ChargeLounge: The E-charging Station for IKEA Customers in Germany

With the help of the Fraunhofer IAO, IKEA shoppers in Ludwigsburg can now use a special electric charging station. Germany’s first “ChargeLounge” was opened on the 30th of Novemeber, and features an integrated and speedy e-charging station in the parking lot of IKEA Ludwigsburg.

As we have highlighted, developments such as this are key to Germany’s ‘energiewende’ and developing a proper recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles is key if the social transformation toward greener mobility is to succeed in Germany.

With the opening of a ChargeLounge for customers in Ludwigsburg who drive electric vehicles, IKEA is supporting these goals. The ChargeLounge offers the option of combining an electric charging station with multi-purpose room configurations. The room module in Ludwigsburg houses an exhibition about sustainable kitchen solutions–however, a café or wifi point, or numerous other options are possible.

The station can recharge as many as four vehicles at a time. For a charge sufficient to allow an e-vehicle to travel 100 km, ChargeLounge needs approx. 40 minutes which, according to IKEA, is typically the shortest time customers spend at IKEA. The draw for customers is that they can use the charging station for free during store hours.

Fraunhofer IAO had multiple gaols in mind with the charging station:

  1. Customers needs, and
  2. Allowing for the station to provide ancillary service off-grid.

This latter was achieved by using a buffer battery, and by using both direct current and alternating current. ChargeLounge does without the high-capacity and cost-intensive power connection that quick-charging stations normally need. Moreover, the entire charging unit was consolidated in a unique technology module and delivered to Ludwigsburg completely preassembled.

Photo credit: http://charge-lounge.de. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Fraunhofer IAO.

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