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A man and his mission: Charging atmosphere in the basement


Highlights: Michael Lenz from Zorneding has installed 93 parking spaces with electric car charging points. The 71-year-old has organized the infrastructure – anyone can create an end connection themselves. Lenz, a retired engineer, is working to resolve the conflict between the two camps. "I've had to take a lot of verbal punishment," he says of conflicts over e-mobility. "The peace was maintained, in the end we drank a beer together – and that's it," says Lenz of the outvoted.

Status: 10.12.2023, 17:45 PM

By: Josef Ametsbichler

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A power rail on the garage ceiling can be easily retrofitted to supply all parking spaces that are to be equipped with an electric car charging point immediately or later. Michael Lenz from Zorneding will be showing his "lighthouse project" with 93 parking spaces where you could now recharge your batteries. © S. Rosssmann

Michael Lenz has a mission: to infect others with the courage to infect others. The Zornedinger has experienced for himself that nowhere else do the proponents and opponents of electromobility collide as much as in the shared underground car park. Keyword: community of owners.

Zorneding – Stromer drivers want to charge at home and therefore screw a wallbox to the wall. Some combustion engine drivers have reservations about this. And then there are the joint decisions and costs for the cabling. Lenz, a retired engineer, is working to resolve the conflict between the two camps. To this end, he offers free counselling, now far beyond his home town of Zorneding.

Knocking on doors and persuasion

The 71-year-old prefers to talk about "stationary vehicles" rather than vehicles. After all, cars are parked in a parking lot or garage most of the time. "And that's where you have to pack and load them," he says. It took a lot of door-to-door knocking and persuasion to wire up the 93 parking spaces in the underground car park of the apartment buildings on Daxenberg, where Lenz also parks his Tesla. "I've had to take a lot of verbal punishment," he says of conflicts over e-mobility. Some of them turn the wheel completely."

Just a relic from the LPG liquefied car era: a sign restricts parking to petrol and diesel cars. The conductor rail for the e-charging points runs underneath. © S. Rossmann

Burgfrieden maintained

In the end, however, in the vote of the owners' meeting, 85 percent voted for his idea. Significantly more than the necessary two-thirds majority. "The peace was maintained, in the end we drank a beer together – and that's it," he says of the outvoted. "There must be no losers."

Value of the property increases

The Zornedinger lured his neighbors with a ready-made concept that cost less than many expected. "And with that, the value of the property increases," emphasizes the engineer, who spent decades developing computer chips for cars for a large Munich-based company.


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Charging on the back burner

An electric car charges on the back burner where it can be parked for a longer period of time; It doesn't press. 11 kilowatts (kW), which is roughly equivalent to what three ovens swallow. However, an underground car park with 93 spaces does not require a megawatt giant connection (1000 kW). Field tests by car manufacturers and power grid operators have shown that much, much lower connection strengths are sufficient, because usually only a fraction of cars are infected. The rest is controlled by computer-controlled charging management, explains Michael Lenz.

It controls the electricity in such a way that the house connection is not overloaded and still feeds every battery. "750 watts per parking space is more than enough," he says of his rule of thumb. The power consumption of a microwave. For 50 cars, that would be 37,500 kW – hardly more than what the fuse boxes of large single-family homes can handle anyway.

At his parking space, Michael Lenz plugs the power cable into his Tesla. He has organized the infrastructure – anyone can create the end connection themselves if necessary. © S. Rossmann

Collaboration is important

For the connection, Lenz has teamed up with a company from Asslingen that sells wallboxes with hardware and software that can be easily retrofitted. Everyone in the garage has to have the same system, that's a prerequisite for it to work. The Zornedinger estimates the connection costs per parking space at just under 1000 euros, for cabling and load management. The wallbox, which is only due when someone really wants to charge an electric car there, costs up to 1500 euros again.

Energy price of the district

For this concept and his voluntary commitment, the Zornedinger received the energy prize of the Ebersberg district this year. He doesn't earn any money with his advice, he emphasizes – not even investments or bonuses. The only counter-request: a donation to "Doctors Without Borders" if the project becomes something. According to Lenz, it has already initiated a good 40 such underground car park power generation, including one with 250 parking spaces. Part of it has been put into practice.

You can find even more current news from the district of Ebersberg on

Key Takeaway

His most important insight was not to approach the property management, but directly to the owners. "An administrator only administers," says the Zornedinger. Even if prejudices against electric cars are decreasing with their increasing presence, it is still important to repeatedly address issues such as the supposed risk of fire, the demand for raw materials and electricity, and the price structure. He prepares his "technical partners" for this, the interested parties who turn to him because they also want to infect in the shared underground car park.

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Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-12-10

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