EmporA is a "Beacon of Light" of Electromobility in Austria


On 26 January, the presidency of the Climate and Energy Fund gave the go-ahead for sponsorship of "technological beacons of light of electromobility".

Against the background of the economic goals of energy efficiency, reduction of emissions – here, especially those of CO2, but also particulate matter or noise – as well as supply security, the Austrian Mobile Power platform wants to establish a valid superordinate overall system that works not only in Austria but also transnationally. The main emphasis will be on user benefits, Austrian value creation and CO2 reduction.

On 26 January, the presidency of the Climate and Energy Fund gave the go-ahead for sponsorship of "technological beacons of light of electromobility". According to the Climate and Energy Fund, these projects will help root Austrian R&D competence in the area of electrical powering systems on the one hand and, on the other, will prepare Austria as a production location for the technological change.

The jury's decisions is based primarily on the following: 

1) Innovation leadership and interconnection
This project, EmporA, is a first of its kind in that, for the first time, all partners from the fields of automotive industry, infrastructure technology, energy supply and science are all working on the development of an integrated system solution for electromobility. The partners of EmporA are AMP members Verbund, Siemens, Magna, Wien Energie, EVN, AVL, Infineon, Raiffeisen Leasing, The Mobility House, REWE and AIT, as well as Salzburg AG and HEI. Together, they are striving for clear innovation leadership. "One major factor is the interconnection to other European research and development projects," says Ingmar Höbarth in a press release of 28 January 2010, justifying the sponsoring decision.

The Verbund-initiated platform "Austrian Mobile Power", started in summer 2009, in which the major Austrian technology companies collaborate in order to create a basis for a quick implementation of electromobility in Austria, comprises the crème de la crème from the fields of automotive, system development, infrastructure, finance, and commerce. The platform has meanwhile grown to an association with 13 members, the newest of which is EVN.

Project EmporA 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 overall system. 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.

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

Furthermore, the platform will assume 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.

2) 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 plugs - must be available per car or two-wheeler.

3) 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. Added 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.