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12th November 2018

The future’s bright for electricity

E-mobility gathers momentum around the world. After a somewhat bumpy start, electromobility has started to really gain momentum and Hager Group is already on board. 

In the second quarter of 2018, more than 400,000 electric vehicles were sold around the world, setting a new record. And the Volkswagen Group, one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers, now expects the share of electric vehicles to increase to around ten per cent by 2025. “These record-breaking figures show that our work on e-mobility, storage modules and home energy management systems has set us on the right track,” says Ulrich Reiner, e-mobility expert in Hager Group Corporate Strategy department.  

Hager Group is already actively involved in this future market, with various new products and projects. For example, its subsidiary E3/DC, an energy storage specialist, supplies highly efficient storage systems. They allow users to store self-generated electricity such as energy from photovoltaic installations as required, depending on supply and demand, putting together the optimum energy mix. And Flow, Hager Group’s home energy management system, ensures that energy in the home is controlled intelligently and prevents the grid from overloading while electric vehicles are being charged. Hager Group is also working with AUDI AG on an automobile-home network that will connect electric cars, charging technology and home energy management systems to make them even more convenient. In other words, Hager Group is involved in all areas of smart home energy and storage systems.

Electric vehicles as ‘private power stations’

“Another new area of activity, one we’re very interested in, is bidirectional charging,” explains Reiner. “This is when a vehicle battery is integrated into a smart home energy system.” The battery can either take in electricity or provide the house with electricity, depending on what is required at the time. This technology obviously has great potential. An electric vehicle battery can hold roughly the same amount of electricity that the average household consumes in a week.

E-mobility: the environmentally friendly option

While we’re on the topic of sustainability, it’s important to note that electric cars are definitely more eco-friendly than cars with internal combustion engines; even if some studies suggest the opposite. That’s according to research by the independent International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which analysed eleven studies on the topic. It concluded that electric vehicles produce between 28 and 72 per cent less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide over a life cycle of 150,000 kilometres. This means that an electric car becomes more climate friendly than a diesel or petrol vehicle after three years at the latest, according to the ICCT. The organisation believes that this advantage will increase as battery production and electricity sources become increasingly greener in the future.

More charging stations now needed

That is why the German government is now considering supporting the roll-out of private charging stations. The idea is that tenants will, in future, be able to demand permission from landlords to set up charging stations. It would also become easier for home-owners to install charging stations. And even though the topic of e-mobility is gathering momentum, there’s no need to worry about the stability of the electricity supply. According to calculations by management consultancy company McKinsey, electric cars are likely to only increase the demand for electricity by about 1 per cent by 2030. At a local level, smart charging systems like the ones Hager is developing can prevent grid overloads due to too many cars being charged at the same time. “In spite of all the teething problems, we expect demand for e-mobility to grow,” explains e-mobility expert Ulrich Reiner. “Electricity clearly has a bright future.”

 

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