Cluster Emobilität Süd-West

Cluster Emobilität Süd-West

AUTOPLES Research Project

Stuttgart, 18.03.2013

The AUTOPLES (“Automatisiertes Parken & Laden von Elektrofahrzeug-Systemen“ - automated parking and charging of electric vehicle systems) research project in the Spitzencluster "Elektromobilität Süd-West" group of companies with TransEnergyPartners, cartech company, Conductix-Wampfler, FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik, and Wöhr as partners. Funded by the German Ministry of education and research (BMBF) with € 2.3 million.

The new AUTOPLES joint project will develop automatic parking and charging systems that use the parking time of electric vehicles efficiently and thus improve user comfort.


The proportion of zero-emission vehicles will need to grow with the increasing intensification of climate goals and CO2 targets for the automotive industry. If electric cars are to prevail in the market, an exhaustive and convenient charging infrastructure is needed. This is best done where vehicles are parked frequently and for long periods of time  - in commercial parking areas, garages and car parks.


Currently, efficiency, charging times, ease of use, and driving ranges of electric vehicles are still unsatisfactory from the consumer's perspective For energy providers, the automotive industry including parts suppliers, and other service providers this creates the challenge to develop new cost-effective charging solutions suitable for everyday  use.


AUTOPLES with an initial time frame of two and a half years, will receive € 2.3 million of financial support from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the leading-edge business cluster “Elektromobilität Süd-West” (’Electric Mobility South-West’). The project joins four small to medium-sized companies and a research institute with the objective of optimizing the power supply of electric vehicles for the user.


With their drive for innovation and their expertise, the five partners want to explore the necessary control & charging systems and at the same time, develop appropriate business models to improve chances for broad market success. Newly-formed Stuttgart based company TransEnergyPartners GmbH has taken on the role of overseeing project co-ordinator. The other partners of the AUTOPLES project are: CTC cartech company GmbH, Böblingen; FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; Otto Wöhr GmbH, Friolzheim; and Conductix-Wampfler GmbH, Weil am Rhein.


The project was launched in January 2013 and will be finished in June 2015. The project partners will then present sustainable & viable solutions and prototypes for specific usage scenarios

Goals and objectives

Lead by Prof. Johann Tomforde, electric mobility pioneer and inventor of the smart, on behalf of TransEnergyPartners, AUTOPLES centers on research of a marketable, user-oriented, energy-efficient, industry-standard-setting parking and charging technology for quick market penetration of electric mobility - guided by the motto: "the most convenient and efficient way to charge up, in the history of automobiles." Among other things the project will look into car usage and parking habits of typical electric car users, possibilities for autonomous and co-ordinated moving of electric vehicles, convenient automated charging technologies, and safety-related topics.

Innovations and prospects

The various AUTOPLES models for automated parking of electric cars come with a low cost for the basic installation and can be extended gradually with increasing electric car usage. These models include the automated, demand-oriented charging in customer-specific time windows with inexpensive renewable energy. This way the functionality, security, efficiency, and the ease of use reach a marketable level for investors and end users.

[Energy plus-parking tower with AUTOPLES system]

Vision of the future: Energy plus parking tower planned with AUTOPLES system for automated parking and charging of electric vehicles as "E Carsharing-Tower" (Prof. Tomforde)

The business partners

Conductix-Wampfler GmbH

Conductix-Wampfler is the world’s leading supplier of mobile energy supply and data transmission systems. Conductix-Wampfler’s core competence lies in the development, production, consulting and installation of solutions that provide tailor-made answers for all questions to do with energy supply and data transmission for moving consumers. In addition to its undisputed capabilities in these sectors, the company is remarkable for its expertise in applications, since today, all the typical technologies for the transmission of energy and data are combined under one roof. Festoon systems, conductor rails, energy guiding chains, spring cable reels, motorized cable reels, slip ring assemblies and contactless power transmission systems. For the customers, this means consulting without bias towards a particular product, and the means to achieve the optimum technical implementation for the specific application.

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CTC cartech company GmbH

CTC cartech company is a developer and manufacturer of electronics tailored to customer needs, with unique features in the automotive industry in general and in electric mobility, as well as controlling, measuring and testing technology in particular. Electric drives, or its accompanying components, such as charging systems, power distribution systems, converters, energy storage, and cable sets have emerged as a focus of development. In addition, special attention is given to the complete vehicle network and topology. To comprehensively test components, CTC operates testing facilities that meet the power performance and safety requirements for the certification of high voltage equipment. Additionally and as an extension of the value chain, CTC goes beyond the usual small prototype quantities for the developed components and systems and is able to produce small series in the connected factory as well. CTC cartech company is fully certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2008. The CTC cartech company’s headquarters are situated in Böblingen with another production site in Fellbach.

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FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik 

The FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik (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. FZI also qualifies young scientists for their careers in academics, business or self-employment. Led by professors from different faculties, interdisciplinary research teams at FZI develop prototypical concepts, software, hardware and system solutions for their clients. The FZI House of Living Labs provides a unique environment for application research. Every department at FZI operates under a certified quality management system according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2008. Departments working on medical information technologies are also certified according to DIN EN ISO 13485:2010. The FZI has the legal form of a non-profit foundation under German civil law. Its headquarters are in Karlsruhe and it is represented in Berlin with a branch office.

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TransEnergyPartners GmbH

"Forward thinking in the areas of mobility and energy" - TransEnergyPartners is a consulting firm and service provider focusing on the areas of transport, mobility and the automotive industry, innovation and technology, renewable energy, investment models, and IT infrastructure services. Our core competencies include business model development, technology and innovation management, and change process support. We support our clients from strategic preparation to operational implementation to the roll-out and the implementation. For investors in the area of renewable energy we offer project implementation and management of operating companies.

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Otto Wöhr GmbH 

Wöhr is specialized in space-saving parking systems since 1959 and is today one of the leading manufacturers: from the double-storey solution for two cars to modern parking towers to automated parking systems in the style of a high rack warehouse for several hundred cars. Depending on project and product, between 2 and 3 times more cars can be parked in the given space than in a traditional ramp garage. Wöhr produces with a high technological standard in Friolzheim and offers the largest product range for parking systems worldwide. Wöhr exports to over 50 countries: more than 400,000 parkling spaces installed, of which over 30,000 in Asia, stand for the reliability and safety of Wöhr parking systems.

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