Why Buildings And Charging Infrastructure Go Hand-In-Hand
There is a lot of discussion about the charging of electric cars, but have you ever heard about options like charging your car at you company’s site, scheduled automatically with your work schedules, or booking a charging slot together with your movie ticket? These and many other scenarios could become reality in the future…based on the interaction of charging infrastructure with buildings.
But let’s take a step back for a moment: When it comes to the acceptance of eMobility, comfort and charging point accessibility are the decisive factors for EV drivers. Thus, wherever electric cars are parked for a longer period of time, charging options must become available and EVs must always be charged on time. This suggestion will send many communities, building operators, and companies on their very own eMobility journey.
Merge the existing with the new to leverage untapped opportunities
While the requirements for the adoption of eMobility may differ, all actors in the building sector face the same major challenge: Existing infrastructure, with one or several buildings, maybe even on-site energy production, will need to welcome and integrate new charging technology. At the same time, building operators share the overall objective of keeping energy consumption (and thus operational costs) down. Escalating costs can be avoided by using renewable energy generated on site combined with smart charging – and by choosing easily to manage charging infrastructure with familiar tools that follow an established workflow.
Here’s a closer look at four different use cases and their varying, often challenging requirements:
1. Company premises
Call the typical company site to mind, and it will include a couple of office buildings, quite often also energy-intensive production facilities, maybe on-site energy production, e.g. with rooftop photovoltaics. Then there will be a lot of parking that now needs fitting with charging infrastructure: on the one hand, for the vehicles of employees, typically parked for around eight hours, that will start charging more or less simultaneously upon arrival in the morning; and on the other hand, for the increasing number of companies that are choosing to electrify their company fleets, which will also need to be charged on the premises – but in some cases quicker, e.g., for sales representatives that need to go on work trips. And customers might also park and charge their EVs for varying amounts of time spread through the day.
2. Multitenant buildings
Next, let us consider a typical residential complex or multitenant building, for instance with about ten flats and underground parking. The challenge lies in integrating multiple charging points that add to the load and are often connected at the same time – such as after work, when electricity usage is up anyway with dinner sizzling on electric cookers and multimedia gadgets providing evening entertainment. The EV may be needed again to go out in the evening, or it may remain idle for a couple of days – private car usage is highly unpredictable. In addition, the typical residential underground parking is not fitted with a power connection that can adequately manage the additional load created by the charging points.