“Climate protection and driving comfort are not mutually exclusive”

Reußenköge, January 18th 2016. One million electrically powered vehicles on Germany’s roads by 2020 – this is the figure targeted by the German government with the aim of promoting climate protection in road traffic. This is hardly surprising in view of the fact that the transportation sector currently accounts for one fifth of the country’s CO2 emissions. GP JOULE has opted to introduce a climate-friendly corporate fleet right away and has acquired 15 electrically powered BMW i3 for staff at its sites in Reußenköge/Schleswig-Holstein and Buttenwiesen/Bavaria. The purchase was possible due to cooperation with the Albert Bauer Husum GmbH. “Our sites are located in rural areas and our staff travel a lot – it’s often impossible to manage without a car,” says GP JOULE managing director Ove Petersen. As a specialist in the planning, construction, operation and intelligent system integration of renewable energies, it goes without saying for GP JOULE that such travel should be as climate-friendly as possible - whether a car is being used for business or private purposes. “The aim we are pursuing with our products and services is to promote our vision of 100 per cent renewable energy, so we fully embrace this principle in the company, too. Climate protection and comfort are by no means mutually exclusive, in fact they go hand in hand: using electric cars will save us 22,750 litres of diesel or 60 tons of CO2 per year – without losing out on driving comfort,” says Petersen. “Technically speaking, the electrically powered vehicles are absolutely on a par with conventional mobility.”

The BMW i3 can cover a distance of up to 160 km. “That’s usually enough to get to work, do the shopping and go on outings at the weekend. Nowadays 95 per cent of trips by car cover a distance of less than 100 km, so the BMW i3 is perfectly suitable for day-to-day use”, explains Edgar Nies, managing director of Albert Bauer Husum GmbH. “If you do have to travel further or there’s no charging station nearby, a so-called range extender can be used to increase the car’s range to as much as 300 km.” The GP JOULE cars are charged on the company’s premises using green power. In Reußenköge, GP JOULE has adapted a section of its grounds to create a dedicated charging area for electric cars, providing staff with eight charging stations and a total of 20 charging points. “In the long term, the use of electric cars will save us money. Once we have written off the purchase costs, we’ll virtually be charging for free. Power from renewable sources can now be produced at an extremely low cost – especially when it comes from the company’s own solar plant,” explains Ove Petersen. By means of a refinement process, power from renewable energy sources can also be used for high-end applications such as mobility.

“There is enormous potential for saving CO2 in the transportation sector. As experts for renewable energies and storage technology, we’re working to electrify the mobility market using power from renewable sources so as to make it much more climate-friendly,” says the GP JOULE managing director. One example of this is the so-called power gap filler which the company put into operation last spring. In this pilot project, power from renewable sources is converted into hydrogen by means of PEM electrolysis so it can be used as an energy source for hydrogen-powered vehicles. “Areas such as transportation and the heat market have been neglected by the energy turnaround up to now. With our storage technology, our aim is to push for a genuine energy turnaround that incorporates sectors such as traffic and heat, too. At the same time, we want to make the energy turnaround come alive and increase acceptance of electromobility among the population at large. Climate protection is not necessarily about doing without things or limiting convenience. The current electric car models show that it is possible to enjoy the benefits of individual freedom in driving a car while at the same time doing something proactive for climate protection.” However, Petersen says the government will have to take more far-reaching measures if it really is to achieve the target of putting one million electrically powered cars on the road by 2020: “We need funding for infrastructure and incentives to provide more charging stations: this will make the idea of purchasing an electric car more attractive to consumers”, says Petersen. “The government is sending out a clear signal with its current plans for a two billion euro funding programme to support electromobility: this confirms us in our belief that we have adopted the right path.” Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel wants to put more electrically powered cars on the road in future. Some of the money will go towards direct purchase premiums. There are also plans to do more to boost development of the infrastructure, including charging stations. “We hope other companies will feel encouraged to invest more in electromobility in future, too.”

GP JOULE’s move to change its fleet to electric cars is part of an innovative project being run in the Hamburg metropolitan area by partners Alphabet, hySOLUTIONS and Öko-Institut: the plan is to integrate up to 450 electrically powered vehicles in fleets based in the Hamburg region. The deployment of these vehicles is being analysed scientifically over an extended period with the aim of generating key insights for the potential use of electric cars in corporate fleets. The project is being funded by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

Timo Bovi
Director Governmental Relations and Public Affairs
Tel.: +49 (0) 4671-6074235
Mobile: +49 (0) 177 8830622
E-mail: t.bovi(at)gp-joule.de 

The GP JOULE Company:
GP JOULE is a universal, innovative and authentic partner for all areas of renewable energies. Under the motto "TRUST YOUR ENERGY", the company has developed, planned and realised projects for the future-oriented use of sun, wind, biomass and energy storage since 2009. Based on a sense of respect and responsibility for mankind and the environment, GP Joule develops intelligent energy concepts and integrated solutions, thereby ensuring that the power turnaround becomes a genuine energy turnaround. The guiding principles of company founders and agricultural engineers Ove Petersen and Heinrich Gärtner include authenticity, trust, fair play, innovation and quality as well as the aim to contribute to 100% of energy consumption being drawn from renewable sources in the future. GP JOULE is thus able to offer investors a highly promising and profitable investment option. GP JOULE operates four sites in northern and southern Germany as well as two international sites in the USA and Canada.