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Exclusive interview with Heike Barlag from Siemens, Project Coordinator of Green eMotion

03 May 2012

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Within the Green Cars Initiative from the European Commission, the Green eMotion is a four-year project started in March 2011 aiming to enable a mass deployment of electromobility in Europe. Gathering 43 companies, it has a total budget of €42m and will be funded by the European Commission with €24m. talked to Heike Barlag from Siemens, the project coordinator to highlight the latest achievements of the project.
The Green eMotion project will run until 2015 What is the Green eMotion project about?

The overall goal of the project is defining the framework for electromobility in Europe. As a demonstration project Green eMotion will show an interoperable electromobility system and so prepare the start of the mass market. The project covers:

  • Recommendation of selected standards for an interoperable electromobilty system (de facto standards for Europe).
  • Definition of the IT architecture for a European electromobility marketplace including interfaces which allows for a roaming functionality.
  • Recommendation of ways to an optimised grid and charging infrastructure.
  • Test and demonstrate the interoperability of an electromobility system in selected demo regions and also across the participating cities.
  • Analyse the operability of electric cars under real life conditions und develop policies and recommendations for the implementation of the mass market. How do you ensure that Green eMotion builds on the numerous other European electric mobility projects and does not "reinvent the wheel"?

Our major work packages have started their work with an analysis of what is available today. We will leverage the experience encountered so far. With 12 already existing demo regions as partners in the project we are going to build on the investments already done in former funded projects. From the different starting points of these demo regions we are going to define a common pathway to electromobility in Europe. Many of the Green eMotion partners are also involved in other funded projects. Via this way we make sure that Green eMotion is not working on a complete new environment.

Last but not least we have intensive information exchange with other projects (e.g. Merge, G4V, Edison) to use the results gained there. The EC brings us in contact with new projects (also from the ICT side) to share our work results. Green eMotion has 43 partners. How do you make it work on a daily basis? Are all members active on European level?

We have implemented a so far very successful working structure with an Executive Board as top decision body and Technical and Regional Boards as coordination instances for the work packages. Within the boards and the work packages regular meetings and calls take place to get the daily work done. Communication on a regular basis is the key for the project success. Your scope of activities is very wide, do you get enough leeway from the project partners?

As you mentioned above, Green eMotion has 43 partners. That’s quite a huge number but is necessary to get all the different stakeholders in electromobility involved in our project. With this broad scope of partners it was possible to install the right companies as work package leaders for the different subjects in our project (e.g. RWE for the grid topics, the City of Copenhagen for the urban electromobility concepts & policies or IBM for the ICT topics). What are the first achievements on Green eMotion?

We had great presentations about the achievements at our General Assembly on March 27/28 in Valladolid (Spain):

  • The cities in the Green eMotion project have prepared a paper about their visions and strategies, where they show how electromobility can be developed by measures in the city planning with financial and non-financial incentives.
  • The data acquisition project is running since month 4 of the project and has generated already the second report, which is used for project internal evaluations on infrastructure needs, user behaviour and e-car operability. These results will be used to conduct further social and economic studies, leading to policies and recommendations to overcome today’s hurdles towards a mass deployment of electric vehicles.
  • The concept for the IT architecture of the European electromobility marketplace was introduced including a first view on related interfaces.
  • Last but not least specifications for the charging infrastructure got presented, covering grid aspects as well as charging technologies. What will be the next concrete deliverables and how do implement them in real life?

We will run a standardisation workshop with some standardisation bodies and our Stakeholder Forum in May. We plan to have the prototype for the marketplace system up and ready to test in August. In September we will see the inauguration of a battery swapping station at a highway in Denmark. That’s only to name some examples. Can you tell us three factors that helped move your project along?

  • As said before, communication is key. And the people working within Green eMotion talk to each other
  • I see a really very high engagement by most of our project partners. This helps to move things forward.
  • And we have a very constructive cooperation with our project partners in the EC. This allows to adapt the DoW – which was written in core parts already in 2009 – to the needs of today. Where in Europe have you received the most positive feedback or support for electric mobility?

From what we see in Green eMotion the most advanced electromobility projects are right now in Ireland, Denmark and Spain. Also Germany with the upcoming 4 “Schaufenster” projects is well positioned. Thank you very much for your answers Mr. Barlag.


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