Challenges of the charging infrastructure

By Christian BlockLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Electromobility is slowly but surely picking up speed. Gradually, the network of public and private charging stations is growing along with it. Obstacles exist both on a large as well as on a small scale. An overview of the situation.

Improved range, a wider choice of models, government subsidies, the promise of lower maintenance costs: More and more drivers are choosing to buy an electric vehicle. But they need to be recharged regularly. In view of the expected significant increase in numbers of purely electric vehicles and hybrid drive systems, politicians and power grid operators have been concerned with the issue of charging infrastructure for some time now. There are several problem areas.

The Luxembourg electricity grid operator Creos believes that the electricity demand will increase in the future, despite improved energy efficiency. “Overall, we assume that electricity consumption will continue to grow in the future due to economic and demographic developments, digitalisation and electrification in more and more areas. Of course, this also includes electromobility, ” explains Alex Michels, Head of Asset Management and responsible for the area of electromobility at Creos. In its “Scenario Report 2040”, Creos has calculated various scenarios that consider not only e-cars but also the electricity demand for trams or e-buses. The report clearly shows that the existing grid infrastructure must be expanded and modernised. The company is working on this.

In residential developments that exist today, Creos sees a capacity to run about half of the vehicles electrically. If there are bottlenecks at the level of the power cables or transformers in the settlements, “the network operators will eliminate these problems through network modernization, ” says Michels. In new settlements, however, the networks are already being designed more strongly.

The purchase of an electric car in single-family homes is comparatively unproblematic. An 11-kW wallbox can easily be integrated into a standard three-phase connection with 40 A.

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