If you are thinking about integrating e-mobility into your company fleet, the following practical example is perfect for you.
Robotron is a name that stands for innovation like no other. As an absolute beacon company from Saxony, they combine this with tradition and a focus on sustainability. Of course, this also includes electromobility. We were allowed to visit Robotron Datenbank-Software GmbH and get to know the model project "SMART Campus". It will be exciting to see how Robotron contributes to the development of electric mobility and tests the practicability of e-cars at the same time. Managing Director Ulf Heinemann, metrology/smart energy expert Dr Christian Hofmann and fleet manager Ronny Knechtel were on hand to answer our questions. Perhaps we see in this practical example the blueprint for the smart energy management of the future.
As an entrepreneur, take a look at how you can integrate e-mobility as effectively as possible into your company fleet in the future and what an essential component e-mobility will be for economic energy management in the future. You can find all the details and the full interview with the experts in our video at the end of the article.
Tradition obliges, and not just since yesterday!
The company can look back on a long history. While Robotron was still building everything from heated slippers to mainframes in the days of the GDR, the database development department of Software Development went independent in 1990 in order to be able to concentrate entirely on database expertise. A competence that still defines the company today. In the meantime, Robotron no longer operates only regionally, but is known worldwide, or as Mr Heinemann puts it so nicely: "If you have a good idea, then it naturally makes sense to project it into other regions [...]". In cooperation with SachsenEnergie, at that time still called Dresdner Stadtwerke (DREWAG), Robotron designed an energy data management system of the first hour, and from this subject it has been involved in energy management. Nowadays, this also inevitably means dealing with electromobility. However, this is explicitly not only about converting one's own vehicle fleet, but also about how the energy required for this can be sensibly produced, made available and intelligently managed. As a specialist in energy management and IoT, Robotron is predestined to make the vision of the energy system of the future a reality.
What exactly is the Smart Campus?
The goal of the SMART Campus is quite simple: to achieve energy optimisation in which the consumption of self-generated energy is maximised and the purchase of electricity from the grid is minimised. Sounds simple, but in order to implement this effectively in reality, a complex interaction of many individual components is necessary. In order to control this interaction efficiently, Robotron offers a software solution for intelligent energy management in the smart grid. The whole thing can be imagined as a modular structure of regenerative energy sources such as a photovoltaic system, flexible generation plants and highly available storage systems. E-mobility and its users are also part of the system here. The networking of the individual components makes it possible to react to bottlenecks, to control electricity generation automatically and to adapt it to demand in real time. In the future, it should also be possible to integrate bidirectional charging. The result? Cost efficiency, flexibility, charging time optimisation for electromobility, load management and grid efficiency.
Electrification of the vehicle fleet - unreservedly recommendable?
Robotron's electric fleet currently consists of four plug-in hybrids, one purely electric vehicle and another that is currently still on order. According to fleet manager Ronny Knechtel, the realistic range of the vehicles was particularly important. The company's own offices should be accessible in all weather conditions without additional charging interruptions. The purely electric vehicle is planned for local transport, while the plug-in hybrids can also be used for longer distances. It is still essential to make an analysis of one's own driving profile in order to make the right choice in one's own mobility solution.
However, there were also challenges during the changeover. The provision of the necessary charging infrastructure and corresponding charging cards on the one hand, but also convincing colleagues to configure an appropriate electric vehicle on the other. The organisation of the corresponding subsidies is also not something that can be done quickly on the side.
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For the future, Mr Knechtel would like to see more incentives for private individuals to also set up the appropriate charging infrastructure at home and a significantly increased range of the vehicles. However, this should not diminish the benefits of electric vehicles for our own research at the SMART Campus. Especially the charging infrastructure as a consumer of energy in the smart grid is essential in order to be able to address the issue of dynamic load management.
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It is no longer a surprise to anyone that electromobility is becoming more and more widespread and will be an integral part of every working day in the future. However, the further integration of the company's own e-mobility solution into the complete energy management is a truly innovative and promising path. Research and practical experience are closely linked, and this is also true here in Saxony. Robotron focuses on sustainability, just as they have always done from a long tradition. In the future, too, they will uphold their own commitment to this, even thinking of a home for bees on the roof. Even as an entrepreneur, it is important to always think one step ahead and not rest on the laurels of the obvious.
If you are now curious about electromobility and want to take the first step, we would be happy to support you. Simply write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!