a global infrastructure initiative.

Current Challenges

Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050.

How can we respond to these urban challenges?

Lack of economic viability and business models

Only fund-based demonstrations and subsidised testers have been deployed in response to the desperate global call for a solid infrastructure to support electric mobility. All these initiatives, mainly based on ITC applications or standalone charging stations, are not financially sustainable and are dealing only with a small part of the paradigm shift that is required for general acceptance, and therefore, they cannot be considered as realistic solutions yet.

Integrating public and private sectors

One of the major hurdles in the development of a proper charging infrastructure is the lack of foresight of the strategic future cooperation between a vast variety of public and private stakeholders, many of which were not previously connected before and now must cooperate and commit to this transformational process. A comprehensive approach encompassing mobility, energy, and urban planning is essential for effective decision making with regard to planning an electric vehicle infrastructure since all these systems will be closely interlinked.

Gaining trust on imperfect Smart Cities

Smart city technologies and urban big data produce privacy concerns among the inhabitants, workers and visitors of a city. Current EV policies aim to cut emissions, but often electricity is generated from dirty sources, or neglect the impact of power demand needed to seamlessly charge a city full of electric vehicles, thereby denting the credibility of emission-reduction goals.

Our Project

SUMOSU stations

SUMOSU Stations propose a basic network of stations that provide publicly accessible charging infrastructure for the whole e-mobility system of a city, looking after the needs of users ranging from e-taxis to city electric buses, car-sharing fleets and private users. Moreover, these stations have also been designed to become key infrastructures to enable an efficient interaction with the grid, increase its safety and reliability and favour locally-based energy distribution and autonomy.

Features

As any steady-state infrastructure, SUMOSU Stations are simple in terms of building components, but powerful in relation to the impacts of policy and technology choices they foster. They respond to the most important challenges that sustainable urban planning is facing at the moment and can be a turning point for alternative energy developments andintegrated systems of public transport.

As a distinctive value opposed to most current systems, SUMOSU Stations offer an open solution allowing different actors to incorporate at any point and thus, avoiding absolute market power.

Each station contains:

– 10 city-car parking spaces and charge for Carshare fleets

– 4 front spaces for all-size cars of public fast charge

– Convenience store

– Water and air pump

Total space used each station : 120 m2

Number of cars per station: 14 spaces

Input Power 220 kw, 3 Phase AC (Other inputs available)

Input Current: (depends on placement of station)

Output Current: Modulated DC

Storage & consumption capacity: 800kw/day

MULTIPLE SERVICES

Each station is an automated docking space for an electric car share service of a fleet of 10 electric city cars. By using the same lead-in wire —so no extra space, cost and maintenance is required — SUMOSU Stations also provide fast charge to e-taxis and private users. Within the same facilities, a battery swapping service is also offered only to public bus lines. Absolute safety is guaranteed to the user as access is controlled to areas where dangerous voltages are present and all services are provided by authorized staff.

Plug-in fast charge for all brands and size of cars requiring an occasional emergency charge.

Rotating automated car park for car sharing fleets of city cars only, with simulated slow charge provided.

Docking area & fast charge provided for city electric taxis, without size restrictions.

Small convenience store , coffee shop or space for vending machines to offer users the chance of drinking a cup of coffee while their charge is in process.

Second life battery energy storage system for emergency demand response service. The usage of battery energy storage systems (BESS) opens the possibility for integrating renewable energies.

Public Ultra-Fast Charge

ALL VEHICLES ACCEPTED

One of the main advantage of SUMOSU Stations over the popular approach of DC fast charging station is the use of a single converter for multiple slots. Conventional fast Charging stations contain a AC/DC converter per charging point and without any storage capacity while our solution is based on the use of a single AC/DC converter for multiple charging slots leading to a common DC bus architecture as described in the graphic. In that case, the complexity of the power converters, and also the cost can be minimized.

Microgrid Architecture

Microgrids can be defined as a power system composed of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) that can operate as an electrical or thermal generator, a storage system or as a load, to provide maximum electrical efficiency with minimum incidence to loads in the local power grid. Since the elements that compose our project can be consideredas DER, the whole system can be considered as a specific case of a microgrid with controllable loads (electric vehicles),storage devices and grid interconnection. Generation assets like renewable resources are not included in the first stage. However, SUMOSU Stations provide a convenient way to integrate microgenerators in the future.

STEADY IMPLEMENTATION

STEP 1: Short term

A basic network of stations is deployed based on a simple grid pattern. Only the minimum initial investment is required and, at the same time, range anxiety is alleviated as every user is guaranteed a fast charge spot within a 5km radius maximum.

STEP 2: Medium term

The network can grow steadily and with no risky investments, as every new station will be built only after a minimum number of carshare membership requests is reached. This method provides the necessary critical mass to ensure the financial viability of the new facilities.

STEP 3: Long term

Following this system, the whole infrastructure of a city can be supplied with technical and economic feasibility. Each of these steady-state stations could be run by a different company, although all public charge points would be compatible with all cars using a fast-charging method.

EV Car-Sharing Scheme

PLANNING FOR SHARED CARS

Research reports, best and worst practices, and city case studies have shown that, if not accurately planned, sharing schemes can result in failure. Some of the key factors required in managing a successful carshare system are:

Maintenance costs: Returning the vehicle

Carshaing should replace the use of a private car, so a car is collected in the nearest station and it must always be returned to the same location after its use. On the contrary, “drive-and-park” schemes, allowing to park in any parking space, have proved to generate a high maintenance cost, as carshare companies are taking care of the car reallocation, management of parking fees and user penalisation, and are based on unpredictable behaviours.

Control and space take up: On-street parking
Carsharing systems with on- street parking involveextra costs due to the high exposure to risk and vandalism. Providing closed facilities ensures proctection from these factors as well as a personalised customer service for correct delivery of vehicles and to guarantee the best conditions on pick up.

Steady-state tool: Avoiding privatisation
Any country’s public infrastructure should have positive effects on a country’s productive performance. Therefore, this infrastructure cannot be privately provided as private agents would be unable to offer perfect competition of all firms involved (car manufacturers, carshare companies, etc)

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+ Carsharing can reduce car ownership at an estimated rate of one rental car replacing 15 owned vehicles
In order to provide a constant supply of fresh-charged car sharing vehicles, SUMOSU Stations applies a simulated slow charge to car batteries. Still using the same three-phase electric power supply of the station, a timer-based charge offers the same benefits of a slow charge and it is workhorse that keeps you ready with 10 charging bays. Each of these bays has an advanced charge circuit with built in timer. When the timer finishes, it will continue trickle charging the batteries to keep them topped off. The charge is operated by a qualified  station attendant, who will perform other services such as vehicle preparation to ensure vehicle is ready for customer pick-up, check vehicle status, and assist carsharing members as well as private car users.

E- Taxi Docking

A REDUCED OPERATIONAL COST
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Taxis alone can be responsible for 20% of pollution in some city centers despite representing only a few percent of the vehicles. This is because of their intensive inner-city use. But this reason also makes taxi fleets more suitable than private cars for the adoption of new electric technologies.

The advantages of electric cars as taxis are immediately obvious: low fuel cost is the first, while less noise, vibration, and a low center of gravity make a comfortable ride an easy second. Low maintenance cost is another point for electric taxis. 

They also optimise car usage. A single taxi fulfils the transportation needs of 10 to 20 people per day, and generally drives many more kilometres in its lifetime than a private car, hence reducing car production needs. Therefore, taxis contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of a car’s total life cycle both per person and per kilometre.

The use of taxis lowers citizens’ dependence on their private car. Reducing the number of private car journeys, as a result of good taxi services, reduces the need for a second family car and, by the same token, the need for scarce and costly parking places in inner cities. As taxi companies also have a marketing interest in offering green alternatives to their customers, they are increasingly willing to become carbon neutral or operate a fully electric fleet.

Smart Grid & Energy Management

DISTRIBUTED NETWORK
SUMOSU Stations benefit from their strategical distribution throughout a city to improve not only mobility, but also energy and city architecture by providing a distributed pattern. This will imply a revolutionary change in urban infrastructure systems and their governance, as many of the current centralised model features are becoming obsolete and will therefore naturally adapt to a distributed approach

Central locations in the city of Barcelona have the most urban mobility options because private and public transport facilities are present. However, this does not mean that mobility is easier since central areas are congested and many commuters need to go through the central area even if their destination is not the city centre itself. In locations outside the central core, a share of the population have a very expensive and limited access to public transportation and therefore, a very high rate of automobile ownership.

Distributed energy

Imagine being able to solve network congestion and instability with no need to build extra facilities. Or being able to integrate distributed renewable power smoothly and efficiently without wasting energy and give an immedate use to the exceeding energy produced during peak hours. SUMOSU Stations have the technology and the necessary volume of energy demand to give grid operators that capability.

Distributed mobility

Distributed mobility systems, although its widespread use in transport logistics is still not commonly applied to urban passenger mobility. However, a number of passenger transport activities with growing popularity fit the Distributed Network concept. Services such as lift-sharing, taxi-sharing services and bicycle share schemes have become popular in recent years and are a clear exaple of these
new patterns. SUMOSU Stations proposal involves an electric carsharing as a key service that will contribute to the de-centralisation of mobility, but also energy and city planning. This service for individual travellers entail behaviour change or
information services, such as campaigns to promote more diverse travel choices and schemes for personalised travel plans.

Distributed communities

As a consequence of the de-centrealisation in energy and mobility, cities will devolve greater powers to councils and neighbourhoods and give local businesses. A change in shopping habits. Goods and services have become more regionalised and culturally specific. Much of urban design has shifted to a collaborative model with local participatory budgets. Where this works, everything is very tailored to the desires of the participants, for example with car-free family areas, or bicycle lanes
for everyday use. Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes. These compact, walkable town centers are in turn essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, congestion and pollution.

The ideal choice for governments

AN IMMEDIATE SOLUTION

These multi-service stations provide an opportunity for immediate implementation without risky investments nor public funding, as their sound business model entails a steady expansion based exclusively on public demand. SUMOSU Stations are also strategic to overcome the “chicken and egg” effect in the e-mobility early adopter phase: they provide both the initial infrastructure for a decent network coverage as well as the required critical mass of demand from the first day. The provision of public fast charge will curb range anxiety of private users, but the prime target are vehicles of extensive use, such as delivery vans, e-taxis or local buses.


Our solution is based on a technology transfer model, allowing the system to be locally developed in every region. This choice will reinforce the local economic dynamism of every country at the same time that it will foster the rapid replication of the scheme globally. There is an urgent need for national governments and local authorities
to take ownership of the e-mobility shift, get actively involved in initiatives with a holistic approach and commit to solutions that contemplate replicability and resilience from the very first stages, like SUMOSU Stations.

Versatility & Space Saving

MODULAR DESIGN
All SUMOSU Stations are made to standard measurements and as such they provide modular elements that can be combined into different positions. This simplifies costs, design and planning for worldwide replicability as it is very easy to modify the struture to suit every landscape. Possibilities range from full construction aboveground to partially or fully underground, frontal or lateral entry and exit and vertical or horizontal battery exchange system.
Automated System
Designed to minimize the area and volume required for parking cars. SUMOSU Stations provide parking for a carsharing fleet of 10 city cars on two levels to maximize the number of parking spaces while minimizing land usage. They use a mechanical system to transport cars in order to eliminate much of the space wasted in manoeuvre and access lanes.With land at a premium in our increasingly congested cities, this space-saving solution promises the same amount of parking offered in conventional car parks in 67% of the land area.

Safety

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SECURITY

Fast charge requires high voltages and connecting an electric vehicle without any precaution and leave connections can therefore be dangerous for people and property. SUMOSU Stations’s facilities are appropriatelly protected as access is  controlled to areas where dangerous voltages are present and service is provided by an authorized staff so citizens don’t need to come in
contact with these devices.

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VANDALISM

Plugs, cables and sockets are kept away from general public access and stations protected against damage, theft or vandalism. Most cities have not addressed these issues or prepared for
these issues and that leaves people at serious risk. SUMOSU Stations have been planned and developed to offer effective and complete safety measures for the user’s interaction with these stations.

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SOLID STRUCTURE

Many on-street charging points become an obstacle for our drivers. Our equipment is stable and fully protected from possible collisions or other street accidents. Being an automated parking
system, minor damages to the facility such as scrapes and dents are also eliminated.

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WEATHER PROTECTION

Designed to protect and isolate components against extreme weather conditions such as rain, snow or heat waves. The charging system allows to
adapt charging times that suit different
temperatures.

Urban Strategy Roadmap

FROM CONGESTION TO RESILIENCE

Adopting local policies to support the use of car sharing and other public transport will encourage the steady tranformation of cities.

Cities can go beyond responding to carsharing companies’ requests for on-street parking spaces and proactively plan the location of these spaces. SUMOSU Stations place shared cars throughout the city so that most of the population lives within a short walk of at least one carsharing location.

Because each shared car has been estimated to replace up to 17 private vehicles, dedicating on-street spaces to SUMOSU Stations can ultimately increase the availability of on-street free space and significantly reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

Removing the equivalent number of free on-street car park spaces for every built SUMOSU Station will reduce congestion due to drivers looking for a free parking spot and it will optimise the use of city-operated parking facilities. Reducing on-street parking availablility for privately owned cars will encourage more people to join carsharing schemes, creating a positive cycle that will further increase the benefits of carsharing.

URBAN RESILIENCE S.L.
C/ Agricultura 45, Nau 3
08980 Sant Feliu de Llobregat
Barcelona – SPAIN
info@urbanresilience.eu

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