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EE-Mobility

eMobility – charging electric cars with the power of the sun

eMobility is a rising trend – electric cars are the missing piece in the puzzle of self-reliant photovoltaic systems

More and more new cars in Germany have electric drives. But where do drivers go to charge them when their power levels are low? The number of public charging stations in the country will increase several times over by 2030. Many drivers are still holding back on buying an electric car because they think there aren’t enough charging stations. Yet the ratio of vehicles to charging stations right now, in 2022, is actually favourable for owners of electric cars.

According to the forecasts, there will be twice as many electric cars per charging station by the end of the decade as there are now. This represents a great opportunity for the solar power industry. A huge number of charging options need to be set up, and the most ecological way of powering these is with a photovoltaic system. The EU has set itself the goal of reaching a ratio of electric cars per publically accessible charging station by 2030.

However, this situation represents more than just an opportunity to use commercial photovoltaic systems to charge electric cars – charging stations and wall boxes can also act as a guarantee of self-reliance, especially in the private sector. It should go without saying that an electric car can only have a positive impact on our environment if it is charged using renewable energy – preferably electricity generated by the owner’s own roof, of course.

The benefits of combining a photovoltaic system with an electric car charging station

Cross-sector symbiosisCombining heat, mobility and electricity is a guarantee of affordable, simple and convenient energy solutions
Self-relianceIncorporating an electric car charging station is the perfect way for drivers to increase their power independence. Using your own electricity doesn’t just feel great – it also means you can reduce your electricity bills or even wipe them out completely.
BusinessProviding facilities for charging electric cars makes businesses more attractive to potential customers and employees
SubsidisationIt is easy to get started in this sector right now, thanks to subsidies for the installation of charging stations

The number of newly registered electric cars had nearly quadrupled in 2020 compared to 2019! More than 190,000 new, fully electric e-cars were registered in Germany. The electric mobility sector continued to grow dynamically in 2021. Numerous new models from various manufacturers are contributing to the increasing number of new all-electric vehicles spotted on the roads. The number of registered purely electric cars was around 687,200 on April 1, 2022. If plug-in hybrid cars are also added to the number of registered electric cars, the number of electrically powered passenger cars in Germany already exceeded the one million mark in 2021. Alongside Norway, Germany is already the most important driver for European electric car development. This is also supported by purchase premiums and subsidy programs for private and public charging points.

Frequently asked questions about how to install charging stations and wall boxes for electric cars, and how they work

eMobility is a new concept to many people. A lot of these people ask the same questions when first learning about the topic, so we’ve prepared a few answers for you here. First, let’s clear up some of the basic concerns many customers have when deciding whether or not to buy an electric car with a compatible charging station.

  • Why can’t I just charge my car using a standard wall socket?

    Using a standard wall socket to charge your car is not recommended for two reasons. Due to the low power output of the socket, it would take several hours to charge your car this way. In addition to this, the level of power transferred when charging an electric car is very high compared to that consumed by other household appliances, and standard wall sockets are not designed to handle this kind of load for long periods of time.

  • What cables do I need to charge my electric car?

    In accordance with the European Parliament’s draft legislation, Type 2 has been defined as the European standard for charging infrastructure since April 2014. However, adapter charger cables are also available to allow drivers to connect vehicles with a Type 1 plug to charging stations with a Type 2 socket.

  • Fronius

    More than 70 years of company history, experience and expertise have gone into Fronius – one of Austria’s leading technology and innovation providers with a clear vision. 24 hours of sunshine. Now also for electric cars!

  • HUAWEI

    Huawei offers a pioneering and holistic solution for photovoltaic systems. Huawei's charging solutions provide the highest efficiency, intelligent power optimization and best-in-class reliability in the solar energy industry.

  • Kostal

    "Making complexity simple" - under this slogan KOSTAL developed the first dipped beam, the rain sensor, the first switch strip and driver assistance camera for the automotive industry. Now with the fitting wallbox for electric cars!

  • SMA

    One of the world’s leading manufacturers of inverters and power storage solutions, SMA is famed for its innovations, ingenious technology and top-quality customer support – qualities it is now applying to the e-mobility sector.

  • SolarEdge

    SolarEdge’s wide-ranging portfolio leaves nothing to be desired, combining power storage solutions, inverters and performance optimisers with ingenious technology for a wide range of applications – now with built-in charging capabilities.

Other questions asked by customers and installation engineers

  • How do I choose the right charging station?

    We can recommend 3-phase charging stations with 11 kW - ideally with attached cable for home use. If you want to control them via smartphone or tablet, the wallbox or charging station should also have an intelligent backend. In addition, wallboxes can also be assigned RFID cards so that, for example, individual charging sessions can be tracked by guests.

  • What is the best power rating to choose?

    This initially depends on the car to be charged and the available grid capacity at the house connection. Ideally, you should install a three-phase charging station directly so that the charging option is ready for the future. The charging power can be set via DIP switch to suit the respective mains connection.  

    It should be noted that a 22 kW charging station requires approval, whereas an 11 kW charging station only needs to be registered. 

    If you choose a single-phase grid connection, an 11 kW wallbox charges with a single phase of 3.7 kW. A 22 kW wallbox, on the other hand, charges at 7.4 kW.

  • Can I upgrade existing charging stations?

    It may make sense to plan a little more space for power and internet cables during installation, in case it is decided to change something about the setup in the future.  

    Due to legal requirements for retrofitting charging stations, charging stations should be updateable and future-proof. Thus, you should pay special attention to the intelligence of the charging station when selecting your wallbox. Theoretically, you have the possibility to update the software of your wallbox via WLAN or LAN connection. Therefore, you should make your selection dependent on your expectations of a wallbox.

  • What safeguards do charging stations have?

    As a bare minimum, each connection point must possess a dedicated Type A residual current circuit breaker. The rated differential current must not exceed 30 mA. This is stipulated in regulation VDE 0100-722:2016. In addition to this, charging stations with a socket or a vehicle connection must possess safety equipment to protect them from DC residual currents.

  • What factors determine the size of the supply cable?

    The size of the supply cable depends on the charging station’s maximum charging current and the length of the supply cable. 
    We recommend using cables with a diameter of 5x10 mm.
    Ideally, you should lay a LAN cable at the same time in order to guarantee connectivity.

  • Can charging stations overheat?

    Each charging station has a built-in temperature monitoring system to protect it from overheating. It does this by automatically limiting the charging current to a safe level. In addition to this, the system has electronic overcurrent protections to protect the charging cable from overloading.

  • Can electric cars be disconnected from the power in case of a power failure?

    If a power failure occurs, the lock on the plug will be released so that the pug can be disconnected from the charging socket.

  • What back-end solutions are available?

    This depends on the choice of wallbox. Special attention should be paid to the possibility of connecting an energy management system.

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