Christian Breuer does not need to be convinced of the benefits of an electric car. The electrical engineer employed by STEAG Technischer Service GmbH (STS) has been driving an e-car for quite some time now and is not only familiar with the advantages of electric driving, but also with the core problem of electric vehicles: “If they are to be used without problems, that depends on the availability and accessibility of charging points. If those points are centrally located, easy to use and, in addition, intelligently integrated in the power grid, this technology cannot be stopped.”
Although the German government, environmental associations and now also the automobile manufacturers are praising the electric car as a central component of the transformation of transportation in Germany, sales figures have been languishing for a long time.
"If they are to be used without problems, that depends on the availability and accessibility of charging points.”"
Christian Breuer, electrical engineer, STEAG Technischer Service
Recently, however, the number of new registrations has gone up. In a study, the Center of Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach identified an absolute increase of 41,000 electric cars or 60 percent in 2019. The market share rose from two to three percent, making Germany the world’s third-largest e-vehicle market in the 2019 year as a whole.
More electric cars need more charging points: 18,400 electric service stations were counted in Germany in the first quarter of 2020, 4,300 more than in the previous year. “Demand will continue to grow by leaps and bounds,” says Christian Breuer. He has already implemented several e-mobility projects in Saarland. “We also simply set up charging points if the customers want us to. But thanks to the various competencies within the STEAG Group, we can do much more: From conceptual studies, preliminary and design planning, dimensioning and tendering and project management to drawing review, construction management and finally commissioning, STS can put an individual offer into practice for each customer.”
Interest in integrated solutions is growing, especially in the housing industry and in commercial enterprises with their own vehicle fleets. For example, when investors are planning a new residential complex, charging stations for electric cars are usually included in the planning. “This raises questions like, ‘Should charging be fast or slow?’ ‘Which connections should be provided – charging station or wallbox?’” says the STEAG engineer. “In the case of company vehicle fleets, on the other hand, other questions arise: ‘Which routes and what distances have to be covered?’ ‘What charging capacity does the network have to provide if there are not one or two, but 50 or even 100 electric cars?’
“We know our way around both power generation and power grids. We were one of the first companies to connect battery storage systems to the grid, and we have expertise as an energy service provider in almost all forms of generation,” says Dr. Wolfgang Cieslik, Director of Market and Generation at STEAG. “That flows into our work. And it is therefore only logical that we have electromobility in our portfolio based on smart overall concepts.”