Cities in Charge


In the course of the „Sofortprogramm Saubere Luft 2017 bis 2020“, the project „Cities in Charge“ was developed. The consortium consists of the Telekom subsidiary Comfort Charge GmbH, the Fraunhofer-Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), the RWTH Aachen University and the state capital Dresden. On the part of the RWTH Aachen University, in addition to the ISB, the Human-Computer Interaction Center (HCIC) and the Institute for High Voltage Equipment and Grids, Digitalization and Energ Economics (IAEW) are involved. In collaboration with the IFAM, the three academic institutes take on the accompanying research for the project.

The overall aim of the consortium is the building of charging infrastructure (CIS) in German metropolitan areas and their surrounding areas. Especially the cities of Bonn, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Leipzig and Munich suffer from increased air pollution levels. By making these regions more attractive for electric vehicles in terms of the accessibility of CIS, the number of these vehicles should be increased, which, in turn, achieves a contribution to the NOx-reduction. More specifically, it is planned to build publicly accessible CIS on the Telekom properties within these cities and along the connections to the surrounding areas.

  Overview of input data and schematic procedure of the site assessment Copyright: © ISB Illustration: Overview of input data and schematic procedure of the site assessment

The task of the ISB will be to explore the interaction of the spatial and transport infrastructure with the mobility requirements of the people. Therefore, the Site Selection Model for electric Charging Infrastructure (STELLA), which was developed by our institute for the detailed analysis of settlement structures and potential users of electromobility, should be extended and adapted to the framework conditions and the requirements of this specific application. The aim of this model is the detailed calculation of the number of charging points, the required charging capacity and of the expected utilization considering the premises of area coverage as well as fulfilment of demand. In doing so, the results will be sensitive to the development of charging infrastructure. This makes it possible to study the effects of different buildup strategies on loading requirements. Parameters concerning people (for example social demographics, socioeconomics), transport infrastructure with traffic linkages and resulting traffic load (including the consideration of, for example, seasonal fluctuations), and spatial analyses as detailed as the level of urban quarters (types of area, building structures, levels of demand, usage profiles, times of arrival, residence times, etc.) are taken into account for the calculation. Furthermore, insights that can be gained from the use of already constructed charging infrastructure are incorporated into the modeling. The model will be updated for this application with expertise and results of other research institutes.

The research focusses of the other two chairs of the RWTH Aachen University are on user analyses as well as electricity distribution network analyses.

The HCIC researches target-group-specific requirements of potential users of the new CIS for the design and the optimization of the charging and service offering. For this purpose, an identification and validation of all factors that are relevant for the use of electromobility and the acceptance of the local charging infrastructure on the user side takes place. The focus is on requirements and potential trade-offs in the readiness of use for certain target groups (for example employees and residents at the project location, commuters, craftsmen and other service providers). Based on empirically determined and locally related user profiles, a parameterization of the model for site assessment (ISB) and recommendations for action for the comprehensive and needs-oriented construction of a user-friendly charging infrastructure regarding electromobility and charging behaviour as well as site preferences are possible.

The Institute for High Voltage Equipment and Grids, Digitalization and Energ Economics (IAEW) explores in different scenarios of present and future supply tasks the effects of charging infrastructure on the load of the distribution networks as well as the usage of smart charging strategies and innovative concepts on grid operation management to avoid network congestion. The analyses of the power grid for the considered cities are carried out based on distribution network models. Because, during this project, network data is not available for all the regarded cities, a network generator will be developed which compiles representative, geo-referenced and synthetical network data based on network-operator-specific features of the network structure.

The joint goal of the RWTH-partners is the detailed and future-oriented consideration of the entire mobility with an even more detailed analysis on electromobility and the therefore needed charging infrastructure.


Another goal of the consortium is the development of recommendations for action for the positioning und building of CIS. On the one hand, they are useful to pass on the results of this project to the municipalities and to support them with their own projects. On the other hand, with them being published, they offer the possibility to make the findings available for a broader (potential) user area or stakeholders of this field of electromobility.

  Copyright: © BMWK

Project Manager: Prof. Kuhnimhof
Contact: Fabian Kühnel M.Sc.
Contributors : Fabian Kühnel M.Sc., Marcel Porschen M.Sc., Dipl.Ing. Ingmar Seitz
Funding Authority : Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action​
Time Period: 08.2018 – 09.2023

Project Consortium:
Comfortcharge GmbH [Verbundkoordinator]
HCIC RWTH Aachen University
IAEW RWTH Aachen University
Fraunhofer IFAM
Landeshauptstadt Dresden

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