15.09.2020 | 5 minutes

Electromobility Explained


As an innovative drive format, electromobility paves the way for all kinds of new concepts. Discover the most important terms with Vattenfall InCharge – from accumulators to wallboxes.

Accumulator 

Accumulators are central elements in electric vehicles. These rechargeable batteries are the components that provide the energy needed to operate and move an electric car. At present, lithium-ion batteries offering a high performance and a long service life are used in the current series. 

 

Charging Box 

In addition to public charging boxes, owners of electric company cars can use charging stations installed by a fleet manager or company. Home charging enables employees to extend the charging infrastructure to their private environment in a convenient, flexible way. Fleet managers or investors in residential property should have a pre-check performed and obtain an installation quote from their electrical specialist partner. You can book a pre-check directly from Vattenfall. 

 

Cycle Stability 

Cycle stability describes the lifetime of a battery. The cycle is defined as a discharge with the subsequent charging of a battery. The longer a battery's service life, the higher its cycle stability must be. A good battery can cope with a high number of charge and discharge cycles without its properties deteriorating noticeably. Modern lithium-ion batteries can cope with around 3,000 charging cycles and cover distances of up to 400,000 kilometres (with a range of 300 km). 

 

Green Electricity 

Also referred to as natural energy or eco-friendly energy, green electricity is generated from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower or biomass. Vattenfall also relies on green electricity for its electromobility services. A green electricity supply is standard for all public Vattenfall charging stations. In addition to B2B charging points, Vattenfall operates the KEBA KeContact P30 x-series wallbox for private customers using sustainable green electricity.

 

Inductive Charging 

Generally speaking, electric vehicle batteries continue to be charged via cable. Even so, many manufacturers are now testing inductive charging for accumulators, i.e. contactless battery charging. An essential prerequisite for this charging method is to position the charging coils precisely. This is something service providers can overcome with suitable navigation aids. The advantage of contactless charging technology is its reliable operation, even in winter weather conditions, as well as the reduced wear and tear on charging stations. Various standards are currently still competing to establish leadership in the market. 

 

Lithium-ion Batteries 

A lithium-ion battery is an accumulator that acts as a central energy supply component for electric vehicles. Unlike commercially available rechargeable batteries, accumulators in electric cars consist of a number of interconnected battery cells where lithium atoms and their chemical properties ensure the battery is charged. 

 

Location Partner 

Vattenfall InCharge works together with partners that provide their parking and usage areas for charging infrastructure at attractive locations. This enables Vattenfall to cover virtually all the investment costs. The advantages for these location partner is obvious: as well as the financial relief provided by Vattenfall, they can offer new and existing customers a convenient way to recharge their electric vehicles. In addition, the companies benefit from the increased visibility of their location, as they are featured in Vattenfall InCharge's e-mobility apps and play their part in the nationwide expansion of the charging station network. 

 

Mode 3 Charging 

Mode 3 charging is the standard charging method at most charging stations or wallboxes equipped with a Type 1 or Type 2 connection. Mode 3 charging therefore includes all AC charging operations where the vehicle is connected to a Type 1 or Type 2 connection. 

 

My InCharge Portal 

Retrieve charging data, track charging processes or manage user rights: the My InCharge portal is the central information system for electromobility. Fleet managers in particular benefit from the My InCharge portal, as it provides clear information on the charging activities of all charging boxes and cards that the company provides to its employees. In addition to the InCharge Key charging card and the Vattenfall InCharge app, the My InCharge portal forms the basis for simple charging throughout Europe. 

 

Network Charging 

Network charging guarantees supply and energy grid security by allowing energy suppliers or network operators to intervene in the charging process and briefly reduce or stop charging. This reduces load peaks caused by charging multiple vehicles at the same time. The aim is to compensate for fluctuations in the energy grid through the additional use and supply of renewable energies. 

 

Range Concerns 

Getting stuck somewhere without charging infrastructure because the battery's range is too short is a nightmare for many drivers. Range concerns are a popular argument from critics of electromobility. Still, this can be an issue for conventional motor vehicles, too. The difference lies in the infrastructure for fuel stations/charging points. The best way to put range concerns to rest is to create better charging infrastructure. This is exactly what Vattenfall InCharge is committed to achieving. At present, the energy company operates 25,000 charging points in Germany alone. 

 

RFID Card 

Release, billing, charging statistics: for operators, RFID release offers an uncomplicated, comparatively inexpensive method of authentication for users. If charging stations are equipped accordingly, energy purchases can be billed via a supplier with an RFID card. For users of these charging stations, the RFID function allows easy activation of the charging process and, optionally, quick and uncomplicated billing of the electricity purchased. However, RFID cards are a bit like the burner phones of charging cards: in public spaces, charging with a smartphone using a QR code or a charging app is becoming increasingly common. The future really does belong to the smartphone. 

 

Smart Meter 

Smart meters offer fleet managers the option of personalised energy management for their vehicle fleet. They measure and document the energy used in real time in a visually appealing way. This allows fleet managers to see current and historical consumption periods at a glance and identify potential savings. A smart meter helps to analyse and optimise the power requirements of the fleet. 

 

Vattenfall InCharge App 

The Vattenfall InCharge app is software that gives users an overview of the distribution of the approximately 85,000 charging points in the network via their mobile phone. In addition to current availability, it is possible to perform a cost comparison of the individual charging points or navigation to the respective locations. With numerous other functions, such as notification of free or newly installed charging stations, the app available for iOS and Android is useful and convenient for electric vehicle owners. 

 

Wallbox 

A wallbox is a wall-mounted charging station for electric vehicles that ensures safe charging for people and vehicles. Predominantly used in the private sector, wallboxes are especially popular for residential properties with underground parking. They must be installed by a specialist and have a special RC circuit breaker. Wallboxes can operate with a higher charging capacity than conventional household sockets (up to 22 kW). In the home charging sector, Vattenfall provides charging solutions for every household. 

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