Edge software tackles EV charger fragmentation

Edge software tackles EV charger fragmentation

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The Parkraumgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg mbH (PBW) will use the E-Car Operation Center (E-Car OC) software to manage the charging infrastructure in public parking garages and parking lots in a flexible and future-proof manner, regardless of the charging technology supplier.

The E-Car OC central data platform is also being used for research into load management, such as the predictive charging project eLISA-BW (smart control and adaptation of e-charging infrastructure in Baden-Württemberg) run by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the Baden-Württemberg Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW).

The project is looking at the regulation of the charging power so that vehicle charging is completed on schedule before the next booking window without exceeding the power level of the grid connection.

The software allows the administration of power and billing data from 200 different charging stations of different manufacturers for convenient and flexible in PBW parking lots, including hospitals or universities. This will also allow drivers to use a variety of payment systems via Giro-e, using an EC card.

Until now, the fact that different providers use different payment systems has been a major hurdle for charging in public spaces. The E-Car OC backend system allows PBW to offer its customers different payment systems (e.g. Giro-e) and provide roaming access to additional charging points beyond the region. In the future, the smartphone app associated with the backend could show customers the charging stations currently available as well as their individual charging status. 

The initial roll out is for 200 chargers, with more expected to be added. PBW manages 200 small, medium-sized and large parking garages as well as outdoor parking lots with a total of 22,000 parking spaces in 50 cities. About 500 chargers are currently available in 90 locations. 

Around 200,000 electric cars were newly registered in Germany in 2020 alone says the German automobile association ADAC. If plug-in hybrids are also included, the figure was as high as 400,000. In Germany, more than half of all charging is done at home but charging in public spaces, for example at work or while shopping, is increasing sharply.

“The software allows our customer PBW to manage different charging infrastructures and billing systems in their parking garages using one software platform,” said Sabine Erlinghagen, CEO Digital Grid at Siemens Smart Infrastructure. “As a result, we’re helping to make charging in public spaces easier and more convenient for owners of electric vehicles.” 

The software makes it easy for PBW to integrate new and existing chargers regardless of manufacturer. For example, the charging infrastructure ChargeHere, part of EnBW, was connected to E-Car OC as an easily scalable charging solution, especially for electrification of larger parking areas. EnBW is currently building Europe’s largest charging park.

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