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Renault and partners plan a “solar smart-charging” project with 150 ZOE EVs


France-based automaker Renault recently confirmed having signed a letter of intent with Utrecht City Council, ElaadNL and LomboXnet to develop a Franco-Dutch framework of smart solar charging solutions for electric vehicles.

Under the agreement, Renault would supply a fleet of 150 Renault ZOE models through 2017 to the Dutch city, while ElaadNL would manage the required infrastructures and the smart-charge standard, and LomboXnet would take care of the installation of the charging stations.

The first phase of the project would see installation of up to 1,000 22 kW smart solar-charge stations powered by 10,000 solar PV panels. Renault and its partners also hint at a possible car-sharing program with the fleet of 150 EVs.

The second phase would be even more ambitious:

“Phase two of the project would proceed with the partners developing a vehicle-to-grid ecosystem, with the network of solar chargers capable of both charging the electric cars and of feeding energy stored in the batteries of parked cars onto the grid to meet demand peaks. This could be the starting point for a new system storing renewably sourced energy.”

Vehicle-to-grid systems have long been in development, but we have yet to see a project of a significant scale to be implemented. Renault’s partner Nissan announced late last year an initiative in the field in partnership with Enel, Europe’s second largest power company.

While Tesla is also believed to be working on a similar vehicle-to-grid system based on comments made by Tesla CTO JB Straubel. Like Renault’s new initiative, Tesla also generate electricity with solar arrays for charging its fleet at a few of its company-owned Supercharging stations.

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  1. freedomev - 7 years ago

    Solar EV stations with say 300kwhr of battery is very good as a clean low cost energy source that mostly happens when needed most for stations, in the day when the sun shines and keeps demand peaks from the grid.
    The other thing is it can be done with minimal electronics as the solar DC output can directly charge the station’s or EV batteries eliminating most of the losses.
    With the next generation of EV’s about 2021 the motor controller, battery charger and grid inverter will be 1 unit sharing the power section as EV’s especially those of 200 mile range and more will both suck up excess power and produce power when needed for homes, business and grid.
    ACPropulsion put their V2G unit in Ford’s production EV, the E Ranger, back in 1999-2000 so none of this is new, 20+ yrs
    old in fact.
    Imagine if big auto hadn’t killed EV’s in 2000 how advanced we’d be now. Remember Nissan then had lithium batteries in theirs then.


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