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Energy transition and mobility transition are two sides of the same coin. If electric cars are to become more environmentally friendly and sustainable than typical combustion engines, they will need to harness energy from renewable sources. But currently, the necessary power grids and comprehensive infrastructures for charging e-cars are not in place.

How can renewable energy and storage work hand-in-hand with e-mobility? What do the power industry and public utilities companies think electric grids will look like in the future? The Energy trade fair at HANNOVER MESSE makes clear that the key elements to future mobility are digitization and connectivity. Smart technologies will make power systems more flexible, electric cars more intelligent, and will link relevant industries more comprehensively.

ABB and HARTING Pave the Way to E-Infrastructures

At HANNOVER MESSE, ABB introduces its Terra HP solution. The charging station is aimed at highway rest stops and gas stations and should extend the driving range of electric cars three to six times over. It has the ability to charge e-cars with up to 350kW. Charging an electric car with enough power to travel 200 kilometers used to take hours, but ABB reduces this time to just eight minutes – a huge technological feat.

Terra HP has the capacity to charge cars with 400 to 800-volt batteries. In addition, the driver can control all processes via a cloud – from making payments to remote diagnostics. It will take a few years before gas stations, rest stops, and private households all have their own charging stations. However, Frank Mühlon, Head of ABB’S Global Business for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure, is optimistic: "We are committed to driving the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructures to create a much cleaner environment."

HARTING Technology Group is also exhibiting future charging stations at HANNOVER MESSE. Its solution is the result of a collaborative project. HARTING delivers the fast-charging system, Innogy SE delivers the charging station, and Infotecs takes care of back-end IT – making sure that all data is protected from cyberattacks.

The station allows two cars to be safely and easily charged with a 22kW alternating current. HARTING presents its concept alongside the "Snap" electro-pod vehicle from Rinspeed – the Swiss automobile specialist.

GP Joule Sets Example for Integrated Energy

GP Joule shows how the generation, infrastructure, and use of renewable energy can all interact with each another – by transforming company cars into an electric fleet.

The self-tested fleet concept should make it easier for other companies to switch to electric mobility easily and cost-efficiently. GP Joule has over 40 electric vehicles and 60 charging points at its disposal. Through smart charge, load, and energy management, a team can quickly integrate the “e-fleet” into its business processes in a structured way. Payment, servicing, and maintenance are all managed in the cloud which simplifies administration. Furthermore, GP Joule helps reduce the cost of power supply – making e-mobility much more attractive from an economic point of view.

The concept acts as an example for successful mobility transformation. “We hope that this inspires other companies to invest in electric mobility in the future,” explains Ove Petersen, Founder and CEO of GP Joule.

Microsoft and e.GO Are Planning Cleaner Inner-Cities

One visitor magnet at the trade fair is the stand from e.GO Mover and Microsoft. This self-driving minibus can be implemented for private or commercial use and is supported by various apps from Microsoft’s Azure cloud services.

The makers of e.GO Mover have clear ideas of what inner-city traffic of the future will look like. For example, collection points on the outskirts of a city could be created, where commuters park their cars and continue to travel downtown in electric vehicles. In addition to minibuses, shuttles and taxis could be deployed.