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  • Writer's pictureEmre Can Anlar

Emobility in Aachen - The role of brokers as partners for cities and municipalities

Updated: Apr 11

or: Emobility in Aachen: Design and future prospects

Welcome to our interview today with Marc Heusch, an experienced marketing expert who has been working intensively on electromobility in Aachen since 2019, and Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer, the founder of "energieparkmakler by greenventors", our specialized real estate agency that operates at the interface of technology, user needs and the real estate industry. We are delighted to have both experts here.

Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer (energieparkmakler) and Marc Heusch (City of Aachen)

Let's start with electromobility in Aachen. Dr. Pfeiffer, you were deeply invovled in setting up the first charging stations in the imperial city. How do you see the development to date?

Dr. Pfeiffer: The city of Aachen and Stadtwerke Aachen (STAWAG) in particular, recognized the importance of electromobility early on and acted accordingly. The first charging stations, which STAWAG installed in June 2009, were the starting signal for a city-wide initiative called the "5-point electromobility program". At the time, I was project manager for the topic at the municipal utilities and today I see Aachen as a role model for sustainable urban mobility, also thanks to the exemplary ALigN project driven forward by Mr. Heusch. Seeing this development reinforces my conviction that we are on the right track - and not just in Aachen.

Mr. Heusch, you were the driving force behind the ALigN project, which has added several hundred charging points to Aachen. Could you please briefly explain to us what the aim of ALigN is and how it contributes to the development of electromobility in Aachen?

Mr. Heusch: The ALigN project (i.e. development of charging infrastructure through targeted grid support) is a major funding and research project that we have been able to implement in Aachen in recent years together with many partners (RWTH, STAWAG, Smart/Lab, Regionetz, umlaut, Aixacct, ...). Among other things, it aimed to significantly expand the charging infrastructure in Aachen in order to promote the ramp-up of electromobility. We achieved this goal by installing 670 new charging points. The aim was to improve the availability and accessibility of charging stations for electric vehicles and thus promote electromobility as a viable and reliable option for citizens. By expanding the charging infrastructure, ALigN supports Aachen's ambition to be a pioneer in sustainable mobility and shows how good collaboration between many committed stakeholders can create an effective and sustainable solution.

Mr. Heusch, what is your main goal in terms of scalability and coverage of the urban area with electric mobility solutions?

Mr. Heusch: The main goal is to establish a scalable and comprehensive charging infrastructure that has no "white spots". This requires a solid database, detailed analyses and in-depth local knowledge in order to precisely understand demand and meet it in line with requirements. It is important to offer both AC and DC charging options and to make intelligent use of existing parking spaces for AC charging stations, especially where vehicles are parked for long periods of time.

How do you overcome the challenge of integrating public charging into private spaces?

Mr. Heusch: In view of the lack of free space in cities, the integration of private space for public charging stations is essential. This requires balanced cooperation between private owners, the city and the operators in order to create a win-win situation. Specialized real estate agencies can also play an important role here by mediating between the various interests and finding optimal solutions.

Dr. Pfeiffer, could you tell us more about the role of your agency "energieparkmakler" in this process?

Dr. Pfeiffer: Of course. "energieparkmakler by greenventors" focuses on identifying, qualifying and securing locations for electromobility projects that meet technical, economic and user-oriented criteria. We work closely with cities, private property owners and operators to identify the best locations for charging infrastructure, taking into account both the current and future needs of users. Our specialized expertise enables us to launch projects that create a sustainable and user-friendly electric mobility infrastructure.

Dr. Pfeiffer, can you elaborate on the specific benefits that energieparkmakler offers property owners and tenants, particularly with regard to marketing their sites for electromobility projects?

Dr. Pfeiffer: Absolutely, that is an important aspect of our work. For property owners and tenants, we not only offer our extensive expert knowledge, but also a simplified and accelerated process to market their site to electric mobility operators. Through our specialized expertise and extensive network in the electric mobility industry, we are able to quickly find the right operator for each site. This not only means an attractive income for the site owner through the rental of the site but, more importantly, the certainty that the selected operator is also the best possible partner. In this way, we ensure that our clients not only benefit from a good income, but also from a harmonious and lasting relationship with the operator. This is crucial to building long-term, sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships.

Thanks to our expertise and our partner network, we ensure that our clients not only benefit from a good income, but also from a harmonious and lasting relationship with the operator. Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer - energieparkmakler by greenventors

Mr. Heusch, how do you see the future development of electromobility, particularly with regard to your experience in marketing?

Mr. Heusch: Electromobility is at a crucial point. My experience in marketing helps me to understand user expectations and incorporate them into planning. The aim is to create solutions that are both technically efficient and user-friendly. The challenge lies in the comprehensive design of electromobility. A municipality (such as Aachen) should focus on publicly accessible charging infrastructure. This will also give users or potential users access to electromobility who do not have a private charging facility - whether at home or at work.

Finally, what message would you, Mr. Heusch and Dr. Pfeiffer, like to give cities and society when we talk about the future of electromobility?

Mr. Heusch: My message would be to be courageous and innovative. Electromobility offers a unique opportunity to make our cities more sustainable and liveable. It is crucial that all stakeholders - from cities to businesses to citizens - work together to seize this opportunity and create a comprehensive and accessible charging infrastructure.

It is crucial that all stakeholders - from cities to businesses to citizens - work together to seize this opportunity and create a comprehensive and accessible charging infrastructure. Marc Heusch - City of Aachen

Dr. Pfeiffer: I would add that the importance of specialist knowledge and experience should not be underestimated in this fast-moving field. We offer an important interface that combines technical understanding, market knowledge and user orientation in order to successfully drive electromobility forward. My advice to cities would be to actively seek out and utilize this expertise.

Thank you very much, Mr. Heusch and Dr. Pfeiffer, for this informative interview. Your insights into electromobility and the role of specialized service providers clearly show how important a strategic and user-oriented approach is for the successful implementation of electromobility. We wish you every success with your future projects.



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