More and more people are recognizing the urgency of environmental protection and are looking into clean energy. How do you perceive this change?
The consequences of climate change are now so present that we can no longer look away. Floods and fires no longer take place far away from our everyday lives - now everyone is affected. This makes people think and ask themselves: how can I make a contribution? Electric vehicles are a great way to help the environment without making huge compromises. However, this only works in conjunction with green electricity
What makes electromobility so attractive?
On the one hand, of course, the environmental idea, but also the tax benefits from the federal government were a great idea in my opinion. This increases the demand and the future technology can be further developed to reach conventional market prices. With the e-car, many are opting for a plug in hybrid, whose environmental footprint is highly debated. However, we see this as a first step towards electromobility: with the next purchase, drivers may then switch completely to electric. In the meantime, the charging infrastructure is being expanded more and more and the pure "electric cars" now have a range of 400 to 500 kilometres - and this is getting longer every year.
Mer offers the eeFlat complete solution for electric company cars. Where did the idea come from?
The basic idea behind eeFlat is that we relieve our customers, fleet managers and drivers of the complicated processes in the background, such as installing the wallbox or maintenance. In addition, we cover all charging processes with green electricity - in your own garage, at the company site or on the road.
eeFlatNeo enables a grid-optimised charging process. What exactly does this mean?
We postpone charging to the night hours when the grid situation relaxes, i.e. between 10 pm and 5 am. Our power grids are not designed for every driver to charge their electric car right after work at 6 p.m.
Is there any way to check which cars are on the grid?
Our wallboxes are connected to a smart meter gateway that is linked to the electricity meter and contains a SIM card. This modern metering technology is called "intelligent metering system" and with it we can measure exactly to the quarter of an hour what electricity the e-car has drawn. In other words, through our forecasting tool, we look for the moments of the night when the most renewable energy is produced, and charge the cars exactly then.
What changes for the drivers through eeFlatNeo?
The car is charged in its own garage, but not continuously. The charging process does not start automatically when plugged into the wallbox, but only from 10 pm. It can also be that there is no surplus at 10 pm, but then at 1 am and the charging process only starts then. However, if someone notices during the day that the car is only showing 10 percent, but they still want to drive to an event in the evening, this is of course also possible without any problems: In our app, the Neo function can be switched off in order to charge at full power at any time. . After installation, we give our drivers the opportunity to charge the car "normally" during a transition phase and get used to the charging infrastructure. Only after three months do we activate the Neo function.
Why do you and your team make an important contribution to the transport and energy transition?
What drives us above all is the storage potential: electric cars are not yet producers, but they are controllable consumers. In the area of renewable energies and their dynamic expansion, it must be remembered that electricity is not produced at the push of a button. And large energy storage facilities are expensive. That's why we have to adjust our consumption. Well-managed electromobility has this flexibility. In addition, e-cars offer decentralized storage capacity that is automatically built in and requires no additional investment. Our goal is that in the near future, electric cars will not only consume electricity, but will also feed electricity back into the grid when renewable energies are not producing electricity, for example.