Fraunhofer ISI leads the consortium of the innovation cluster project “High power charging for trucks in long-distance operation”

The project “High power charging for trucks in long-distance operation (HoLa)”, which is led by Fraunhofer ISI and supported by the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry), is one of three innovation clusters for climate-friendly truck drive technologies recently set up by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). In concrete terms, two high power charging points using the Megawatt Charging System (MCS) will be installed at each of four locations in the HoLa project and tested under real logistics operating conditions. These charging points will support the use of this new system in everyday operations, and form the basis for large-scale expansion of the technology. 13 partners from research and industry, including four truck manufacturers, are involved in the project, which was officially launched at a kick-off event on September 27.

High power charging stations are essential to push the use of battery-electric drive-trains and the megawatt charging of heavy-duty commercial trucks in particular. However, there are so many open questions here, and especially a lack of experience with installing and operating the corresponding charging stations. This is precisely where the new project “High power charging for trucks in long-distance operation (HoLa)” comes in, which is being funded as part of the BMVI’s Electric Mobility funding framework.

Construction of high power charging stations for trucks along the A2 highway

In total, eight high power charging points will be installed and operated at four locations in the project supported by the VDA and with a consortium led by Fraunhofer ISI. The first phase is to plan and construct CCS (Combined Charging System) charging points followed by high power charging points featuring the MCS technology. These charging stations are located along the A2 highway between the Ruhr region and Berlin – at rest areas as well as at logistics centers, in order to consider different application cases.

Dr. Patrick Plötz, who heads the project at Fraunhofer ISI, has this to say about HoLa: “In spite of technological advances and international agreements, there has been a recent increase in transport-related CO2 emissions. This is why it is essential to switch to climate-neutral drive-trains, especially in the transport sector. We need a massive expansion of infrastructure, particularly with regard to megawatt charging, if battery-electric drive-trains are to be used in heavy-duty traffic as well. In the HoLa project, we contribute to the knowledge required for this by installing and operating high power prototype charging stations for trucks. We want to help integrate the relevant locations for e-trucks into logistics processes as early as possible and gather user experiences with this new type of fast charging for e-trucks. We are particularly pleased to have a network of partners in this project that spans different sectors and includes energy companies, grid operators, truck manufacturers and rest area operators as well as several research institutions”. Plötz also emphasizes that close consultation with the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure is planned in the project and that the findings will be used directly in the deployment of charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles, which is coordinated by the Centre.

The project, which has a total budget of 27 million euros and a funding volume of 12 million euros, runs from September 2021 until the end of 2024, and was officially launched at a kick-off event with all the partners on September 27, 2021.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.