Verbund, Siemens and Magna Establish Austrian E-Mobility Company


The three leading companies Magna, Siemens and Verbund have founded Austrian Mobile Power Management GmbH & Co KG (AMP) as a joint venture with the goal of rapidly implementing electromobility in Austria.

Against the background of the economic goals of energy efficiency, reduction of emissions – especially those of CO2, but also particulate matter or noise – as well as supply security, the partners want to establish a valid superordinate overall system that works not only in Austria but also transnationally.

Traffic is one of the main consumers of energy and causes of CO2 in Europe, including Austria. Mobility therefore offers enormous potential for the substitution of fossil fuels through renewable energies, as well as a reduction of the CO2 emissions and energy consumption through greater efficiency of the overall system.

Verbund CEO Wolfgang Anzengruber comments: "The climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gases demands a new energy era. Electricity is the most valuable form of energy. It is a certainty that its share of the entire energy consumption, which currently amounts to 20 %, will have to increase toward 50%. In our capacity as Austria’s largest electricity company, with a share of just under 90 % renewable energies in our portfolio, we are part of the solution. It is for this reason that we are promoting E-mobility in Austria."

AMP forms the spearhead of the Austrian Mobile Power platform, which was initiated by Verbund in summer 2009. Austria's major technology companies are working together in the platform in order to create a basis for the rapid implementation of electromobility in Austria. The platform, which comprises top representatives from the sectors of vehicle development, system development and infrastructure development, is meanwhile organized as a 12-member association. Newcomers are Wien Energie and Energie Steiermark, as well as REWE, Infineon, The Mobility House and Raiffeisen-Leasing. Further key players, such as Salzburg AG and EVN, are already integrated via projects within the open platform.

Therewith, the three AMP partners are also - but not least of all - promoting the development of new business areas and utilizing growth potentials. The success of both the initiative and AMP is of particular strategic value for all three partners. "In its capacity as technology leader, Siemens can contribute a great deal to bringing a larger number of electric cars onto the roads. One week ago, at the start of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, we presented a new demonstration vehicle fitted with a Siemens electric engine. The eRuf Stormster can be charged with high-voltage electricity within two hours. Electromobility and climate protection have a great deal in common. The electric cars themselves bring a maximum of energy efficiency onto the roads. On the other hand, in conjunction with the intelligent electricity supply grids of the future, electric cars act as mobile energy reservoirs when it is a matter of balancing out the fluctuating offer of renewable energies in the power grid. According to studies, one billion tons of CO2 can be saved on account of these smart grids. Siemens has an active leading role in many areas of the smart grids. We are delighted that the Austrian Mobile Power platform is developing so well and that we are also able to allow our expertise to flow into this project," says Siemens Austria boss Brigitte Ederer.

"The electric vehicle represents one of the most important issues of the future for Magna," says Karl G. Nigl, director of business development, Magna International Europe AG. "While we are not talking about a revolution here, we are arguably talking about one of the most important steps toward emission-free mobility. The goal is to develop and produce a sufficient number of vehicles, which fulfil the original purpose of the automobile – providing transport from A to B – and which fulfil this purpose comfortably, safely, emission-free and inexpensively."

User benefits and added value for Austria
The newly founded company AMP is responsible for both the management of the platform and the project management, and works in line with the following principles: The first is the declared goal of putting the user benefits in the foreground in the development of the system as a whole. This primarily means that the technology and infrastructure are subject to a uniform – preferably international - standard. The platform is also committed to optimizing the added value for Austria. Consequently, its members are leading Austrian companies with an international background.

AMP is making an important contribution to achieving the platform members’ ambitious goal by investing 50 million Euro for the introduction of electromobility in Austria by 2020. The funds will be used to promote the market launch of production-ready electric cars, to make an ample charging infrastructure available for electricity generated from renewable energies, as well as developing customer-oriented mobility services.

Interconnection of model regions
A central task of the platform is the integration of model regions for electromobility in Austria. Five model regions (mobile power regions) were submitted to the Climate and Energy Fund's corresponding call for tenders. AMP has already concluded letters of intent with all five. The letters of intent guarantee a uniform national infrastructure. The regions concerned are Vienna, Graz (ELMOST), Salzburg, Vorarlberg (VLOTTE) and Carinthia (Triple City).
Furthermore, AMP will take on a leading role in the conception and establishment of mobile services. It will lobby for the establishment of political framework conditions suitable for customers, the ensuring of integration with (local) public transport and the making available of standardized information and communication interfaces.

A charging concept suitable for daily use
At the same time, special attention is being paid to the charging strategy. In contrast to concepts such as battery exchange, AMP is backing the so-called "Charge Everywhere" concept. There are no electricity fuel stations in the usual sense: High-voltage current available to households is "fuelled up" from the power outlet, which also has access to communication interfaces. Each vehicle is considered to be a separate consumer and identified. "Fueling" can then take place whether at home, in the garage at the office or during shopping at the supermarket. Behind this is an information system – a clearinghouse. Billing subsequently takes place on the basis of the existing data. For optimum availability, 2.3 charging points - or power outlets - must be available per car or two-wheeler.

Infrastructure expansion by 2013; series-production vehicles as a prerequisite for a wide-scale roll-out
The expansion of the infrastructure is already starting in the pilot phase from 2010 and will then be successively enlarged with the increasing spread of the e-vehicle fleet. This phase is set to continue for approx. 3-4 years. As early as 2011, the corresponding numbers of modern, low fuel consumption and high range mass-production e-vehicles will be offered globally for purchase or via leasing. The opportunities for rolling the system out with international partners in the CEE neighbour states will also be examined.

Electromobility is advancing fast
Based on a rough cost calculation, the investment costs for 100,000 vehicles run to 5 billion Euro; 4 billion of this alone are spent on vehicles, 200 million on infrastructure, 400 million on the generation of electricity, as well as 50 million each on the aforementioned development costs and the infrastructure running costs. According to a current study by the Federal Environmental Agency, "Electromobility Scenario 2020", the potential for roadworthy electric cars for 2020 lies at approx. 17 % of new vehicle registrations and a total stock of approx. 250,000 vehicles. As this study already shows, a faster development of the entire electromobility system is becoming apparent.

Reduction of half a million tons of CO2
Based upon the "Charge Everywhere" concept, this means 230,000 through to 575,000 charging points for the infrastructure. 70 TWh of electricity is consumed throughout Austria every year; 250,000 electric vehicles (this amounts to around 6 % of all cars registered in Austria) means an increased electricity consumption of around 0.8 TWh – thus, somewhat more than 1 % of the consumption in Austria. At the same time, half a million tons of CO2 and 225 million litres of crude oil are saved through the use of electrically powered cars.

The electricity for the new kind of mobility is derived from renewable energies: By 2015, Verbund is going to construct or plan new hydropower plants in Austria, with which almost 0.9 TWh of additional electricity can be produced. In addition to this is the 0.1 TWh, which Verbund also wants to generate from domestic wind power in the coming years. In 2015, Verbund alone will therewith be able to offer an additional production of electricity from domestic renewable energy sources amounting to 1 TWh.