Aral aims to complete the installation of more than 100 HPC charging points at 30 German service stations before the end of this quarter and has commissioned Siemens Smart Infrastructure to provide smarter grid connections at the service stations.
Aral will operate the high power charging points, supply pure green electricity and have a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. The charging infrastructure offensive was preceded by a pilot project completed in February 2020, which initially involved setting up HPC charging points at five service stations.
So now more service stations are to follow, located on highways, major roads or in cities. They are to receive two charging columns with two charging points each. At most filling stations, this will require upgrading the current low-voltage connection to a medium-voltage connection. Patrick Wendeler, a member of the Managing Board of Aral AG, explains: “To make charging as fast as putting fuel in your car, we have opted for ultra-fast charging stations with a power of up to 350 kW. But chargers alone are not enough: The retrofit also requires a powerful and reliable grid connection. That is why we are glad to have Siemens with its expertise in electrical infrastructure at our side.”
To get to the higher powers, they will install substations which connect the gas stations’ charging infrastructure to the public power grid. Each substation consists of a hermetically capsulated transformer, gas-insulated medium-voltage switchgear, type 8DJH, and a Sivacon S8 low-voltage switchboard, Siemens informs.
The stations will also use communication hardware and IoT technology so that Aral can obtain information about the substations’ status at any time. Sensors help to generate the data and send it to a cloud. The data is evaluated and visualized via a web application.
Aral expects to complete the installation by the end of February. The introduction of high-performance charging points at Aral stations in Germany is part of BP’s strategy – Aral has been BP’s service station brand in Germany since 2002. The plan is to increase the number of charging points operated worldwide from 7,000 in 2020 to 70,000 by 2030. Meanwhile, the company is not yet giving any details on the announced further rollout after completing the HPC columns at the first 30 German service stations.