Thursday, March 15, 2012

German Collaboration Aims To Develop EV Infrastructure

Published March 15, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

Based on the premise that electric cars will only proliferate if supported by easily accessible and integrated charging infrastructure, BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler, EnBW, RWE, and Siemens have just launched an initially regional joint venture toward this goal in Germany.

Named hubject GmbH, the new company is based in Berlin, and will create integrated recharging facilities for mobility and vehicle providers. The new enterprise was conceived as an open platform that aims to involve as many partners as possible.

The initial aim is to start locally at the end of this summer with an eye toward a nationwide reach. No word was given when this project might extend to the rest of Europe or the U.S. In question also in this new collaboration – despite being "open source" – is whether it will create yet another proprietary plug standard in addition to the CHAdeMO fast charging standard and those either developed or being worked on by the Society of Automotive Engineers. If we learn more on this latter question, we'll update this story.

In all, EV advocates might see it as positive as these are deep-pocketed players committing to proliferating plug-in vehicles.

"The market for electromobility in Germany is coming to life. The number of electric vehicles available is steadily increasing," Daimler said in a press release, and, it observed, "making utilization of the charging infrastructure user-friendly will, it is hoped, help not only to further expand electromobility but also to make it more widely accepted by the general public.”

The group said also that it will utilize a proprietary logo to signal to EV drivers of compatible cars they can pull in for a charge up. No doubt if the German engineers break new ground in the core project, lessons learned could be duplicated or add to already ongoing projects in other regions to develop EV-supporting infrastructure.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More