Renault starts reversible charging pilot in world first

By CARSIFU | 22 March 2019

PARIS: Renault is starting the first large-scale pilot schemes in alternating-current, vehicle-to-grid charging in electric vehicles.

A fleet of 15 Zoe vehicles with vehicle-to-grid charging will be introduced in Europe over the course of 2019 to develop its future offerings in reversible charging and lay the groundwork for the future standards.

The pilot schemes will begin in the Netherlands and Portugal.

These pilot schemes started on Thursday in Utrecht (the Netherlands) in an ecosystem developed by We Drive Solar and on Porto Santo Island (in the archipelago of Madeira, Portugal) with Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira, an energy supplier. Following these, more pilot schemes will be introduced in France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.

Technology using an onboard reversible charger is said to greatly reduce the related cost of charging terminals.

Vehicle-to-grid charging — also called reversible charging — modulates the charging and discharging of electric-vehicle batteries in accordance with users’ needs and the grid’s supply of available electricity.

Charging reaches its maximum level when the electricity supply exceeds demand, notably during peaks in production of renewable energy. But vehicles are also capable of injecting electricity into the grid during peaks in consumption.

Electric vehicles can therefore serve units of temporary energy storage and become key drivers in the development of renewable energy. In this way, the electricity grid optimises the supply of local renewable energy and reduces infrastructure costs.

At the same time, customers enjoy greener, more economical consumption of electricity and are financially rewarded for serving the electricity grid.