Vattenfall launches Amsterdam’s largest smart charging network

Vattenfall has joined forces with Dutch energy utility Liander and the City of Amsterdam to launch the Dutch capital’s largest public electric vehicle smart charging network.

The system, which has been named Flexpower, utilises smart technology to enable the optimal use of available grid capacity by tailoring charging speeds to electricity consumption levels and renewable energy production.

The technology has been designed to support the integration of both EVs and renewable energy into the existing electricity grid, allowing EV drivers to charge at a faster pace while ensuring the grid remains robust and resistant to strain.

Flexpower charging stations provide slightly less electricity during the evening peak, and instead catch up by charging more at night when energy consumption is lower.

As most electric cars are charged outside peak hours, EV drivers will benefit from quicker charging. There are also no additional costs for using a Flexpower station and EV drivers can charge at the normal rate of 0.34 EUR/kWh.

Upgrades

The system is operated by Vattenfall and a total of 456 of its charging stations, which accounts for just over a third of all charging stations in the city, have been upgraded with city authorities picking up the bill.

The most notable costs have arisen from upgrading grid connections from 25A to 35A. In the current DSO pricing structure, a 3x35A connection in Amsterdam is roughly €700 a year more expensive than a 3x25A connection and these costs are being subsidised by the City.

"The aim of Flexpower is to show that by steering the chargers smartly, it is possible to realise a 3x35A connection against the costs of a 3x25A connection," Vattenfall spokeswoman Anouk Ijfs told inspiratia.

There are no immediate plans to roll the scheme out to other European cities, but the concept can be implemented elsewhere quite easily.

This ease of operation accounts for why Vattenfall has decided to use the open protocols, which ensure that the solution can be rolled out with any type of charger and DSO, as long as the charge point operator has implemented either the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) or the Open Smart Charging Protocol (OSCP).

 

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