German utility vehicle maker Sortimo has embarked upon what it says will be the world’s largest EV charging station on the A8 highway at Zusmarshausen between Stuttgart and Munich.
The completed project, which is set to offer 144 charging stations, will be able to charge up to 4,000 electric cars a day, every day, and will include 24 “fast chargers” rated German utility vehicle maker Sortimo has embarked upon what it says will be the world’s largest EV charging station on the A8 highway at Zusmarshausen between Stuttgart and Munich. 350kW DC and 120 rated at 50kW DC.
Charging infrastructure is one of the key factors in creating a smooth and robust transition to electric vehicles, and the speed with which EVs can charge according to charger capacity (and what drivers do while that happens) must also be taken into account.
Sortimo has recognised this need – while the 350kW will allow EVs to charge in as little as 10 minutes, the 50kW chargers require longer, so Sortimo’s charging station project is complimented by an “Innovation Park” which includes a shopping centre and conference rooms where drivers may book rooms for meetings while they wait.
Sortimo’s plans including storage of surplus renewable energy harvested from a network of surrounding companies and private homes, as well as thermal management to use waste heat to help power the park’s buildings.
When the project is finished, Sortimo states that for each year the station is use, 60,000 tons of CO2 emissions will be saved.
Funded by with 300 million Euros from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, the project is aimed at boosting consumer confidence in the viability of electric cars.
“With our charging infrastructure funding program, we are bringing in charging stations. Thanks to our support, Sortimo is further expanding the charging infrastructure on the A8 west of Augsburg.
“The company thus helps to boost the confidence of motorists to be able to charge their vehicle anytime and anywhere. This is an important step to move the drive forward: more mobility with less emissions,” said Federal Transport Minister Dobrindt in a statement (translated from German).
Drivers will be able to access the charging stations and park facilities through an app which offers two levels of use: “Charge & Work” for using the conference rooms, and “Charge & Carry” which includes a digital shopping experience through which visitors can pre-order items for pickup on arrival.
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, including Germany, where EV sales are up 17 per cent YoY from 2017, as diesel cars fall out of favour due in part to VW’s Dieselgate scandal but also due to EV targets introduced in 2015/6 that aim to have 1 million EVs on the road by 2020.
However according to a recent government-sponsored report, reaching this goal has been delayed by two years due to “current market dynamics,” according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.