With businesses now owning over half of all new registered vehicles on the road globally (according to the climate group ), it is vital that the private sector leads the drive towards electromobility. The problem is many companies are still dragging their heels over the issue due to the high cost of installing charging infrastructure on their premises. But a new solution is coming out which will make fleet charging more cost-effective: an intelligent multiple socket for charging points that maximises the use of green electricity.
The “Power2Load” project is a collaboration between scientists at the Institute for Technical Energy Systems (ITES) at Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia, the charging pole manufacturer Westaflexwerk GmbH, and the building energy management specialist Archimedes Technik GmbH. The smart system enables charging points to be extended by a factor of eight and has an automatic switchover (LMU) to avoid overloading.
One of its main objectives is to maximise the proportion of electricity from renewable sources in the charging current. The intelligent control system does this while ensuring a reliable energy supply and avoids overloading the grid while the sockets are in use. For example, it can calculate when there is a high charging volume and forecast how much electricity will be needed at what time.
Jens Haubrock, the project manager at Bielefeld University, is aware of the challenges ahead: "Despite the great interest in electromobility, many companies are shying away from the high investment risk involved in setting up a large-scale charging infrastructure", he says, speaking to . He hopes that “the development and establishment of an integrative concept for a charging infrastructure at companies will increase the acceptance of electric vehicles.”
The project is being funded with EUR 1.3 million, partly with a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).