© RWE / Sir Richard Picture

Rapid charging for Berlin’s e-cars

09/23/2014 Experts from the SCHNELL-LADEN BERLIN project presented a network of rapid charging stations with simple billing procedures today in Berlin-Schönweide. The project’s five stations in Berlin and Brandenburg mark the launch of a network of direct-current charging stations that conform to the Europe-wide standard known as the Combined Charging System.

Three additional stations will be added before the end of the year. Compared to other German cities Berlin is already very well equipped with charging columns for alternating current. The SCHNELL-LADEN BERLIN project will now give Berlin eight rapid-charging stations with direct current. All the charging points are at public locations, such as fuel stations and traffic hubs. They offer the advantage of short charging times; drivers can recharge and be back on the road in 15 to 30 minutes. These stations supplement the charging facilities in residential areas and at company parking lots. For drivers of current standard e-cars, they offer major time benefits, maximum flexibility and 100% green energy. The columns enable rapid charging with both direct and alternating current.

Charging is free in the introductory phase which will run until the end of 2014. As of 2015, users will then be billed on the basis of charging time.

The experienced infrastructure partners RWE Effizienz, Vattenfall and Total are ensuring that the new charging stations are connected to a high-performance back-end IT system. This means setting up IT networks that enable transparent billing and convenient payment, that provide smartphones with information about charging stations, and that ensure the best possible customer service.

Lothar Stanka, the director of electromobility for consortium group leader RWE Effizienz, notes that "e-car drivers can charge in places where they would park anyway – the innovative direct-current stations at convenient traffic hubs can send them back on their way in a few minutes for many more kilometers of zero-emission driving in the city. The project results will help us answer the questions of who charges where and how, and how we can further develop this new type of mobility for our customers.”

"This marks a milestone,” said Gernot Lobenberg, the director of the Berlin Agency for Electromobility eMO. "These rapid charging stations are an important and logical addition to what is already a well developed charging infrastructure in Berlin. It fills our electromobility showcase all the more, and represents a further step on the way to becoming an internationally recognized model for electromobility.”

SCHNELL-LADEN BERLIN is a joint initiative by renowned partners such as RWE Effizienz GmbH (consortium leader), Daimler AG, the German National Space Agency (DLR), TU Berlin, TOTAL Deutschland GmbH, TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH, Vattenfall Europe Innovation GmbH, Volkswagen AG and ABB Automation Products GmbH. The Technische Universität Berlin is providing scientific consulting for the project, which is sponsored by the federal government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg.

Car makers in Europe have succeeded in agreeing on the CCS plugs for direct-current charging. There is also Europe-wide agreement on the Type 2 plug for charging with alternating current. Developed by national and international organizations for standards and norms ? DKE, IEC, ISO and SAE (USA) ? with the support of German and American companies, the system will become binding as of 2017.