AUTOPLES - Automated Parking and Loading of Electric Vehicle Systems

With the increasing tightening of climate objectives and CO2 targets for the automotive industry, the percentage of zero emission vehicles has to grow. If electric vehicles shall prevail on the market, we also need a comprehensive and comfortable charging infrastructure. Ideally anywhere, where vehicles stand frequently and for longer periods of time anyway – for example on commercial parking areas, in garages and in car parks.

The economic efficiency, charging times, user comfort and ranges of battery electric vehicles still seem to be unsatisfying from the consumer's viewpoint. This poses the challenge for energy suppliers, for the automotive and supplier industry as well as for cross-linked service providers to develop new charging solutions, which are suitable for everyday life and cost-effective.

In the joint project AUTOPLES (Automated Parking and Loading of Electric Vehicle Systems), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the framework of the Cluster "Electric Mobility South-West" over a period of two years with EUR 2.3 million, four small and medium-sized companies and a research institute have joined forces, in order to optimise the energy supply of electric vehicles for the users.

With their innovation power and their expertise, the five associated partners want to research the necessary control and charging systems and at the same time develop suitable business models, in order to increase the chances for a widespread market success. The newly formed, Stuttgart-based company TransEnergyPartners GmbH is the consortium coordinator. Furthermore, the partners CTC cartech company GmbH from Böblingen, the firm LAPP from Stuttgart, the FZI Research Center for Information Technology as well as Inductive Power Transfer IPT from Weil am Rhein are involved in the project AUTOPLES.

The project was launched in January 2013. The involved companies will present future-oriented and feasible solutions based on concrete application scenarios and visualise them by means of demonstrators at the project end in June 2015.

Objectives and targets

The project AUTOPLES, which is managed by the Electric Mobility Pioneer and Developer of Smart, Prof. Johann Tomforde on behalf of the TransEnergyPartners GmbH, focuses on the research of a marketable, user-friendly, energy-efficient, technologically and economically future-oriented parking and charging system for the fast breakthrough of electric mobility – true to the motto: "The most comfortable and efficient way of refuelling, since cars exist." Amongst others, driving mode and parking habits of typical electric vehicle users, possibilities for the autonomous and coordinated movement of electric vehicles, suitable automated charging technologies and security-relevant topics are being investigated. 

Innovations and perspectives

The different AUTOPLES concepts for automated parking and loading of electric vehicles get along with low basic installation costs and can be gradually extended with the increasing electric vehicle licensing frequency in various parking facilities. The automated, needs-based loading in a time frame given by the customer with cheaply available electricity from regenerative energy is part of these concepts. Thus, the functionality, the safety and security, the economic efficiency as well as the user comfort meet a marketable standard for investors and end customers.

The Cluster "Electric Mobility South-West"

With around 80 actors from industry and science, the Cluster "Electric Mobility South-West" is one of the most important regional associations in the field of electric mobility. The State Agency for Electric Mobility and Fuel Cell Technology Baden-Württemberg (e-mobil BW GmbH), which coordinates as the cluster manager all activities, makes sure that the various cluster partners from the fields of vehicle-, energy-, information and communication technology (ICT) as well as the cross-disciplinary field of production technology, can network optimally.

The leading-edge cluster is funded by the BMBF in the framework of the German Federal Government's high-tech strategy over a period of five years and with EUR 40 million. The aim of the funding of the leading-edge cluster is to bundle regional potentials along the entire innovation and value chain, in order to faster implement ideas and results from research and development into marketable products.

The affiliated partners

Inductive Power Transfer IPT

The company IPT was established as expert through a spin-off of the company Conductix-Wampfler, the worldwide leading manufacturer of systems for the energy and data transfer to mobile consumers. The core competences of IPT lie in the development, production, consultation and installation of solutions, which give the customised answer to all questions concerning the energy and data transfer for mobile consumers. Apart from the undisputed sector expertise, the company is characterised by its application competence: Thus all currently used technologies for the transfer of energy and data, like festoon systems, conductor rails, energy guiding chains, spring driven reels, motor driven reels, slip ring assemblies and non-contact energy supply systems are united under one roof.  For the customer this means a product-neutral consultation and an optimal technological implementation for the particular application from one source.

CTC cartech company GmbH

CTC cartech company is a developer and manufacturer of individualised electronics for the automotive industry – particularly in the fields of electric mobility and control system, measuring and testing technology. The focal points of the development are electric drives as well as their supporting components such as loading systems, energy distributors, transducers, energy storage and wiring harnesses. Overall vehicle networking and topology are also one of their prime concerns. For the comprehensive testing of relevant electrical drive components, CTC operates testing facilities, which satisfy both the performance and safety requirements for qualifying high voltage equipment. Complementary and as an extension of the value chain, CTC goes beyond the implementation of developed components and systems of prototypical quantities and is able to produce small series in the affiliated manufacture. All areas of business within CTC cartech company are certified in compliance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. The company's headquarters is in Böblingen-Hulb. CTC cartech company GmbH has a further branch office in Fellbach.

The FZI Research Center for Information Technology

The FZI Research Center for Information Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is a non-profit institution for applied research in information technology and technology transfer. Its task is to provide businesses and public institutions with the latest research findings in information technology. It also qualifies young researchers for their career in academics or business as well as self-employment. Led by professors from different faculties, research teams at the FZI interdisciplinarily develop and prototype concepts, software, hardware and system solutions for their clients. The FZI House of Living Labs provides a unique research environment for applied research. Every department at the FZI operates under a certified quality management system according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2015.

The head office is in Karlsruhe. The FZI has also a branch office in Berlin.


Lapp Systems GmbH is part of the Lapp Group and specialised in customised confections of cable and pipe systems. The company offers consultations, system developments, production and testing as well as a number of other services and operates according to ISO TS 16949. The consortium benefits from the competencies and experiences of the firm in the industrial and automotive sector. The firm LAPP is the expert and contact person for conductive charging solutions in the project AUTOPLES.

TransEnergyPartners GmbH

"Think ahead in Mobility and Energy": TransEnergyPartners is a consulting company and service provider, focusing on the topics of transport, mobility and automotive sector, innovation & technology, renewable energies and investment models. Our core competencies lie in the development of business models, the technology and innovation management as well as the support of change processes. We support our customers from the strategic preparation to the product and process definition up to the operative implementation. We are working for investors in the field of renewable energies in the project implementation and the management of operating companies.

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Marc René Zofka

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