Siemens AG is starting its own large-scale fleet test with electrical vehicles. One hundred employees will test the cars in everyday use. The first 20 vehicles will be put into service in late November, ten each in Erlangen and Munich, and the others will follow in the months thereafter at both locations as well as in Berlin. Siemens will also offer employees zero-cost recharging. “With this fleet testing, we hope to improve how cars work in conjunction with the electrical grid, such as when many electric cars are recharging at the same time,” explained Prof. Dr. Gernot Spiegelberg, Director of Electromobility Concept Development at Siemens Corporate Research. The company is presenting its latest developments in electromobility at the eCarTec trade show from October 19-20, 2010, in Munich.
The controlled charging of electric cars is a central aspect of the Siemens smart grid concept. The smart grid can use intermediate storage devices to smooth out fluctuations caused by renewable energy sources. One such storage device might be electric cars. “In order to test this and enhance the systems needed to handle it, in our fleet field testing we are going to connect the greatest possible number of electric cars to charging points at the same time,” said Spiegelberg. Siemens employees can apply for the cars, which come from systems integrator Fräger and are provided and completely maintained by Sixt Leasing AG for a leasing fee. Electrical power at Siemens’ parking places is free of charge.
At a later point, Siemens rapid charging systems and the company’s own electrical motors will undergo field testing. The project is also open to partners such as municipal utilities, other vehicle fleet operators, and automotive manufacturers. In cooperation with the partners, Siemens will test the suitability of both the technologies and the business models for everyday use. One such business model is the sale of power by municipal utilities for charging electric cars.