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The electric vehicle (EV) share of vehicle markets is growing around the world, and infrastructure needs to keep up with the new demand for EV charging stations this will bring. Seed & Greet, Europe’s largest EV charging station, is showing how an innovative EV charging station can work to everybody’s benefit.
EV Sales and the Need for Europe’s Largest EV Charging Station
EV sales have been rising year on year since the 2000s. This is mostly attributed to increased awareness of the damage gas exhausts cause to local air quality and the global environment. However, governmental incentives and personal budgets are also contributing to the growth in EV sales.
Europe in particular has embraced EVs more than any other region. The latest sales figures for the European Union (EU) show that the region’s EV sales have grown by 57% from 2018 to 2019, against a reduction of 37% in total new vehicle sales for the same period.
Europe is bucking a global trend, which, due primarily to Coronavirus, has seen EV sales decreasing along with total sales for all vehicles. In the second quarter of 2020 – as the global pandemic took hold in Europe – 177,000 new EVs were still sold.
Against this clear evidence of consumer demand, the case for more EV charging stations and EV charging sites in Europe is appealing to investors and authorities alike.
Seed & Greet: Innovative Charging Station
Seed & Greet has opened to meet some of this demand at the Kreuz Hilden junction in Germany. The project was spearheaded by master baker and entrepreneur Roland Schüren, who commented:
“Not only do Germany and Europe need more e-mobility, they particularly need more e-mobility with electricity from renewable energies.”
Seed & Greet is providing precisely that: all of the electricity delivered to the EV charging site is from renewable sources, and the 44 EV charging stations at the park make it Europe’s largest EV charging station.
Green power is provided on-site through a sizeable photovoltaic installation contributing 336-kilowatt-peak (kWp) electricity and two small wind turbines to help with surge demand.
Battery Energy Storage System: Tesvolt
Key to the successful operation of Seed & Greet has been the use of Tesvolt’s world-leading battery energy storage system.
Gregor Hinz, energy consultant and technical planner for the Seed & Greet project, commented on his selection of Tesvolt:
“Tesvolt storage systems can be fully charged and discharged rapidly, which is particularly important from a technical perspective for a charging park. In combination with our hourly purchase of energy on the German spot market, this is the perfect symbiosis for optimal management of self-generated energy.”
The energy storage that Tesvolt supplied means that self-generated electricity can be efficiently stored and used according to the unpredictable peak and trough demand cycle of an EV charging station.
Tesvolt was also eager to contribute to this innovative EV charging station due to its ambition and cohesive approach to green infrastructure.
“A sophisticated energy concept with heat recovery, rainwater and process water harvesting, the organic bakery and the wooden frame construction of the park, the planned vertical farming – all of this goes towards making Seed & Greet a flagship project.”
Simon Schandert, co-founder and CTO of Tesvolt
Schandert concluded: “We are extremely proud to be part of this project with our storage systems.”
EEG Amendment: Could It Spell Trouble for Future EV Charging Stations?
Europe’s largest EV charging station opened its doors just as news that the German government had passed a somewhat controversial amendment to the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).
The amendment would mean that projects who consume the energy they produce from renewable sources – as is the case with EV charging stations such as Seed & Greet with integrated, on-site renewable energy sources – may no longer be able to sell energy back to the national grid.
“I hope the EEG amendment doesn’t disrupt projects like these in the future. Lots of people have approached me about their interest in setting up similar projects. If the EEG amendment places further restrictions on self-consumption, however, any such projects would be stifled.”
Next Steps for Europe’s Largest EV Charging Station
Seed & Greet will, regardless of changes that might affect future projects, continue to grow in coming years. Phase 2 of the project is due to be completed in 2021, and will effectively double its EV charging site capacity.
The second phase of construction will build retail and commercial space above the existing organic bakery, run by Schüren. It will also add 70 EV charging stations to the current 44, bringing the total to 114, as well as increasing the photovoltaic installation to bring it up to an output of 700 kWp.
As EV sales continue to rise in Europe, innovative EV charging stations such as Seed & Greet will – by necessity as well as economic opportunity – continue to raise interest and investment in years to come.
References and Further Reading
EV-Volumes (2020) The Electric Vehicle World Sales Database. [Online] EV-Volumes. Available at: https://www.ev-volumes.com/.
Statista (2020) Sales of Electric Vehicles Europe. [Online] Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/642799/eu-total-sales-electric-vehicles/.
Tesvolt (2020) Europe’s Largest e-Car Charging Station Open. [Online] Tesvolt. Available at: https://www.tesvolt.com/en/press/europes-largest-e-car-charging-station-opens.html.