Use e-charging stations as a plus for golfers

Actually, the International Motor Show in the Munich exhibition halls is a long way away. When the weather is good, in the parking lot of the Allgäu Golf and Country Club in Ottobeuren, hardly a golfer thinks about CO2 emissions in 2030 and the future of e-mobility before the round. On the other hand, the whole of Germany is talking a lot about the future of transport with electric cars this week. How it can look like on a golf course – Johannes Siemenczuk (picture), club manager of the course in Ottobeuren, has planned this topic in detail.

Eight e-charging stations at four fuel pumps

“We have now planned three more charging stations with six connections, and we will have them managed via ChargePoint, so that they are displayed on a Germany-wide map for every e-car driver and can be approached,” he explains in front of a small construction site on which new charging stations are created. “The app on the cell phone shows the customer whether the charging station is available.” In the future, according to Siemens, the Allgäu Golf and Country Club will set trends in the golf scene in terms of photovoltaics and e-mobility.

Own electricity production continues to increase

A second photovoltaic system was recently installed on a roof, so that the output is now 100 kilowatts peak. “Previously we had 40 percent less, but this has already resulted in us being able to save half our electricity costs.” Now the club can once again significantly increase electricity production, which was 55,000 kilowatt hours in 2019.

State funding for fuel pumps

Part of the electricity flows into the two filling stations for e-bikes and the existing one charging station, which is also used by members from time to time. With the expansion to a total of eight charging stations, however, the topic of e-mobility for the golf course is becoming more complex. “The costs are around 10,000 euros for one of the charging stations, plus the infrastructure. That’s why we submitted an application for funding,” sums up Siemenczuk. As soon as this is positive, the three other charging stations will be installed.

The service provider ChargePoint, which is one of the leading providers in this area and has also equipped Google and Ikea, takes over the complete handling of the logistics. The local golfer, like a normal green fee guest, can find the charging stations on a map of Germany, book their charging process via the ChargePoint app and park their car during the round or a visit to the restaurant. “Of course we will then calculate that, although of course you can also think about whether refueling can then be part of a full green fee.” Here, according to Siemens, the topic of marketing is relevant again. “With discounted green fee vouchers, you could then ask for the full tank price.”

“Not that the chef runs out of electricity when everyone is filling up”

In addition to the pricing of the refueling process, which will probably be around 40 to 50 cents per kilowatt hour, the smooth process is also essential: “On the one hand, it’s important that a golfer doesn’t block the gas station for five hours, on the other hand, we have to make sure that our entire infrastructure doesn’t collapse because the gas stations are used so much that our cook might not have electricity for the catering any more.” The exact procedure on the system, according to the knowledge in Ottobeuren, must be planned in advance. “ Charge management systems and the creation of load profiles are essential here,” the club manager states. The golfer is notified via his app when the car is full of fuel, so he can move after nine holes. Depending on the power requirement in the clubhouse, the available power from the charging stations is throttled.

E-charging stations important for tourists

The topic of e-mobility is also important for the Allgäu G&LC from a tourism point of view: “We are close to the A7, so we are also part of a holiday route towards Austria and Switzerland. If we can offer an e-tank process here that is handled professionally, the golfers might combine it with a day on our course.” This also ensures the profitability of the fuel pumps in the long run.

Johannes Siemenczuk gives only one piece of advice to potential imitators on other golf courses: “Introducing e-fuelling in the golf club quickly doesn’t work. You have to plan that pretty carefully, especially when it comes to funding. Half a year goes by quickly.”