If you are working in the electric vehicle business, the odds are pretty high that you have come across stories from Norway at some point.
By removing otherwise high car-taxes for EVs, and spicing the offer with some usability perks like bus lane access and free public parking, Norway has seen exponential growth in the EV sales for many years in a row, and the trend is reinforced for every EV model that get introduced into the marketplace. Today, more than 50% of the new cars sold in Norway are plug-ins with the majority being pure battery electric. It’s likely that 2019 will see 70% of all car sales being plug-in.
But this is not a blog post about how the EV sales are going in Norway, it’s about how you meet this development with an infrastructure that matches the needs of all those cars.
Case in point: Avinor, the Norwegian airports operator.
With 45 000 parking spaces at their airports, Avinor is one of the largest parking operators in the country, and with cars being parked at their sites for an average duration of 48 hours, there is plenty of opportunity to offer their customers a valuable charging service.
Avinor is no stranger to setting the environmental agenda.
Just recently, the first electric aeroplane in Norway took off one of Avinors airports as a result of a pilot project initiated by Avinor. So, when the government launched a new bill that stipulates 6% of all regulated parking needs to have EV charging, Avinor was the first major player to take action and initiate a tender process to roll out the infrastructure to match this needed.
So, said. So, done.
If you visit Oslo Airport and take a 5 minute over to the 3rd floor of the P10 parking area, the sight that will meet you today isn’t the typical industry picture of a bunch of shiny new chargers in a row. You know, something like this:
No, no. What you will meet, is something like this:
Proper zero emission society stuff - a flourishing EV charging market.
As you probably have guessed by now, Ensto was fortunate enough to win this tender. Over 1000 charging point have already been put into place and by the looks of the demand from the users, 1000 more could easily follow.
It’s always a true honor to be able to deliver a solution for such a large and progressive customer, and it was made even better by the fact that we got the opportunity to work with Avinor on long term basis to offer a complete solution for operations as well.
Since Avinor is such a large parking operator to begin with, they already have all the technical infrastructure in place for billing end users, make bookings etc.
Ensto on the other hand have just invested a lot into a technical back end system for our chargers, called the EV Manager, an operational platform to secure our customer’s ability to develop consumer application to their wishes. This was possible with the RestFull API interface provided from EV Manager.
This turned out to be a perfect match for Avinor's needs, and by exploiting the opportunities of the API, Avinor’s already existing parking app can now be used to initiate and pay for charging sessions as well. Multiple megawatt-hours are going through the system every day, replacing thousands of liters of fossil fuels while providing their customers a seamless user experience.
If all of this wasn’t future oriented enough, Avinor has taken it to the next level on the Oslo Airport.
The whole investment has a calculated life expectancy of minimum of 10 years. If you look 10 years backwards in the EV industry, you quickly realize that the technology has taken a quantum leap and making a decision on future proofing a charging facility can be quite intimidating.
Luckily, there is a new standard in town: IEC 15118. This catchy combination of letters and numbers will make a whole suite of functions possible when it comes to EV charging, but the 3 most exciting ones are:
While the first two in their core will provide a better end user experience, the last holds a potential for the owner of a charging facility to earn some serious income through the grid mechanism like Peak Shaving and Demand Response services.
At Oslo Airport for example, you have 1.5 megawatts of power available for EV charging. That sort of peak power usage costs a lot. At the same time, they also have the need for massive amounts of power, periodically for snow melting purposes during the winter. So instead of paying the grid company a fortune in peak tariffs, they could potentially just tap a few kwh from each EV connected, in exchange of a smaller charging fee from the end user.
For this to become a reality, we are dependent of the car manufacturers accelerating the introduction of bi-directional onboard chargers on cars with IEC 15118. When that will happen? It is not given yet but given the incredible pace of innovation that we are currently witnessing in this industry, I think it will happen sooner, rather than later.
All in all; If you work in the e-mobility industry and are wondering how the market is going to develop the next few years, hop on a plane to Oslo. There is just nothing quite like it.