Recharging infrastructure and Electric Vehicles

Successfully establishing electric vehicles needs a basic measure: a demand-driven charging infrastructure, tailored to customer interest.

At the moment all German automotive manufacturers sell battery-operated vehicles which can be charged at over 2,500 charging stations. Crucial to the setting up of a charging infrastructure is the "charging strategy" of the particular electric vehicle. Pure battery vehicles can technically only achieve low charging capacity through alternating current (AC). For fast charging, direct current (DC) is planned. Plug-in hybrids charge primarily through alternating current (AC). The charging needs of customers, which emerged in the projects of the Model Regions can be primarily divided into three categories:

  • Regular charging: Electric vehicles will mainly be charged where they are parked regularly over a longer time period. This includes parking spaces at home or at work. Mostly alternating current (AC) will apply here. It will be more difficult for street parkers, who don't have private parking spaces and must regularly go to public charging columns.

  • Fast charging: To cover distances beyond the current range of electric vehicles (150-200 km), fast recharging is needed. Customers' charging requirement will be met by fast direct current (DC) charging. Current generations of fast chargers achieve 50 kW charging capacity, in the future charging capacity will reach up to 150 kW. The setting up of a nationwide DC fast-charging network will form the backbone of the charging infrastructure. Fast charging serves on the one hand as a basic network for all drivers beyond their daily routine trips (home-work). Aside from everyday trips, mobility needs are primarily characterised by "optional mobility uses". This refers to for example, spontaneous family day trips at the weekend. On the other hand fast charging serves as an emergency network, in case there is an unexpected charging requirement. This aspect of emergency charging network is mainly important in the context of reduced range in low temperatures. Fast-charging sites are to be situated in central locations with good access and high visibility.

  • Intermittent charging: In the user driving profiles there are different stations with a waiting time of 30-120 minutes, e.g. while visiting a shopping centre, cultural exhibits or leisure activities. Intermittent charging complements the comprehensive fast-charging network and includes alternating current (AC) as well as direct current (DC) charging. Public as well as private sites are included.

Only with the interaction of the three categories "regular charging", "fast charging" and "intermittent charging" will a customer-friendly charging infrastructure be achieved. The construction of a nationwide fast-charging infrastructure is a priority in gaining customer acceptance.