The taxi industry is one of the sectors that is fully in the process of becoming more sustainable, in line with the agreements and ambitions set for this. Grid operators are going along with this by investing in a stronger electricity grid, but the demand is already often greater than the supply. How should this be done if all vehicles, from large to small, will have to be charged in the future?

Vincent Dekker, manager innovation and network design at Liander, answered this question during the Congress Charging Infrastructure in the Doelen in Rotterdam. “One of the things we do is look far ahead,” he said. “If you want to properly set up and manage a network, you have to know what’s coming.” The grid operator is currently observing an enormous increase in the load on the grid because more and more electric vehicles are being used. The number of electric taxis is also increasing, which some drivers also charge at home.

This growth will continue in the coming years. “In 2022 electric transport will demand about the same power from us as the entire city of Amsterdam,” says Dekker. “And that means that we have to lose a lot of gigawatts on our grid.” However, according to Dekker, the electricity network is not designed for the high powers of, for example, electric cars or trucks, but more for household appliances such as washing machines.

Power demand doubled by EV When looking at several households together, the simultaneous power demand per household was traditionally about one kilowatt. The current networks are designed for this. “By using a kettle or microwave, for example, more than one kilowatt is used. What matters, however, is the simultaneous peak demand. The electricity grid is geared to this.” Research has shown that the advent of electric transport alone has already doubled this to two kilowatts.

For a district with fifty electric cars, two kilowatts of electricity must therefore be reserved per car. A lot of extra grid capacity is therefore of great importance, but according to Dekker this must be arranged in a smart way. “For example, by clustering charging stations together, so that less infrastructure needs to be built. You only have to lay a thick cable to a charging plaza once instead of all separate charging points in a street.”

Charging stations with a fixed base capacity Liander is undertaking various initiatives in order to deal better with the existing network capacity. For example, a pilot was carried out in Amsterdam in which various clusters of charging stations were given a fixed basic capacity, which residents were allowed to share among themselves. Extra residual capacity was also released outside peak times to make the electricity grid more attractive at quiet times. “We immediately saw a reduction in the power requirement on the grid around peak times. The mean peak load reduction was 23 percent. Also there were no problems with loading. Everyone could meet their charging needs and get energy in the car.”

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