So far, discussions on the energy transition focus mainly on the electricity sector and on its decentralization. The transport sector, however, is widely ignored even though its challenges concerning oil dependency, energy efficiency, and several other negative environmental impacts lead to an urgent need for extending the energy transition to the transport sector. Currently, one promising alternative in this regard is the electrification of passenger road transport by plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), i.e. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV). They come along with a significant increase of energy efficiency and a shift in fuels: from oil dominated to a high diversification potential via the energy carrier electricity. Furthermore, they accelerate the interactions of the transport and the electricity system, which is the main focus of the research group “Transport and Energy”.
Consequently, the overriding objectives are to analyze the market development of PEV in main car markets and to determine the impacts of PEV on (decentral) energy systems and material flows. For this, we apply highly interdisciplinary approaches from business economics, economics, sociology, logistics and other environment related disciplines and with strong cooperation with electrical engineers and computer scientists. Our main methods are based on energy system models, such as optimization tools, agent-based simulation as well as other socio-economic or mathematical models. These models are applied in different fields from service science and psychology to decentralized electricity systems and electricity markets. Currently, a focus is put on the profitability of electro-chemical mobile and stationary storages (in combination with photovoltaic and battery degradation). Service related topics in our field of research are allocated to our associated group eMobility services at the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI). We have a comprehensive exchange with international partners from academia and industry. Our main funding comes from German ministries, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), European Commission, Helmholtz Association, local ministries, and industry.
An overview of our research can be found here.