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SMATRICS E-Mobility Talk - Juni 2024 - Mobilitätszentren
Erstellungsdatum: 12.06.2024

E-Mobility Talk: Requirements for the mobility centers of tomorrow

The charging network in Austria is growing. However, the demand for charging infrastructure will at least triple by 2030, with fast charging playing an increasingly important role. Especially in the area of destination and en route charging, gas stations and retail partners are constantly developing their concepts.

At the 4th E-Mobility Talk on June 11, 2024, SMATRICS invited relevant players to discuss the status of the expansion of the e-charging infrastructure in the area of destination and en route charging - i.e. charging at the destination and charging while driving - in Austria.

Hauke Hinrichs, CEO SMATRICS, Matthias Damberger, Head of E-Mobility Orlen Austria GmbH, Stefan Pany, Director Technical Department REWE International AG and Reiner Reinbrech, Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Mobility Transition Department were represented.


Demand for charging infrastructure will triple

As of April 2024, there are almost 170,000 purely electrically powered cars in Austria. By 2030, SMATRICS predicts an increase to almost 1.2 million e-vehicles, which would correspond to around 30 percent. The Austrian charging network is one of the best developed networks in Europe. There are currently more than 21,000 charging points in Austria.

Nevertheless, Hauke Hinrichs, CEO of SMATRICS, sees a need for further development. "We will see at least a tripling or quadrupling of the charging infrastructure. But to achieve this, we also need to increase the pace of expansion,” says Hinrichs. “However, charging cannot be equated with refuelling; it is embedded differently in our everyday lives and is also more decentralized and digital.”

The distribution of the charging infrastructure, i.e. where - and therefore for how long - charging takes place, will play an important role in the future. Charging at home and at work still accounts for the largest share. However, charging at gas stations or charging at retail supermarkets in particular is showing great momentum, which is also reflected in the strong expansion of fast-charging points. SMATRICS EnBW's share of HPCs - so-called high power chargers - currently stands at 15 percent. The aim is to triple this figure by 2030.

Targeted subsidies continue to drive the ramp-up

According to Hinrichs, Austria has set up a clever subsidy system, without which the installation of charging infrastructure would be much more difficult, especially in underserved regions. The AFIR, the regulation on the development of infrastructure for alternative fuels, which has been in force since April 2024, specifies qualitative and quantitative minimum requirements for the infrastructure, payment modalities and price information. This is intended to harmonize the differently developed public charging infrastructure in the member states across the EU.

For the high-ranking road network, this means that charging points must be available at least every 60 km in future. "Funding for e-mobility has been consistently expanded since 2016. This year, they amount to more than 300 million euros,” explains Reiner Reinbrech from the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Mobility Transition Department.

Naturally, the focus is on those areas that require particular support. In the area of company cars, these include social institutions, driving schools, e-car sharing vehicles and e-taxis. There are also currently funding opportunities for companies and publicly accessible charging infrastructure with a maximum of 3 million euros per company. A new funding category for HPC charging points with an output of more than 300 kW has also been added here.

In order to support the ramp-up, measures are also being taken to strengthen networking between the various stakeholders involved. With “Ladegrund”, a matchmaking platform for property owners, charging infrastructure operators and investors has been created. At the end of 2024, another networking platform “STromnetze für ELEktromobilität (STELE)” will be set up to facilitate a closer exchange between grid operators, players in the e-mobility industry and the public sector.


E-mobility has come to stay

Charging infrastructure is becoming increasingly important for retail operators such as REWE, as Stefan Pany, Director of the Technical Department at REWE International AG, knows: “In 2023 alone, 4 GWh of charging capacity was purchased from REWE Group - that's double the amount in 2022. ”An average of 10,000 kWh is charged per day in Austria at the current 85 BILLA and BILLA Plus locations.

REWE Group plans to increase the number of charging stations to more than 600 by 2027. BILLA's goal is to develop from a pure supermarket chain into a sustainability retail market. To this end, there will also be another BILLA sustainability lighthouse in Pilotengasse in Vienna's 22nd district in 2024, which will include a building made of wood and eco-concrete as well as plenty of greenery, photovoltaic systems in combination with a storage system and PV carports with powerful charging infrastructure.

Nevertheless, there are still various challenges. For example, the regulatory requirements regarding the necessary charging points are very different in each federal state: sometimes a number is defined, sometimes the charging capacity is specified, explains Pany. “We are clearly focusing on HPC, i.e. ultra-fast charging, at our locations in order to be able to offer customers further added value with an average shopping time of 15-20 minutes.”

Gas station 2.0 as a mobility center for daily needs

Gas stations are also increasingly focusing on alternative fuels and expanding their e-charging infrastructure. "We are investing in a sustainable energy transition. To this end, our parent company wants to provide 10,000 active charging points in Central Europe by 2030,” says Matthias Damberger, Head of E-Mobility at Orlen Austria GmbH - formerly Doppler Energie GmbH.

For gas stations, e-mobility is another opportunity to expand their own services and to be able to meet the requirements of daily needs even more at an already established location. However, not every location is suitable for expansion due to the often limited space available. Damberger does not believe that the number of petrol stations will decrease in the coming years: “The classic petrol station will change, and we have already developed various location concepts for this.”

Orlen is focusing on two new models: so-called partner locations can be further upgraded with charging infrastructure and thus increase the frequency of visitors/users. The third model is e-mobility hubs, where the focus is purely on e-mobility - often in combination with photovoltaics and wind power. Charging facilities for heavy goods vehicles can also be created here, which are not always feasible at locations that have already been built.


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