Smart transportation systems
In less than ten years, more than half of the world's population will live in cities. This poses a particular challenge for metropolitan infrastructures. Because to ensure efficient transportation of goods and people, it is not enough to increase the capacity of the transportation options that already exist. Sustainable mobility represents one of the key areas of the smart city, and e-mobility and autonomous driving are being further developed in this context. With a smart transportation system, users can use an app to find parking spaces, traffic lights can send information to vehicles about the time of the next green phase, or transportation offers can be easily coordinated.
After eight to ten years, electric car batteries are expected to lose capacity, limiting the vehicle's range. They now must be replaced. However, the old batteries are still used. In second-life use, the batteries are used in stationary operation after several thousand charging cycles and still have about 70 percent of their capacity and can still be used here for up to twelve years. For example, BMW has put together a storage system from 700 used i3 batteries in which solar power generated at the plant can be stored. When the batteries have finally reached the end of their life, they are recycled. The materials they contain are valuable and should ideally be fully recyclable. In practice, this has not yet worked. Mechanical shredding can separate the components from one another, leaving aluminium and copper in pure form and others in high proportions that can be reused.
With the increased use of electromobility, the (fast) charging infrastructure must also be expanded in both urban and rural areas. In addition to comprehensive and publicly accessible charging options, this also includes an intelligent network. Such power grids can use digital technologies to monitor and control the transport of electricity from various sources. In this way, power fluctuations are effectively balanced out.
The batteries installed in electric cars have such a high capacity that they could act as energy storage units and supply a house with electricity for several days. If you want to take advantage of this, vehicle-to-home systems come into play to save rising energy costs and be off-grid. To do this, of course, one must not charge the car via the wall box at home, but (free of charge) at public places. The vehicle must have the option of bidirectional charging, so that it cannot only take in electricity, but also deliver it.
Energy management systems
The expansion of energy networks and their management is also linked to the increase in electromobility. Software can be used to protect grid connections from overloading on the one hand and to increase charging efficiency on the other. For example, a charging plan can be developed in advance and the connected stations can be controlled, which can be an enormous relief for fleet management. Thus, energy management systems are a factor in saving time, energy, and costs.
There is no getting around electromobility now, and it offers a large pool of opportunities and benefits, primarily environmental protection. But as it expands, new challenges also become known. Vehicle charging is an area where new developments are constantly being made to ensure that electricity is used more intelligently and that more renewable energy is fed into the batteries, making electromobility even more usable and efficient.