Fabian, what misconceptions about site loading do you always have to clear up?
It happens that a company believes that only a few wallboxes, i.e. a few more "better" sockets, are needed for charging at the site. However, the mere fact that the charging current must also be billed later makes the issue a little more complex.
Electricity may need to be billed to different cost centers depending on who is charging. It may also be that a company wants to allow customers or guests to charge for free at the site. This also affects billing. If a company belongs to the so-called electricity-intensive companies of the manufacturing industry, it may be exempt from the EEG surcharge.
This also has an impact on the issue of billing?
Correct. The issue can become even more complex if the company produces electricity itself, for example via its own PV system. According to current electricity law, for example, this electricity may not be passed on to third parties without separate delimitation. This would in turn make customer charging more difficult. Electricity law has often not yet found answers or precedents to the new case studies and challenges at this point.
Are there other issues besides billing that a company should consider when site loading?
Another point that is often underestimated: the charging infrastructure in the company also needs to be maintained. If something doesn't work, it would be good if there was a hotline where drivers could get help - preferably from a technician who can access the wallbox remotely. In addition to the planning and construction of the charging infrastructure, including communication and coordination with the network operator, we naturally also offer these services.
The topic of electromobility is only just gaining momentum. How far into the future should companies think when setting up a charging infrastructure?
We definitely recommend that our customers take their time to familiarize themselves with the topic and perhaps only convert 10 percent of the fleet to electric vehicles at the beginning. The practical experience that is then gained and the confidence in the processes are priceless. Most of the time, drivers are amazed at how rarely they actually need to charge. And it is becoming clear that, in addition to on-site charging, charging at home plays a very important role. We offer charging solutions for this as well. Where we see problems again and again is in the area of commercial real estate. Here, the topic of charging infrastructure is still often underestimated.
In what way?
It is often the case that there have been two early adopters in larger commercial properties who have built a wallbox with the permission of the owner, possibly even at their own expense. With each year, perhaps two more cars are added and suddenly the capacity limit is reached. Such a structure, with different charging solutions that are not coordinated with each other, cannot really be saved. The only thing that helps is to rebuild the charging infrastructure.
Do commercial property operators at least have the topic of charging infrastructure on their radar when it comes to new buildings.
They should, otherwise it will be more expensive than necessary afterwards.
What would be the simplest solution for the site loading?
Simple is relative in this context. The optimal solution, however, is always individual. Here, it is worth investing a few extra moments in advance planning and addressing the crucial questions: What ramp-up of electromobility is realistic for my fleet in the next few years? What is the resulting demand? Which user groups should be able to charge at the stations? And do I need a billing system for this? Once these questions have been answered, there is nothing standing in the way of selecting a suitable solution.