Interview with Andreas Pfeiffer, CCO of CUT POWER AG, on challenges of fleet electrification and opportunities with charging infrastructures.
What exactly lies behind the “Charging as a Service” business model for charging infrastructures?
Andreas: Our solution ‚Charging as a Service‘ focuses fully on customers’ needs. We know that a mobility manager has various tasks and is every day confronted with a diverse set of new challenges and topics. Companies have high expectations – especially in the field of new mobility solutions and sustainability. Services and products that are not part of their core business have to have high quality – especially, when they are of relevance to the core business. They simply have to function! This is where our approach ‚Charging as a Service‘ comes into play: We sort out all relevant questions and find the right answers when it comes to charging infrastructure and provide an individual offering. This is including planning, deployment, maintenance, operation and an excellent 24/5 hotline. The fleet operator is able to focus on his job and just pays a fixed service fee. We take the investment (Capex) and the complete operational risk of the charging infrastructure.
Your projects with fleet customers are certainly exciting as every fleet is different and has numerous stakeholders. From your experience – how can you achieve a fast project ramp-up and a successful delivery at the end?
Andreas: Within our projects we foremost focus on the charging infrastructure taking the mobility needs and use cases as an important basis of our solution. When it comes to project setup and delivery, it is definitely helpful when the fleet manager is an employee of a strong anchor tenant which actually is in contractual discussions with his landlord. This gives our projects a good starting ground and enables a smooth integration of a new ‘energy system’ into the facility. This includes the existence of building information (e.g., building and pipe plans). If, furthermore, all relevant information in regard to billing, driving profiles and utilization scenarios can be delivered the way for a fast project ramp-up is paved. Herein, the mobility manager plays a major role. Finally, the local grid situation and the distribution network operator decide on how fast the full capacity of the charging infrastructure can be provided. This ensures that the fleet will be fully charged when needed. In our projects we are happy to rely on competent and reliable partners – this grands project success!
As you mention partners – CutPower is initiator and partner of ‚ChargeInGermany‘. What is this initiative about?
Andreas: ChargInGermany is a Future Initiative of German companies, who are active in the field of emobility: TankE, BayWa, Generation E, Pfalzwerke AG and CutPower. These are partly long-term partners, who share our vision on enabling the transition into a more sustainable world. We came together as a reaction to German government’s initiative to invest into 1000 HPC charging parks. Each partner is fully convinced that joining the individual forces creates a unique and outstanding delivery and operating power. ChargInGermany is the perfect contact to German when it comes to build and run HPC hubs, as the German ‚Mittelstand‘ is well known for his innovation and operational implementation strength.
What about vehicle-to-grid (V2G), i.e. the car as an active energy store – should operators of charging infrastructure keep an eye on this trend, or is that still a long way off?
Andreas: During my time at E.ON V2G was one of my personal passions. For sure, in our ‚emoblity‘ world it is the ‚Icing on the top‘. DC-technology already supports V2G based on the CHaDEMO standard. Hereby, technology-wise it is already possible today to run the ‚active energy store‘ and it will for sure be part of our future energy system. Nevertheless, as the integration into the CCS standard and thereby the implementation into the mass market as well as the regulative framework in Germany is missing, V2G is commercially not relevant. If fleet managers and infrastructure operators are interested in improving the business case, they should focus on topics like active load management and the trading of greenhouse gas certificates based on the delivery of green energy to electric cars.
Extract from interview with Rocco Swantusch for the German magazine “autoflotte.de”.