Charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles
Charging scenarios: Where do battery-electric commercial vehicles charge?
For this reason, NOW GmbH and the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure are involved in various projects and initiatives to create the technical, legal and economic basis together with the industry and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV – Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr) in order to facilitate uniform and practical planning for the installation of charging infrastructure for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The knowledge gained will be incorporated into the centre’s planning for the expansion of the charging infrastructure.
Backcasting task force
“Easy e-truck charging” guideline
In cooperation with the stakeholders involved, the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure is developing a user journey for future truck charging based on the already published use case landscape for heavy commercial vehicles. For this purpose, a ProjektHAUS series was launched with the aim of describing the future overall system of truck charging. The ProjektHAUS series delves into the topic packages of route planning, reservation, charging process and all aspects of charging in focus workshops. The participants were selected in advance based on their expertise. They represent various sectors of the economy, such as the logistics industry or truck manufacturers. Charging point operators, associations, trade unions and scientific representatives were also involved. One outcome is the National Centre for ChargingInfrastructure’s publication “Easy e-truck charging – the user journey at public charging stations now and in 2030“, which was published (currently in German only) in June 2023.
The BMDV-funded project “High performance charging for long-haul trucking” (HoLa – “Hochleistungsladen im Lkw-Fernverkehr”) is investigating the megawatt charging of heavy commercial vehicles in actual logistics operations. The technology and testing project is being conducted as part of the implementation of the Overall Concept for Climate-Friendly Commercial Vehicles. The findings are essential for the establishment of locations in long-haul transport and also form the basis for an initial charging infrastructure network.
However, the transport profiles in the field of long-haul transport with heavy battery-electric trucks pose special challenges with regard to the necessary charging systems, sufficient energy supply to the sites and the question of how the truck can be charged fast enough within the statutory break times of 45 minutes.
Specifically, the project will set up and operate two high-performance charging points with the Megawatt Charging System (MCS) at each of four locations and deploy them in real logistics operations. In a first step, two CCS charging points for trucks will be set up at each of the four locations along the A2 motorway between Berlin and the Ruhr area. Two locations will be used directly on the motorway and two locations in logistics hubs. These locations will be used for the early integration of e-trucks into logistics processes and as a test case for the innovative fast charging of e-trucks as well as for gathering real-world usage experience.
Thirteen partners from industry and research are participating in the project, including four truck manufacturers who are supplying a total of eight CCS and four MCS vehicles. The construction and operation of vehicles and infrastructure is accompanied by extensive research activities. The goal here is also to provide the blueprint for nationwide expansion.
Further information on the Hola project is available at: https://hochleistungsladen-lkw.de/hola-en/
Depot charging task force
- Space is a scarce commodity on company premises and logistics depots.
- In view of the high electricity demand for charging e-trucks, the question arises as to how existing grid connections can be optimally used through appropriate load and charging management and whether grid connections need to be expanded.
- Most logistics companies lack experience in the energy sector.
- There is scope for interpretation in the technical definition of standards and norms at the interfaces between the vehicle, the charging infrastructure and the back end.
- New parameters must be integrated into route planning, which can lead to conflicts of objectives with previous optimisation routines and the existing flexibility in vehicle deployment.
- There is a lack of data interfaces and accessibility with regard to forthcoming different public and non-public charging locations and the desired functionalities (including reservability, authentication).
- There is regularly a dismantling obligation for the charging infrastructure at the end of the lease.
Easy charging at rest areas
To successfully use e-trucks even on long distances, not only must a demand-oriented charging network be newly established, but its connection to the electricity grid must also be thoroughly considered and planned from the very beginning. The “Easy Charging at Rest Areas” study study focuses on questions of grid connection for e-truck charging hubs and looks at three different prototypical locations, which differ depending on the traffic volume of heavy goods vehicles. It was conducted by the ef.Ruhr energy think tank on behalf of the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure. The aim of the study is a structured preparation of essential criteria and aspects that must be taken into account with regard to the network when selecting, evaluating and planning charging hubs along the motorway network. The study examined prototype charging hubs on internationally significant traffic axes (main roads), at locations with medium traffic volumes and at previously unmanaged rest areas with lower expected demand. From forecasts of how many charging points with how much power will be needed at the three prototypical charging hubs in the coming years 2027, 2030 and 2035, the authors of the study derive specific requirements for connection to the electricity grid. The study reveals that a connection to the high-voltage grid will be required at highly frequented locations from 2035 at the latest.