25/04/2024 | Press release

Rheinmetall, the City of Cologne and TankE GmbH launch pilot project for innovative curb chargers in public spaces

Key facts
  • Rheinmetall starts roll-out of innovative curb chargers
  • City of Cologne makes public transport space available
  • Kerbside effectively becomes a “charging station”
  • Curb chargers can be installed almost without restriction and are therefore scalable for network operators

Together with TankE GmbH and the City of Cologne, Rheinmetall is launching a pilot project to test curb chargers in public traffic areas. The aim of the project is to integrate and pilot the curb chargers developed by Rheinmetall in the urban area. In the process, the acceptance as well as the urban planning and design advantages shall be validated. Following the signing of a corresponding letter of intent in May 2023, the official kick-off for the roll-out on site was today (25 April 2024). The curb chargers will initially be tested extensively in real-life operation at two locations in the city.

Ascan Egerer, Alderman for Mobility of the City of Cologne: “We are a city in transition and want to actively shape modern, environmentally friendly mobility. Hence, we want to implement future-orientated concepts at an early stage to master the challenges – together with our partners. For us, the curb charger has the great advantage as it can be used in the existing infrastructure of the public road space, apart from the connection box. This benefits important issues such as the necessary clear pavement widths, visual axes, avoidable overbuilding of media supply in the pavement, monument protection in planning and implementation. The kerbside technology is therefore much less complicated than a conventional charging station. We are looking forward to the experience“.

Christoph Müller, Head of the Power Systems division at Rheinmetall AG: “The curb chargers, we have developed has a great advantage. It can replace the already existing infrastructure throughout the roadside at a one-to-one level or even upgrade it. No additional space is required in the road space, which is already narrow. Our trendsetting curb chargers will help to solve a major problem in the transformation towards more electromobility. They blend almost invisibly into the cityscape. We are very much appreciate the strong willingness of all those involved to make today's appointment possible. After all, we have no time to lose on our way to a modern, environmentally friendly mobility”.

Stephan Segbers, Director of Sales and Energy Procurement at RheinEnergie AG, the mother company of TankE GmbH, is delighted: „Today is another milestone in the series of innovative mobility projects that we have developed in Cologne in recent years. With TankE, we are creating alternatives for charging electric cars in public transport which are compatible with urban development. We are proud to be working with Rheinmetall and the City of Cologne to test another innovative technology and expand our expertise in the development of charging infrastructure”.

Climate change and climate protection, mobility, a growing population, economic change and digitalisation will confront the city of Cologne, Germany's fourth-largest city, with the diverse challenges of an expanding metropolis in the upcoming years. The city is deperate in actively shaping this process, and develop forward-looking concepts to master them at an early stage. The charging infrastructure plays a key role in the mobility transition through electromobility. The German government's ambitious target of 15m electric cars by 2030 can only be achieved with a corresponding expansion in relation to the growing electric vehicle fleet, as significantly more people will switch to electric cars in the future, even without individual parking and charging options. The demand for public charging infrastructure is estimated at around one million charging stations in Germany by 2030.

The intelligent use of existing urban infrastructure with high charging performance makes the Rheinmetall curb charger a space-saving alternative to a conventional charging station. This solves the problem of lacking availability of space in urban areas for the fast, flexibly scalable and cost-effective installation of freely accessible public charging stations. This unique characteristic was significant for the city and the network operator to award the contract.


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