bp’s German subsidiary selects Siemens to expand EV infrastructure

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Siemens Smart Infrastructure has been selected by Aral AG, a subsidiary of the bp group in Germany, to install intelligent substations at some 30 existing gas stations.

The installation of intelligent substations allows Aral to upgrade 30 selected gas stations with ultra-fast-charging technology for electric vehicles.

Most gas stations currently only have a low-voltage connection. To meet the increased power demand of fast chargers, the grid connection needs to be upgraded to a medium-voltage connection with much higher power.

Each substation will consists of a hermetically capsulated transformer, a gas-insulated medium-voltage switchgear, type 8DJH, and a Sivacon S8 low-voltage switchboard.

By using communicating hardware and IoT technology, Aral can obtain information about the status of the substations at any time. This will enable the service stations to guarantee their customers the full functionality of its ultra-fast charging stations even better than today.

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Data generated from the substations will be transmitted over communication interfaces to a higher-level, cloud-based IoT system. The data is evaluated and visualised via a web application in a useful addition to those of the fast-charging stations. 

Aral is expecting to complete the installation of some 100 ultra-fast EV chargers by the end of February.

The chargers will enable an electric vehicle to be fully recharged within ten minutes to a range of up to 350 kilometers. 

The roll-out of high-power chargers at Aral gas stations in Germany is part of bp’s strategy to increase the number of charge points. Globally operated charging points will be increased from 7,000 in 2020 to 70,000 in 2030.

Patrick Wendeler, a member of the managing board of Aral AG, said: “By equipping our gas stations with charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, we are taking a major step forward in creating the gas station of the future.

“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.”