To this end, 6,000 charging points will be set up in the parking lots of REWE and PENNY stores. How did the cooperation of these three companies from such different industries come about and what are the challenges? Jan-Oliver Heidrich, Areva Managing Director and Chairman of the Energy Committee at the German Trade Association (HDE) was an initiator of the large-scale project. In the interview he gives information.
Why is the REWE Group, as a retail group, committed to the expansion of e-mobility?
The REWE Group feels strongly committed to climate protection and thus also to e-mobility. The expansion of the charging station infrastructure is crucial for their success. The partnership with Shell and EnBW makes it easier for customers to decide in favor of an electric car because they have the attractive opportunity to charge the batteries while they are shopping.
What exactly is REWE Group planning with its new partners?
By the end of 2024, the REWE Group will set up up to 2,000 charging points at at least 400 selected properties of its own and at additional rental properties. In the same period, up to 4,000 additional charging points are to be set up on existing rental properties and new buildings. With the existing charging points, a network of well over 6,000 charging points is created. Only fast charging stations are installed, i.e. DC chargers with an output of at least 75 kW and up to 300 kW. The project requires an investment sum in the hundreds of millions. The REWE Group is the first and so far only large retail group to enter into such a cooperation.
What is the distribution of roles within the partnership?
The REWE Group provides its parking spaces and thus access to its customers. The equipment with empty pipes is also taken care of. The partners EnBW and Shell then take care of the grid connection and the installation of the charging stations, which they then also take over.
Why did the REWE Group decide to work with EnBW and Shell?
With these two strong partners, charging infrastructure coverage can be achieved across the board. For this purpose, the project was divided up regionally between Shell and EnBW. Another important point is that the companies rely exclusively on state-of-the-art fast charging stations, where customers can charge enough electricity for several hundred kilometers in 20 to 30 minutes, i.e. the time it takes to make a purchase. Less powerful systems would not be appropriate for this charging situation.
What challenges still need to be overcome?
The partners have set themselves an ambitious target for the expansion of the charging station infrastructure by 2024. In this relatively short period of time, demanding planning has to be carried out, human resources have to be built up and materials such as transformers have to be procured. It is also important to get the various network operators on board. The REWE Group now has the task of making appropriate agreements with the owners of the rented locations. There we assume an interest, because the landlords must ultimately meet the provisions of the Building Electromobility Infrastructure Act (GEIG).
Is the REWE Group planning more partnerships in the area of charging infrastructure?
The REWE Group wants to promote e-mobility and will continue to be committed to expanding the charging infrastructure in the future. In principle, we are open to further partnerships.