As sales of electric cars increase, so too does the range of products, functions, services and business models that are related to charging. The challenge: Numerous market participants, such as those operating the charging stations, mobility service providers, component manufacturers as well as back-end and network operators, must work together to establish a smoothly functioning chain of activities so that vehicles can be reliably charged. But this does not succeed in all instances. In 10 to 15 percent of cases, a vehicle that has arrived at a charging point cannot be charged there.

The “Wirkkette Laden” project aims to examine the causes behind this. Under the coordination of NOW GmbH and project management organisation PtJ Jülich, the Charging Interface Initiative CharIN as consortium lead, the University of Stuttgart, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, ABB, Stromnetz Hamburg, BMW, EWE, EcoG, Digital Charging Solutions and IONITY are investigating the potential sources of error that can occur during the charging of electric vehicles. The federal government is supporting the project, which will run until 20 April 2022, with funding amounting to 1.1 million euros.

Using data obtained from real charging processes, the aim is to highlight errors and causes of faults according to their prevalence along the “charging chain” and to supplement findings from living lab tests. Various vehicle models from different manufacturers and charging stations ranging from 11 kW to 350 kW are available for this purpose. In addition, the quality of standards and specifications that specify the interfaces of the entire charging process will be assessed. By the end of the project, a catalogue of measures will be specified.

Johannes Pallasch, spokesperson for the management team of the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure: “The National Centre for Charging Infrastructure always has a clear focus on the users in its work. As such, we very much welcome the ‘Wirkkette Laden’ project. The data that will be collected throughout the project and the insights to be gained will help to make charging infrastructures even more reliable. This is an important aspect on the path of electric mobility into the mass market.”

Oliver Hoch, Interim Programme Manager Electric Mobility at NOW GmbH: “Battery-electric mobility is a key technology for the establishment of a sustainable transport system and for achieving the climate protection goals in this area. With the Electric Mobility Funding Guideline, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) is particularly promoting the realisation of research and development projects to support the market ramp-up of electric vehicles and innovative concepts for climate-friendly mobility as a valuable contribution towards an effective transport infrastructure. A successful charging experience is essential for the market ramp-up of battery-electric mobility. Together with the project management organisation PtJ Jülich, we are supporting the ‘Wirkkette Laden’ project, which has set itself the task of identifying, defining and solving problems in the charging process. Without charging, there is no driving.”

Claas Bracklo, Chairman of CharIN e. V.: “CharIN is proud as project initiator and being part of the team by taking over the role as neutral interface for all actors as the consortium lead. This project will bring electromobility a big step forward by enhancing the user experience during the charging process.”


More information about the project:

“Wirkkette Laden”: Improving the charging quality of electric vehicles by systematically analysing the causes of errors in the charging chain (in German):

Profile on the project status (in German):