that relieve the grid and save costs. The digital consumer magazine "Backbone" explains in simple stories, interviews and videos how the power grid works and electromobility is properly integrated into the grid right from the start.

    Read on

    Department Powertrain and Emissions

    Dr. Joachim Stilla

    Team Lead