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The e-mobility blackout: a study by Oliver Wyman and TUM School of Management

A new study conducted by the management consultancy Oliver Wyman in cooperation with Prof. Gunther Friedl and Friedrich Walcher from the Chair of Management Accounting, warns that the national power grid is not prepared for the boom of electromobility. The study with the name “The E-mobilty Blackout” was also part of the project study of the TUM School of Management students Noah Lauffer and Alexander Altmann.

Although currently only 1.4 percent of all cars in Germany are electric, it is estimated that by 2035 every third car will be an e-car. This development results from decreasing prices, increasing ranges and more charging stations. Executives of Germany’s leading energy providers warn that the grid expansion needs to be accelerated now to prevent energy shortages. In their study, Oliver Wyman and TUM School of Management discovered that a thirty percent quota of e-cars will lead to nationwide power outages. Sub-urban areas with a higher affinity for electromobilty could be affected by shortages in the next five to ten years.

The authors of the study identify potential solutions to this problem. They propose to enable more flexibility in the charging process in order to achieve an even network utilization and minimize the risk of congestions. Instead of starting the charging process in the evening and leaving the car connected to the power network during the whole night, it is charged automatically when the network has sufficient capacities. Thereby, the authors present a solution that is an economically attractive alternative to conventional network expansion. By analyzing various scenarios, they found proof that thirty percent of all e-car owners applying flexible charging would lead to a significant reduction of the local peak load. If 92.5 percent of all e-car owners charge flexibly a grid expansion will be unnecessary, even if everyone in Germany drove an electric car.

Find the publication (in German) here.

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