Four major market players drive electro-mobility forward

Zurich – Alpiq, Siemens, Swisscom and Zurich: together, these four major market players are developing a Swiss-wide access and accounting system for battery charging stations in Switzerland. All drivers of electric cars as well as operators of charging stations will benefit from this. The infrastructure solution will be ready for operation at the earliest by mid-2015.

Alpiq, Siemens, Swisscom and the Zurich Insurance Group are boosting electro-mobility. The four companies are jointly developing a standardised payment and access package with an integrated mobility guarantee as a turnkey solution for operators of charging stations and for e-mobility providers in general, irrespective of whether they are companies, public institutions or private persons. In short, operators that wish to offer access to charging infrastructures as a service.

For the first time, the payment and access package combines all the elements required for a Swiss-wide network of electric vehicle charging stations.

  • Hardware: Design, construction and installation of e-charging stations (Alpiq E-Mobility)
  • Software: Integrated back-end information technology (Siemens)
  • Communications: Networking, access and accounting system, as well as the payment system (Swisscom Managed Mobility)
  • Coverage: Breakdown and towing service in the event of problems related to the charging mechanism (Zurich Insurance Group)

A standardised access and accounting system is likely to be a powerful driver for the expansion of the Swiss network of charging stations. And there is urgent need for a dense charging network. Because if the federal authorities are to achieve the CO2 targets in the field of passenger transport, 700,000 cars on Swiss roads will have to be electrically powered in 2020. Industry experts estimate that to achieve this, 80,000 charging stations at workplaces, 23,000 stations in towns and 250 fast charging stations at important traffic junctions will be necessary.

The four partners' standardised infrastructure system is expected to be available from mid-2015. Most of the existing charging stations can easily be retrofitted with the system.

The package solution includes the following services:

With its subsidiary Alpiq E-Mobility, Alpiq is responsible for the construction and installation of the charging infrastructure. Alpiq will construct complete systems in the role of general contractor, support the operators with complementary solutions and also provide the hardware including all the technical service levels.

Already today, Siemens operates a cross-sector, integrated system for the management, access and accounting of charging infrastructures within an international environment. This enables Siemens to contribute to the partnership with technology and know-how relating to the establishment of the Swiss (back-end) software solution for electro-mobility.

With its subsidiary Swisscom Managed Mobility, Swisscom ensures permanent and uninterrupted communications with the charging stations and provides the associated network required for smooth operation. This also includes operating the provider-independent access system and the processing of the transactions. The customer registers using a smartphone app, which, for example, enables registration using a QR code or NFC wireless communication. Alternatively, customers without a smartphone have the possibility registering at the charging station via a text message (SMS).

The Zurich Insurance Group ensures that drivers of electric vehicles always reach their destination even if the charging stations are temporarily out of operation. If a technical defect on the charging station or a damaged charging mechanism make it impossible to continue the journey, Zurich immediately organises breakdown assistance and the towing service – 365 days a year and around the clock.