The Kamener Kreuz is used by more than 110,000 vehicles on working days. It is therefore notorious for numerous and prolonged traffic jams. The former Bertelsmann and Arcandor boss Thomas Middelhoff was once so annoyed by this that he preferred to fly by helicopter instead. However, this alternative is only likely to be available to a few Germans. Anyone stuck in a traffic jam at the Kamener Kreuz in the future may at least have a look at Europe’s largest fast-charging park. This is currently being built by the energy company EnBW and is to be officially inaugurated in December. It will consist of 52 high-power charging points, each of which can theoretically have a charge of more than 300 kilowatts. This would be enough to increase the range of the battery by around 100 kilometers within five minutes. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the car’s battery is also able to absorb the corresponding amounts of electricity so quickly.
Solar modules on the roof cover part of the electricity demand
The realization of the project took quite a bit of time. It took around a year to obtain all the necessary permits. Then the electricity first had to be brought under control. A huge transformer station ensures that the electricity is regulated down from 20 kilovolts to 400 volts. From there, large power cables lead directly to the individual charging stations. Although these are the focus of the charging park, they are also surrounded by the necessary infrastructure. The entire facility is covered. This is not only intended to protect users from rain, but also serves to generate electricity. Because the roof structure is equipped with solar modules. These should provide enough electricity to ensure the charging capacity for around a month. There is also a toilet facility on site, as well as tables and benches to linger a short time there. A food truck should also be on site at particularly popular times.
Politics is promoting the development of a “Deutschlandnet”
Even independently of the new flagship station at Kamener Kreuz, EnBW is driving the expansion of the charging infrastructure in Germany. After Tesla, it is now the largest provider of public charging points in this country. The decisive difference, however, is that Tesla’s superchargers can usually only be used by Tesla owners so far. EnBW’s charging stations, on the other hand, are open to all vehicles that meet the technical requirements. Politicians have also announced a massive expansion of the charging network for the next few years. The goal: throughout Germany, the next charging station should not be more than ten minutes away at any point. A total of two billion euros will be made available for this so-called “Germany Network”. Then there are also commercial expansion projects such as those from EnBW. In this way, the number of charging points is to be multiplied by 2030. It is estimated that at least 440,000 charging stations will then be required. There are currently around 48,000.