One million Plug-in EVs to drive on German roads by 2020

IDC Energy Industry Insights Community –

As part of our ongoing coverage on Plug-in Electric Vehicles, PEVs, we have recently published another perspective (Deploying Plug-In Electric Vehicles in Europe: Updates from Germany) on what is happening in Germany, with specific details from a few of the largest German utility sponsored PEV initiatives. This perspective follows several others, including one updating on PEV deployment in Italy (Deploying Electric Vehicles in Europe: Updates from Italy), which we blogged about during the summer.

Besides the German government's wide spread support for PEVs, Germany also promises to be one of the largest European PEV markets by 2020. Germany has declared that it aims to have 1 million PEVs driving its roads by 2020. In order to reach this target, the German government has allocated $700 million for research and demonstration of EV projects, including PEV projects.

Some of the largest projects are being driven by many German utilities. The German government is also pushing its automotive manufacturers and other relevant manufacturers to go in this direction. In fact, Germany has some of the world's most aggressive PEV manufacturers, including Daimler Smart (i.e., ForTwo EV), BMW (i.e., Mini-E), and Volkswagen (i.e., Audi A2). Nonautomotive manufacturers active in the PEV market include Siemens, for charging infrastructure, and Mennekes, for plugs and sockets. The three projects reviewed in our perspective include those of German utilities, RWE, E.ON, and Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW). Here are some quick facts about each project:

RWE: eMobility Project -

* In September 2008, RWE partnered with German automotive company Daimler. Daimler is providing more than 100 Smart Fortwo PEVs, as well as the vehicle service. The Smart Fortwo PEVs are equipped with a lithium-ion battery that require just three hours of charging to drive the daily average of 50km to 60km. RWE is handling the development, installation, and operation of the charging infrastructure accounting for some 500 charging points, the supply of electricity, and central control of the system. The charging points will be installed at the customer's home, at the workplace, and in public parking areas. The RWE-Daimler partnership decided to adopt the Mennekes plug and socket for its vehicles which is based on the IEC 62196-1 protocol.

E.ON: eMoving Project -

* E.ON is currently testing four plug-in EV manufacturers, Volkswagon, BMW, Peugeot, and Audi.

o In June 2008, E.ON joined forces with Volkswagen, the German Environmental Ministry and other partners to work on the "Electric Mobility Fleet Test". The trial test car is a low-emission hybrid Golf. At least 20 cars were on the road using this technology by the end of 2010.

o In Munich, E.ON and BMW tested 15 Mini Es. The Mini Es were transformed to be plug-in by removing the back seats and adding a lithium-ion battery, as well as the respective charging parts, like the plug and socket.

o E.ON is also collaborating with French car manufacturer Peugeot to test 60 Peugeot iOn PEVs in the communities Stuhr and Weyhe in Lower Saxony.

o E.ON is also collaborating with Stadtwerke Müenchen (SWM), a Bavarian utility, in Munich to test 20 Audi e-tron PEVs.

o In Germany, E.ON is installing 20 charging stations in Munich and 20 stations in cities around Munich, with 100 installed in total by 2011. For residential garages, E.ON developed the "Wallbox" charge point, which can be mounted on the wall. A smart meter inside the charging box records information about the duration and power required.

EnBW: eMoving Project -

* In August 2010, EnBW and Daimler launched a joint initiative, "emobility Baden-Württemberg." Daimler will supply 25 smart Fortwo EVs to the fleet. EnBW expects to install 700 charging points in Baden-Württemberg by the end of 2011.

* EnBW is now also the operator of Germany's biggest fleet of electric two-wheel vehicles. Some 500-strong fleet of escooters and ebikes assembled for a research project, which started in Stuttgart on July 1. The selection process is underway and EnBW will announce the names of the 500 successful applicants soon. EnBW decided to include two escooter models (Oxygen Cargoscooter and InnoScooter) and one ebike (ELMOTO) in its fleet.

* EnBW's recharging stations network is planned to grow to 700 stations (including the 500 at the homes of pilot participants). The recharging stations are built by Bosch and enhanced with EnBW technology.

Germany is one of the many countries embarking on this "new" Plug-in Electric Vehicles journey, which will finally see PEVs become a reality of mass-scale. We will continue to blog on the European PEV market situation as updates emerge, so keep checking in!

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