Mahle says it will install 100 charging points in its own parking garage in Stuttgart-Bad.

The supplier is using ChargeBIG, a centralised, scalable charging infrastructure concept for fleet operators and drivers who leave their cars in a car park all day.

“Our corporate start-up ChargeBIG has a vision: in the future, the charging of electric vehicles will be widespread, low cost, very easy and clever,” said Mahle chairman and CEO, Jörg Stratmann.

“Today, this vision has become a reality in Bad Cannstatt.”

The development of the charging infrastructure in Mahle’s parking garage is the result of a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology (BMWi) and carried out in collaboration with partners Fraunhofer ITWM and Eliso.

ChargeBIG is a management system for users of long-stay parking and can be integrated into existing infrastructure at low cost and without protracted conversion work. The system follows a new approach: charging as quickly as necessary rather than charging as quickly as possible.

It is intended for use by as many vehicles as possible, among which the amount of electricity available is distributed intelligently. The ChargeBIG system is a solution for car parks where electric vehicles are left for relatively long periods of time; as in company parking garages, at airports, in underground garages for large residential buildings and in the case of fleet operators.

The ChargeBIG concept consists of a central control unit with permanently mounted cables and connector plugs instead of charging columns in the car park.

A central control unit distributes the available charging capacity across the parked vehicles using dynamic, phase-specific load management. This prevents unbalanced loads in the power supply. ChargeBIG responds to other consumers on the network and uses the electric vehicles as a controllable load, ensuring optimal utilisation of the available power supply.

Charging points can be maintained via central electronics. The system offers a further advantage in terms of safety, because the charging points are de-energised when not in use.