Controlled stress test for local grid in Germany


South Germany’s utility EnBW has launched a pilot project to see, whether the local grid can withstand peak demand from eleven electric cars charging on one street. The neighbourhood in question is in a town close to Stuttgart and has been renamed E-Mobility Allee.

Ten neighbours now driving and charging eleven electric cars are taking part. The decisive factor is that they are not only all living on Belchenstrasse in the town of Ostfildern but share one transformer.

EnBW subsidiary Netze BW provided the families with both the electric cars as well as wall boxes for home charging at 22 kW. All they need to do is plug in the various electric vehicles at specific times to see whether the grid can withstand various loads.

The electric cars for the trial are a mix to simulate real-life conditions of an era when electric cars will no longer be an exception. The participants can thus drive and charge either the VW e-Golf, the BMW i3 or the Renault Zoe. Moreover, everyone will get Tesla Model S 75D for three weeks in rotation.

The pilot dubbed E-Mobility Allee (electric transport alley) will run over six months and throughout autumn. Netze BW is supported by the town of Ostfildern and various research institutes.

The trial brings to our mind the Electric Nation project that succeeded the Electric Avenue in Britain. In their case, Nissan and a local utility raked up more than 2.7 million kilometres driven and charged in Nissan Leafs. The project had been going for about 18 months at the time.
However, the Electric Nation is ongoing and includes 700 electric cars by now. They are all located in clusters of neighbours testing the strain on the local grid with multiple electric cars charging at once. (project homepage, in German), (UK)


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