As a joint venture of the BMW Group and the Viessmann Group, Digital Energy Solutions has been supporting companies and partners since 2016 in realising the individual optimum of sustainability, security of supply and economy in the sectors of electricity, heating and mobility. One example of this is individual complete solutions comprising charging infrastructure and solutions for managing electric vehicle fleets for companies and their employees, as well as integration into the overall energy system of companies.

In addition, Digital Energy Solutions analyses its customers’ energy systems on the basis of a specially developed IT platform and shows optimisation potential with regard to energy generation, procurement and consumption. Depending on the customer’s circumstances, a comprehensive energy industry portfolio is provided, which includes complementary energy market products for the hardware of the energy turnaround, e.g. battery storage, heat pumps and photovoltaic systems, and enables companies to act as players in the electricity market of the future themselves.

Charging convenience and comprehensive services make it easy to enter the world of electromobility

The energy sector is in the midst of a profound change. Following the decision to phase out nuclear energy and to move away from fossil fuels, the energy turnaround is increasingly becoming a lived reality. However, there are still many questions as to what this path may look like and how the players in the field of electric mobility in particular can provide answers to these questions. The Munich-based company Digital Energy Solutions not only has many answers to the topic of electromobility, but also links them with the electricity and heating sectors to create holistic solutions.

A look at our cities and the current state of public debate proves that electromobility is a topic of the future: rising commuter numbers, rising emissions and multiple congestion on the art art roads on the one hand, and the answers of electromobility, which with electricity from renewable energies represents a promising alternative, on the other. In addition, the announcements of the automotive industry to offer electric or partially electric vehicles for many applications.

The integration of renewable energies into electromobility is a decisive factor on the way to a turnaround in mobility, along with the high efficiency of electric motors with correspondingly reduced energy consumption. The lower energy consumption also reduces operating costs compared to conventional vehicles, and this is where it becomes interesting for companies to consider entering into electromobility. To ensure that this entry is tailor-made on the one hand, but also individually expandable on the other, Digital Energy Solutions creates an individual e-mobility concept for each company, which quickly saves energy costs in the four-digit Euro range. At the beginning there is an individual location analysis taking into account the internal and external user groups as well as the technical requirements. This initial consultation later saves investment and operating costs. When selecting reliable charging hardware, which is always tested in cooperation with BMW, Digital Energy Solutions customers can access a manufacturer-independent product portfolio of AC and DC charging products for public and semi-public areas and home charging for employees. The installation and maintenance of the selected charging hardware is handled by the all-round service, which is available throughout Germany. All work can either be carried out completely by Digital Energy Solutions or, if desired, hand-in-hand with the customer’s electricians. In either case, detailed personal instruction is provided on site when the charging infrastructure is put into operation. During operation, it is made easy for customers in terms of billing for all charging processes, in order to keep pace with existing fleet management services. All charging processes – from charging visitors, guests and employees at the company site, to charging employees at home with their private electricity, to public charging processes of third party electric vehicle drivers – are summarized in a clearly arranged monthly statement.

Billing of external charging processes at a uniform price

When charging points are made public, Digital Energy Solutions takes over the management of charging points and the billing of all external charging processes at a charging station. In principle, any charging point can be connected to the public charging network, and everything organizational, software updates, management of authentication and access restrictions or billing of internal and external charging processes is handled for customers under a service contract. You can think of this service as that of a telecommunications

Employees with electric cars now save twice on the monetary benefit

From now on, employees with a company car entitlement will find it particularly interesting, as the assessment basis for determining the pecuniary advantage for the private use of an e-company car has been favoured for electric and hybrid vehicles since the beginning of this year. The assessment basis and thus the amount for the non-cash benefit and the resulting tax burden will be halved. This halving applies both to the flat-rate portion (1% of the domestic gross list price) and to journeys between home and place of work (0.03% of the domestic gross list price). Anyone considering switching to an electric and hybrid company car when changing over to a company car in the future can take until 31 December 2021 to take advantage of the above-mentioned benefits, as the purchase or leasing will fall under the reduced assessment basis until this date.

High savings potential through the correct integration of the charging infrastructure into the energy system of companies

With the advent of electromobility in companies, charging infrastructure is being set up at company locations so that their own employees, customers and visitors, as well as third parties at public charging points, can charge. The criteria for a new charging infrastructure are often low costs on the one hand and high charging comfort on the other. Both can be ideally achieved with intelligent and dynamic load management. The basic prerequisite for intelligent and dynamic load management is the integration of the charging infrastructure into the overall energy system of the company or property and the coupling with the grid connection. If the charging infrastructure is coupled to the company’s grid connection, the company’s high grid connection capacity can also be used for fast and efficient charging processes without additional costs. The load management system dynamically determines the maximum charging capacity and makes it available at the charging points. If the power consumption in the company drops now, resulting in free capacity in relation to the maximum power at the grid connection point, the maximum power for the charging points and thus the charging comfort can be increased. In addition, intelligent load management prevents cost-intensive load peaks caused by uncoordinated charging processes by distributing the load of parallel charging processes evenly among the charging points and at the same time not exceeding the maximum power of the grid connection point.

Intelligent load management requires intelligent electricity meters and energy management software that integrates the individual charging points into the load management system. The advantage of the independent load management system from Digital Energy Solutions is that it is manufacturer-independent, meaning that companies do not have to commit themselves to one charging point supplier, but can combine different makes.

The introduction and use of a dynamic load management system is not dependent on the amount of electric vehicles purchased; it can already be used with a charging station for an electric car. If the electric company fleet is later expanded, the backend-based load management system scales with it.

The circle is complete: Battery storage systems in electric cars stabilize the grid and earn money on the side

The sectoral energy system transformation with the electrification of the transport and heating sectors is also based on a demand-driven grid feed of electricity produced from renewable sources. This can be ensured through the use of electricity storage systems, and Digital Energy Solutions is already working successfully in this area. Combined use cases in the interaction of photovoltaic or wind energy plants and electricity storage serve to better integrate renewable energies into the energy system. Thus, the storage system can both stabilize the power grid and contribute to a demand-oriented grid feed-in of renewable energies. If the share of fluctuating renewable energies is to increase further, they must work systemically and be better integrated into the integrated grid. The acceptance and spread of battery technology is continuously increasing, as it can already be used economically in companies that have their own energy production, for example, by means of a photovoltaic system.

And this is where the circle closes: what is already being implemented on a large scale today, i.e. the use of battery technology and management scenarios in multimodal operation, provides a glimpse of what will be possible in the future with mobile batteries in the constantly growing number of electric vehicles: Mass application of Vehicle-to-Grid, i.e. the recovery of electricity from electric vehicles, is already being implemented on a large scale.