Transportation Electrification is Here – and So Is Our eMobility Business

Thursday, May 9, 2019 9:00 am EDT

By:

John DeBoer, Head of Siemens eMobility and Future Grid Business Unit, North America

Our industry has its own version of the chicken or the egg argument: Which came first – the vehicles or the charging stations?  In 2010, when electric vehicles (EV) became commercially available, it was hard to say. But now it’s not even close.

EV growth continues at a rapid pace and is now joined by the electrification of almost every mode of transportation—from cars and buses, to truck fleets and even bicycles. And the simple fact is that our U.S. charging infrastructure is falling way behind. That’s why Siemens created a new organization called eMobility—a charging ecosystem focused on streamlining the existing Siemens portfolio for transportation electrification and accelerating the development of new technologies dedicated to making electrification across all modes of transportation a reality.

The challenge remains that demand for the electrification of transportation can only grow as fast as the charging infrastructure enables it to. When we applied our data tools to Los Angeles and looked at what it would take to support near-universal electric vehicle usage, we found they’ll need to install more than roughly 130 chargers per week for the next 30-plus years.

It's a big undertaking, but what the Los Angeles example proves is that it’s clear we need to start now. We need to provide cities with the tools to create infrastructure plans that can realistically support their transportation electrification goals. We need to continue active deployment of charging infrastructure to lay the groundwork for continued growth. We need to increase the role of electric utilities to bolster the power grid and help advance common sense standards.

That’s where Siemens comes in. With our eMobility business, we’re already preparing cities and regions for the impact of transportation electrification by providing planning tools, intelligent and fast in-ground and overhead charging station infrastructure for cars, buses, and trucks, and software platforms for remote monitoring and grid integration. We also work with cities to provide the critical digital grid technologies that will intelligently manage the influx of electricity usage that comes with new charging points on the grid. And we integrate into the broader charging ecosystem through our work with groups like Hubject, a platform for EV charging networks across three continents where Siemens is a key partner, among others.

And though our eMobility business structure may be new, our footprint isn’t. Our electrification of transportation hardware, software and services are already deployed across 35 countries globally with over 40,000 charging points in the U.S. alone. We’re already working with cities like New York, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago and San Diego to deploy electrification transportation technologies.

In fact, it was recently announced that Siemens will deliver 16 new DC (direct current) electric bus chargers to support the New York City Transit Authority’s eBus program. These chargers will be stationed at the eBus depot and will power New Flyer’s zero-emission Xcelsior CHARGE™ transit buses without any need to continually monitor their status. We’ve also provided NYCT with a Smart Monitoring software platform that oversees all charger activity, prioritizes their operation and manages energy consumption. These new eBus chargers will join Siemens overhead charging technology already installed along the NYCT route. And we’ve also delivered the same type of DC electric bus chargers to Seattle for their own electric bus fleet testing.

As opportunities for electrification of transportation continue to grow, our own Siemens footprint grows with it. In the U.S., the eMobility business now has six manufacturing facilities spanning California, Oregon, North Carolina, and Texas that support the transportation electrification market and three U.S. R&D hubs where we’re developing and testing the latest electrification technologies.

As for cities, it’s clear that as they continue to pursue and invest in the electrification of transportation, we can’t lose sight of the infrastructure needed to support it. We know that with the right planning tools and technologies, an intelligent, open, and modern ecosystem for eMobility can become a reality.

For more on Siemens eMobility business in the U.S., visit www.usa.siemens.com/emobility.

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