E.ON Innovation and Lechwerke AG (LEW) have developed and start testing a flexible charging price model for e-trucks and e-buses. In the future, customers will be able to schedule when they charge electric vehicles according to the most cost-effective time slots.
The market for electric utility vehicles has grown in recent years, and this growth is expected to continue at a rapid pace. While in the world of combustion engines the question of the cheapest refueling times is a common practice, in the field of electromobility only static prices are offered most of the time.
This is where the collaboration between E.ON Innovation and Lechwerke AG, a regional E.ON company, comes in. The two companies have developed, and are now testing, a new pricing model, in which tariffs for charging commercial e-vehicles are linked to dynamic spot market prices (prices for electricity volumes traded on the stock exchange) and adjusted several times a day.
In a new future, customers will be able to view current price information on the "eCharge+" app and schedule charging their electric vehicles according to the most cost-effective time slots. The rates will be a combination of spot market prices and fixed costs, such as the Renewable Energy Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz – EEG) surcharge for grid usage. This variable pricing offer is especially relevant for truck and bus fleets, which usually have very high charging capacities and high costs.
Andreas Remmele, Head of E-Mobility at LEW, says: "We are one of the first providers in Germany to successfully test a flexible pricing model for charging stations. This joint project with E.ON Innovation gives us the opportunity to adjust market prices to the benefit of our customers. In the future we could consider an additional use of battery storage, with which electricity could be stored at cheapest times and passed on to customers over a longer period of time."
In April, the pricing model went live on a test basis for a direct current (DC) fast charging station at LEW. During the test phase, insights will be gained about how the different systems interact with each other and whether the prices fed-in are displayed correctly. In May, a second test phase is planned to evaluate the solution in a real customer environment.
The new price flexibility lays an important foundation for the economic and commercial use of electromobility. After final validation, the plan is to make the variable pricing model available to B2B customers. "We see a change in the requirements of the electromobility field. Dynamic pricing models are demanded by the market, especially when it comes to load management in the charging infrastructure and flexible pricing. We are excited to take another important step with this project and continue offering attractive and innovative solutions to our customers," says Mark Ritzmann, Managing Director at E.ON Innovation.