The Unplugged Project Improves Access to Electric Mobility

Published on Thursday, 2 April 2015

Electric vehicle charging has alongside internet connect and has become wireless. This is the result of the European Unplugged project, which was created to develop a fast and flexible infrastructure that charges electric vehicle and conveys power to batteries for up to 50 kW: a key advance for the full integration of  electric cars and buses in the urban road system.

The project's final event was held in Zaragoza (Spain). Participants included Marina Sevilla, General Manager of Energy and Mines in the Government of Aragón; Javier Uriarte, General Marketing Manager of Endesa; Antonio Valero, General Manager of the CIRCE Foundation, as well as representatives from the European Consortium. 

The Unplugged consortium is directed by ENIDE, an engineering company based in Barcelona, and FKA, an automotive research institute in Aachen. Its 17 partners include leading companies from the energy sector (Enel and Endesa), the automotive industry (Volvo and Continental), the transport sector (Transport for London), as well as research and technology centres, such as the CIRCE Foundation.

Within the Unplugged project, the Enel Group has carried out a study on the integration of fast recharging systems into the distribution grid, in order to develop an efficient infrastructure that includes both conductive (wired) and inductive (wireless) recharging systems. The first system establishes a  cable connection between the vehicle and the charging station. On the other hand, the inductive system is based on wireless power transfer (WPT) between a primary device that is located on the platform where the medium is located and a secondary device that is integrated into the vehicle, without any physical connection.

This charging system provides a flexible service tailored to different customers needs: from slower charging (3.7 kW), which is ideal for nighttime, to fast recharge (50 kW). The reduction of maintenance costs that are typical of traditional cable systems also allow to introduce new business models that can be extended to public transport.

Enel's Electric Mobility Management (EMM) platform was designed to ensure the efficient integration into the grid of charging systems  in Europe, through remote controlled wired and wireless charging facilities. Endesa has led the working group that has designed and built in Zaragoza, in collaboration with the CIRCE Foundation, the world's fastest wireless charging station.