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Anita Bunk
Head of Communications

First "smart" charge spots, developed by EnBW and Bosch, go into operation at Stuttgart airport

Milestone for the MeRegioMobil research project

Stuttgart, 04/11/2011 -

The first smart charge spots in connection with the MeRegioMobil research project have gone into operation at Stuttgart airport. The array was developed jointly by EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG and Robert Bosch GmbH as a solution for smart charge management. The prototype is intended to help drivers of electric vehicles to buy electricity at charge spots from different suppliers, independent of the manufacturer. Furthermore, they should be able to pay for this electricity simply and conveniently in their monthly electricity bill. At the official ceremony to mark the start of operation, the test certificates for the new charge spots were handed over by DEKRA. This testing and certification organization has confirmed the charge spots’ safety and electromagnetic compatibility under currently valid provisions.

"Setting up these charge spots gives us an opportunity to work with our partners and especially with the future users of electromobility to establish what is required of a functional, standardized charging infrastructure. Research and development cannot be carried out in isolation from the market. On the contrary, for the success of electromobility it is essential that consumers are involved from an early stage," said Christian Bichel, the COO of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG. The charge spots are very robust, and an RFID card system protects the power sockets against unauthorized use. "Our charge spot is one of the first to be awarded DEKRA certification for everyday operation," said Ulrich Schopf, who is responsible for charge-spot development at Bosch Software Innovations GmbH. This underscored the concept’s suitability for everyday use, he said.

When designing the charge spots' user interface, EnBW and Bosch placed special importance on outstanding user-friendliness. Operation follows a clearly defined sequence of steps, and internal security checks make operating errors practically impossible. This is important if users are to accept the charging infrastructure, and thus also electromobility. The EnBW and Bosch charge spots satisfy all the relevant safety regulations. Their reliable operation is guaranteed even under the most severe climate conditions, from minus 30 to plus 50 degrees Celsius and over a humidity range from 5 to 95 percent. Each charge spot is furnished with an RFID card reader. This allows drivers of electric vehicles to identify themselves at the charge spot, without any complicated procedures. Only after they have identified themselves can recharging begin. The user is then billed for precisely the amount of electricity consumed.

"Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH supports the 'e-mobility Baden Württemberg' initiative. We ourselves have been running electric vehicles since 2010, and want to promote electromobility at the airport, also among customers and visitors. We want the pioneers of electromobility to be able to recharge their batteries at the airport as well. For people departing and arriving on the same day, the new charge spot is especially attractive, since it gives them an ideal opportunity to recharge their vehicle by the time they return," said Walter Schoefer, the managing director of Flughafen Stuttgart, the company that runs Stuttgart airport.

The MeRegioMobil project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology (BMWi). Over the next few weeks, roughly 260 further charge spots will be installed in Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. This will provide the infrastructure that is needed for the 40 smart electric drive, two Mercedes Benz A class E-CELL, and three Opel Meriva EV cars that are involved in the project.

The charge spots comply with the following regulations:

Low-voltage directive 2006/95/EC pursuant to the IEC/EN 61851 standards Part 1 and part 22, as well as the IEC/EN 60950-1 international protection rating pursuant to EN 60529 (IP54) and the electromagnetic compatibility directive (EMC 2004/108/EC).

About the research project:

MeRegioMobil is a joint research project comprising a consortium made up of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (lead partner), Adam Opel GmbH, Daimler AG, Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Robert Bosch GmbH, SAP AG, and the Karlsruhe public utilities. MeRegio stands for minimum emission region, and the research project’s aim is to further optimize CO2 emissions through the use of renewable energy. The aim of MeRegioMobil is to use modern information and communication technology (ICT) to develop key technologies and services for the integration of electric vehicles in existing energy and traffic networks, and to test them in Baden-Württemberg. MeRegioMobil is part of the "ICT for electromobility" program sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology in partnership with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Conservation, and Reactor Safety.(www.meregiomobil.de/en )