News item | 2012-04-26 | 13:45 PM

E-mobility news: The first everyday tests with EV in Germany

In a Berlin project, Vattenfall and BMW have demonstrated the practicality of low emission electric vehicles. The wind-to-vehicle application was welcomed by the users, however public charging stations proved expensive.

Between June 2009 and August 2010, 50 BMW MINI E (Battery Electric Vehicle, BEV) were in operation in Berlin during two sections of six months. The MINI E users have been private households and car fleets at Vattenfall and the car-sharing companies DB Car Sharing and Car Club Sistine. The project was funded by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

MINI E Berlin

Charging infrastructure developed by Vattenfall

Vattenfall supplied certified ‘green’ electricity in order to lower CO2 emissions and developed the necessary charging infrastructure for EV charging in the private and public spheres.

The 50 MINI E were charged at home or at work via a charging box that ensured a maximum use of excess wind power (wind-to-vehicle, W2V) without limiting the daily mobility.

In addition, Vattenfall Distribution installed and operated a number of public charging points in Berlin. The bill for public charging was added to the normal electricity bill of each car owner.

Limited driving range not a problem

Main results from this demonstration project were:

  • The wind-to-vehicle application worked and was welcomed by the users. 
  • In comparison to conventionally fuelled cars the limited BEV driving range was not a problem in everyday use. 
  • The relatively long BEV charging time did not affect the daily mobility. 
  •  EV test drivers with charging options at home and/or at work usually did not use the public charging option. 
  •  The technology at the public charging stations proved more vulnerable and expensive. 
  •  Charging support to EV users who do not have their own car parking space, but instead park their vehicle by the road, is very complex and expensive with the current battery technology.

Upon successful completion of the first field experiment (MINI E 1.0) 70 MINI E were used in Berlin in the follow-up project (MINI E 2.0). New cases and user groups were considered, especially home users that cannot load at home, and large fleet customers. In addition, a ‘mobility assistant’, was included – a customer-friendly mobility package to support charging and provide parking. The charging stations installed by Vattenfall in public places of Berlin are still accessible.

More information

You can find more information about the project including final project reports in German:
MINI E Berlin (in German, new window)
MINI E Berlin 2.0 (in German, new window)

Contact person: Franziska Schuth