DFS, the Stadtwerke Langen and the Federal State of Hesse work together to expand EV charging infrastructure
A creative collaboration between DFS, the German air navigation service provider, the Stadtwerke Langen, the local municipal energy supplier, and the Federal State of Hesse is enabling the expansion of the public charging network for electric vehicles (EV). This collaboration is a model that could be copied by other municipalities and companies.
DFS is headquartered in the Neurott business park in Langen, where it is the largest local employer, employing around 3,000 people. Last year, the company started to consider how an EV charging infrastructure could be sensibly set up and operated. It wanted to offer employees climate-friendly alternatives for their commute to work and to meet the enormous demand for charging stations close to the workplace. Important considerations included the mandatory use of green electricity, no internal administrative effort and the lowest possible costs for the installation, maintenance and operation of the charging points were defined as general conditions. Given these conditions and the fact that DFS operated its own combined heat and power plant, an in-house solution would have been overly complicated and difficult to implement.
DFS turned to its longstanding business partner, the Stadtwerke Langen, and an operating model was finally developed that offered advantages to both parties. The Stadtwerke Langen already operates several public charging stations in its catchment area, which have become very popular. This infrastructure had been missing in the business park around the DFS Headquarters as there were few public parking spaces that can be used for this purpose. DFS provided parking spaces free of charge in its own car park, which is accessible to the public. At the beginning of the year, the Stadtwerke Langen installed five EV charging stations with a total of ten charging points and operates them as part of its public charging infrastructure.
Since the parking spaces have not been rented out for a long time anyway, they can now be put to good use. The investment, power connection, operation and maintenance of the charging stations are completely within the responsibility of the munici-pal energy provider. DFS also contributed a one-off grant. "Thanks to our long-standing partnership with the Stadtwerke Langen, an opportunity has arisen at short notice to create charging points for electric vehicles. This benefits our employees as well as local residents and businesses," said Friedrich-Wilhelm Menge, Chief Technology officer of DFS.
Uwe Linder and Manfred Pusdrowski, the Managing Directors of the Stadtwerke Langen, are also satisfied with the joint project: "DFS is one of our major local cus-tomers. It was therefore all the more gratifying that DFS approached us directly with their request. This allowed us to expand our local charging network without further limiting the number of scarce public parking spaces." After two months of operation, we can already see a good level of utilisation, despite an increase in the number of staff working from home due to the pandemic. "On average, we record seven charging processes a day, which is a very good result considering the pandemic and the short time of operation," said Pusdrowski.
The Federal State of Hesse also recognised this special cooperation and is funding 40 per cent of the investment costs as part of the Hesse innovation promotion programme. "For users of electric vehicles, charging at the workplace and at public car parks is attractive, since not everyone has the charging infrastructure or a fixed park-ing space at home. We are providing around €5.1 million in funding for this in Hesse," said Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing. "Electromobility will have a significant impact on transport in larger towns and cities and also gain in importance in more rural areas. Easy access to charging points is an important contribution towards advancing electromobility."
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DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,600 employees as at 31 December 2021. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,200 air traffic controllers guide more than three million flights through German airspace in peak years, up to 10,000 every day. The company operates control centres in Bremen, Karlsruhe, Langen and Munich as well as control towers at the 15 designated international airports in Germany. The subsidiary DFS Aviation Services GmbH markets and sells products and services related to air navigation services, and provides air traffic control at nine regional airports in Germany and at London Gatwick Airport and Edinburgh Airport in the UK. DFS is working on the integration of drones into air traffic and has set up a joint venture, Droniq GmbH, with Deutsche Telekom. Other subsidiaries include R. Eisenschmidt GmbH, which markets publications and products for general aviation, and Kaufbeuren ATM Training GmbH (KAT), which provides training for military air traffic services personnel. The joint venture FCS Flight Calibration Services GmbH offers flight inspection services.