Siemens Austria and VERBUND want to establish Electric Mobility Provider
Joint venture as electric mobility's passport to Austria
Siemens Austria and VERBUND, two leading Austrian technology companies, want to back a completely new business segment. With the founding of a joint company and following several years of research and development, it is intended that electric mobility now be concretely applicable in Austria: In the coming years, "E-Mobility Provider Austria" is planning to develop a consolidated charging network, as well as offering a flat-rate electric mobility package for companies and private customers.
"The climate change demands a new energy system. Mobility is an important part of this. Unforeseen opportunities for the economic and technological location of Austria lie in this technological upheaval. It is for this reason that we, as Austria’s leading electricity company, have spent years promoting electric mobility. There now follows the wholly concrete step of putting it into practice. Together with our partner, Siemens, we are going to bring electricity from100% renewable energies onto the streets in the coming years," says Wolfgang Anzengruber, VERBUND CEO.
"Megatrends such as climate change, urbanisation and globalisation make it necessary to rethink things in the mobility area as well. By means of environmentally friendly technologies, innovative products and holistic solutions, it is also possible to design individual mobility in an environmentally friendly, efficient and resource-conserving way. Following our joint R&D activities in the area of electric mobility, E-Mobility Provider is now the next logical step in the partnership with VERBUND. Behind all of these activities lies the goal of two responsible companies to generate local added value, to reinforce the technology and research location, as well as the creation of jobs. Through the establishment of a first complete, nationwide solution in Austria, Siemens and VERBUND are now taking on a pioneering role that responds to the hitherto fragmentation of electric mobility in model regions," says Wolfgang Hesoun, director-general of Siemens Austria.
The company founding and operational start of "E-Mobility Provider" from Siemens and VERBUND is planned for summer 2012 (subject to antitrust approval of the entire company). As a further step, it is envisaged that additional partners will be integrated from the areas of energy, infrastructure and information technology.
The first operational steps comprise the development of the infrastructure, as well as offers for business clients (company fleets). A complete end-customer package will be in place in 2013. By 2020, E-Mobility Provider intends to establish a network of some 4,500 (semi-) public charging points in Austria, for instance at filling stations, and fast charging points.
Optimal framework conditions: the core elements of energy, infrastructure and information
Electric mobility is advancing fast. However, surveys reveal that potential users are still sceptical, particularly in the areas of "charging", "range" and "costs". Therefore, the goal must be to make the daily charging process as simple as possible and to design it without additional load, to expand the limited range of the electric vehicles, to reduce the currently still high purchase cost and to make users even more aware of the significantly lower running and maintenance costs. Furthermore, the electric mobility users must be given confidence concerning the clean production method of the electricity being employed.
The central services for electric mobility thus comprise the energy supply for the car, the making available of the charging infrastructure – especially for extending the range – as well as electricity from 100% renewable energy sources.
In the energy mix of the future, electric cars can serve as a power storage facility by balancing out the electricity fluctuations of wind and solar energy. In this role as balancing medium, they also facilitate the integration of renewable energy in the intelligent power grid of the future.
Mobility re-loaded: solutions from one source
The approach by Siemens Austria and VERBUND is called E-Mobility Provider: In a similar way to a mobile telephone provider, it will bring together all services necessary for the running of electric vehicles, and offer customers a uniform package of services for a tailor-made package price. E-Mobility Provider is establishing a consolidated grid of charging points and making infrastructure available, as well as providing a routing and information system.
Still a vehicle or already a "smart device"?
With the aid of the provider’s services, the electric vehicle is being transformed into a mobile "smart device": The package comprises the establishment of a charging point at the customer’s residence, access to the (semi-) public charging infrastructure, as well as to an Austrian network of fast charging points. In addition to this there will be a broadly integrated information and service offer comprising, for instance, the calling up of the charging status via smartphones, information concerning available charging posts with the possibility to make reservations whilst en-route, as well as customer-oriented mobility services such as route planning, breakdown assistance and service hotlines. All services are available irrespective of the brand of the chosen electric vehicle.
Long-term goal: reorganisation of the transport system
Through their activities, VERBUND and Siemens wish to make their contribution to at least 240,000 electric vehicles being able to travel on Austria’s roads by 2020. By means of E-Mobility Provider, the companies are setting the course for the revolution of the traffic system – based upon 100% renewable sources.
Since 2009, the public platform "Austrian Mobile Power" has been dealing with the framework conditions for electric mobility in and around Austria. The lighthouse project EMPORA (project duration 2010-2014) comprises two research projects with a total volume of 26 million Euro, and is therewith the largest R&D project in Austria. 21 Austrian project partners – which also include VERBUND and Siemens Austria – are currently busying themselves with the issue of vehicle technology, the infrastructure, as well as the applicability of electric mobility. The project is being promoted to the tune of 12 million Euro by the federal government’s Climate and Energy Fund. The goal is to develop electric mobility and make it applicable – from the vehicle right through to the mobility offers for customers.