In total, exactly 6.402,86 kWh went over the two electricity meters at my public 2x 22 kW charging station over the course of 2023. Of this, 5.000,50 kWh were sold to the public, the rest went to visiting friends, test runs with my cars and during photo shoots for this website in to cars. My statistics below refer exclusively to public sales.
In the past I have already discussed how to set up such a charging station and how to get everything onto one grid connection:
- My public 22 kW charging station (construction and operation)
- My own public charging station, in addition to 5 private charging points (load management)
Location and use of the charging station
My public charging station is in a village, in the area there is a campsite (500 m), a sports studio (450 m), a holiday park (100 m) and an outdoor swimming pool (500 m). It is the only public charging station in the village and we have almost 1.400 people living here. The parking spot in front of the charging station was paved at the end of March and is illuminated at night.
Thanks to the normal backend connection, the charging station appears in practically all apps and can be activated with all charging cards. Just like any other public charging station. Along with the lighting, the connection to regular apps was very important to me.
To my personal surprise, the charging station is being used at all. We previously had a NewMotion (aka Shell Recharge) charging station with 1x 11 kW, which was used very little from 2020 until this charging station was built. Since this public charging station is in place, it is increasingly being used by all sorts of local people at regular intervals. Most people are residents from the village who receive a charging card for their company car from their employer, so it makes sense for them to charge their car at the charging station instead of at home using their own wallbox. The remaining users are almost all people who visit acquaintances and friends here in the village.
For example, I only saw only one Dutch license plate on the charging station, even though there are a lot at the campsite in summer. There were also practically never people who waited in the car while the charging process was taking place. The charging station is obviously used by people who have something to do here. Not from people who are just passing through.
Occupancy of the two charging points
Both charging points each can deliver 22 kW and do not differ in any other way. Nevertheless, there is a strong tendency towards the right charing point. Of the 210 total charging processes, 151 (72%) went through the right one. The other 3,146 kWh (63%) of the throughput went where charged on the left side. Since there is a private door from the garage next to it that opens onto the right charging space, I would have expected it to be the other way around. With the idea that people are worried that the door could damage their car.
In fact, most of them parked in such a way that the door could hit their car. Instead of 1-2 meters further ahead, where the charging cable would have easily reached and the car would be out of the “danger zone”. If you look at the charging processes, everyone actually prefers to stand at the charging station in such a way that the charging port is on the side that is closest to the charging station.
This is consistent with the fact that regular charging guests actually always stand in the same place and charge at the same charging point. If you take a closer look, you will also notice that you can often see a pattern behind their charging processes. For example, some always fill up the car again shortly before the weekend, others every few days while the sun is still shining and others preferably every Tuesday.
People who are not from the town usually charge on the weekend.
Statistically speaking, charging is most often started at 4 p.m. Ultimately, however, the probability that someone will start a charging process is hardly higher or lower before or after. It is similar with the end of the charging processes. This is also why, statistically speaking, charging processes end most often at 3:52 p.m. An average charging process takes 3:32 hours and consumes 23,81 kWh, which comes to an average output per charging process of 6.75 kW.
This results in a throughput of 6,85 kWh per charging point and day. This also shows that it is rare for two cars to be at the charging station at the same time. So there is practically no time when someone couldn't charge because everything was full.
The charging process with the highest throughput was a Porsche Taycan, which drew 74.42 kWh with an average output of 20,33 kW within 3:39 hours. The longest charging process took 17:44 hours and charged 71,19 kWh, the shortest charging process lasted 23 seconds and charged 0 kWh. The highest throughput in one day was on October 5, 2023 with 131 kWh.
Methods for activating the charging station
Part of the German charging station regulation is that charging points must be able to be activated even without an existing contract or the like. The so-called ad hoc charging is usually a QR code that is attached to the individual charging points, is scanned with a cell phone and then redirects you to a website. You can then activate the charging process using your credit card.
This means that foreign users, especially foreigners, should be able to start charging processes without any problems. That's the idea behind it anyways.
At my station, exactly 0.9% of all charging processes (2) were activated using this method and not a single foreign vehicle among them. 62,9% (132) charging processes were activated using an RFID card directly at the charging station and the remaining 36,2% (76) via app. These values don't surprise me at all. Although there is a good mobile phone reception at the charging station, the quickest way is to pull out the RFID card, hold it up to the station and start the charging process.
Technically, the charging station also supports Plug & Charge, but unfortunately there are neither charging card providers nor backends that support this on Type 2 charging stations. With the third German charging station regulation, it will also be mandatory from July 1, 2024 that newly installed CCS charging points must be able to be activated and paid for by debit or credit card.
Luckily, this doesn't affect my Type 2 charging station, but in my opinion it won't be used much more often than the prescribed ad hoc charging. Although it will increase the price of every kWh because it requires additional hardware and services. It would have been more future-oriented and cheaper to make Plug & Charge mandatory. Especially because foreigners don’t have a debit card. Also a topic I already went in to more depth here.
Increasing sales figures over the year
In January we had a single charging guest who charged his company car with very regularly. That stopped in February, but since then sales have continued to grow month after month. Word seems to be getting around that there is a charging station here. We are seeing more and more new vehicles, which are here more and more regularly.
At the end of March, the charging station was under maintenance for about 2 weeks and therefore unusable because the space in front of it was being paved. Accordingly, this was also the weakest month. After that, we noticed that more and more people were using it. A charing area that is partially gravelled and overgrown with grass clearly seems daunting.
As mentioned above, I didn't think there would be as much going on at the charging station as there is now. Nevertheless, it is not enough for the charging station to be sustainable at some point and to recoup its investment costs in order to make a profit. As exciting as the growth was over the year, it is still a long way from getting into the profit zone in 2024.
What helped greatly in 2023 was the GHG quota for every kWh sold. But as with cars, this is increasingly disappearing for charging station operators and is hardly worth mentioning anymore. While in 2023 a monthly throughput of a good 950 kWh was required to get into the profit zone, from 2024 it will be 1.600 kWh.
The limiting factor is clearly the on-board chargers of electric cars, which is why it is not surprising that charging station operators are increasingly relying on CCS. As I wrote in a previous post, these cost more than type 2 charging stations. But they make more sales than they cost. So that they still pay off more quickly, more about that here.
Finally, I looked at how my charging station compares to other charging stations. Whether it sells a lot or a little electricity. Conveniently, the city of Rüsselsheim keeps statistics on its website. Here are the key figures from my charging station in 2023 compared to their key figures (08/2021 to 05/2023). This makes it clear that my charging station is actually above average:
It was clear to me from the start that this charging station would not be sustainable. So it's no loss to me that it turned out as I expected. For me, the project is more about seeing how something like this is being used and what kind of effort and findings are involved in the ongoing operation. Followers have commented in the past that I watch this charging station like others watch and enjoy the birdhouse in the garden.
In addition, it is of course a great location for smart EMOTION to take photos of current cars that I have in the test and to be able to try out things that come up in the smart EMOTION forum. It is also exciting for articles in which I show exactly what is actually in the charging station: How does a typ 2 charging station look from the inside and how does it work?
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