gridX optimises charging infrastructure for Swiss Post’s all-electric delivery fleet

Smart energy company gridX has partnered with Post Immobilien Management und Services AG (Post Immobilien) to support Swiss Post AG by sustainably operating its delivery fleet in Switzerland, utilising gridX’s independent energy management system.
gridX optimises charging infrastructure for Swiss Post’s all-electric delivery fleet
Courtesy of Swiss Post/gridX

The collaboration with Post Immobilien began in early 2023 and is initially set to run for five years, with the aim of maximising the use of available power capacity and preventing overloads, without restricting fleet operations.

All loads on site connected to the grid connection point (GCP) – including the charge points used to charge the electric delivery fleet, as well as the base load of the buildings on site – will in the future be digitally connected, monitored and controlled using gridX's IoT platform XENON. This enables dynamic load management, which makes it possible to charge all vehicles as quickly as possible and according to current demand without causing overloads.

Since the start of the cooperation, more than 200 charging points at three locations have already begun intelligent operation; XENON has already optimised more than 30,000 charging cycles.

Selected charge points at various locations will be progressively digitised and networked via the gridBox, and their energy flows visualised on the XENON platform. This enables comprehensive intelligent monitoring, as well as active control of all devices and their energy consumption by means of dynamic load management. In concrete terms, this means that all charge points can be optimally coordinated and adjusted according to the real-time capacity at the GCP, as well as individually defined criteria.

On top of using energy as efficiently as possible and avoiding overloads, the primary goal is to charge the batteries of all vehicles at a specific time to guarantee smooth operation at all locations. In addition, CO2 emissions and costs can be significantly reduced.

This becomes clear in one scenario in particular: at the end of the business day, all vehicles return to the site between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. If each car in the fleet reaches the charging park at the same time and is plugged in for charging, this poses a risk of overload as charging electric vehicles (EVs) requires a lot of capacity. Without smart management, huge grid connection capacity would be needed to handle this large simultaneous load.

With intelligent control of the loads, expansion of the grid connection can be reduced to a minimum, or the need completely eliminated. Dynamic load management overcomes the issue of each EV wanting to charge its battery as quickly and with as much power as possible – a risk for the GCP and all fuses at the site, especially when there are multiple simultaneous charging processes in a fleet.

On the one hand, XENON enables the application of various intelligent charging strategies, or smart charging for every use case. On the other hand, charging at full power overnight is not necessary because most electric cars in the fleet are not needed again until the morning. Smart load management optimises charging by, for example, delaying charging until around 1:00 a.m. or charging with lower power, while guaranteeing that every EV is fully operational the following morning for the start of service. In addition, dynamic load management also offers scope for further expansion of the charging infrastructure and future optimisation options, such as the use of dynamic tariffs.

Energy management with XENON delivers another advantage for large charging parks: the management of clusters with many different sub-distributions, also known as multi-fuse management. This feature allows gridX technology to manage complex charging sites especially well, such as Swiss Post’s large logistics center near Bern with 85 charging points.

Such heavy charging loads would be extremely risky without management of the energy flows, as even a few simultaneous charging processes pose an enormous risk of overloads at sub-distribution points and the GCP, which could also jeopardise the operation of the logistics provider's distribution centre. gridX's dynamic load management guarantees permanent overload protection here just as it does at smaller sites, as it is capable of monitoring and controlling any number of sub-distributions.

“Swiss Post's sites are challenging as they often feature a very large number of charge points” said Sandro Gilgen, e-mobility specialist at Post Immobilien. “Additionally, they should – in the future – include devices from different manufacturers. Last but not least, they should ensure that operations maintain continuity. With XENON, we have found a manufacturer-independent, smart energy management system that ideally fits our requirements and also offers a simple user interface.”

Image: Swiss Post is 100 percent electric in the cities of Bern and Zurich. In the future, gridX’s energy management system will ensure that their vehicle fleet’s charging infrastructure functions seamlessly at these locations.

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