More independence for electromobility
Electromobility is a major future trend that is showing clear momentum today. More and more electric cars, bikes, and scooters can be found on Germany’s streets. According to the German government’s energy concept, approximately one million vehicles are expected to run on electricity by 2020. As electromobility increases, so does the need for suitable charging infrastructure. Many of the existing users no longer want to be solely dependent on public charging stations; they would rather charge their electric vehicle at private charging stations – for instance, at home. Therefore, the topic is becoming increasingly relevant for building contractors, electricians, construction planners, and architects.
Technical electromobility requirements for residential buildings
The initiative ELEKTRO+ has published a brochure outlining recommendations for planning and implementing electric installations to be wired to charging stations for electric vehicles.
The recommendations are intended for building contractors and owners of single- and two-family homes as well as apartment buildings with private parking. To guarantee efficient and safe charging of electric vehicles, several factors must be taken into account when installing charging stations at residential buildings. Besides power requirements and the type of charging system, there are other aspects to be aware of: the simultaneity factor and required charging times which depend on the charging station’s amperage, the battery’s storage capacity, and the maximum output of the vehicle’s rectifier. Furthermore, the initiative points out that the specific technical set-up and required safety measures should be taken into consideration to avoid surge damage or short circuits, amongst others.
Future trend: Electromobility
Planning ahead: integrating charging stations in new construction projectsAs the adoption of electromobility continues to increase, building contractors and architects are encouraged to consider installing charging stations for new builds, regardless of whether owners use an electric vehicle or not. This would include planning additional space for a meter and an electrical installation conduit between the circuit distributor of the home and the garage or carport to host the charging station’s power cable. If a charging station is to be added to an existing building, the suitability of possible electric installations should be checked first.
While the necessary infrastructure can be retrofitted in most cases, owners should clarify whether they need to obtain the consent of the responsible grid operator in advance. Building contractors and home owners interested in electromobility can obtain more information on the topic from the German National Platform for Electromobility (NPE). Founded in 2010, the NPE is an advisory body to the German government that facilitates strategic dialogue among key players from the fields of industry, science, politics, trade unions, and associations.
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