Mitsubishi Heavy, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Corp. to begin $65M project on EV transportation infrastructure for smart community system demo project in Spain
Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), Hitachi, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) as contractors for the Smart Community System Demonstration Project in Spain, as the result of a feasibility study which was conducted from March through October 2011 by the three companies.
The project, which is aligned with the Malaga Smartcity Project currently under way in Malaga, Spain, will demonstrate and verify various businesses necessary for establishing a transportation infrastructure for electric vehicles. The total budget of the demonstration project, to be conducted for a period through March 2016, is expected to be near ¥5 billon (US$65.2 million).
Approximately 40% of Spain’s energy consumption is in the transportation sector, and the bulk of that energy derives from fossil fuels. For these reasons the country is looking to increase electric vehicle (EV) registrations to 250,000 by 2014 as a way of reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption. The demonstration project will accommodate the need for an infrastructure to support this large volume of EVs.
The demonstration and verification to be carried out under the project will encompass the following:
Establishment of infrastructure to facilitate greater use of EVs, including high-speed EV chargers and an EV management center;
Development of a recharging business model;
Creation of a smart grid management system to ensure stable and safe supplies of electricity to EVs;
Development of information and communications technology (ICT) platforms to connect the EV infrastructure and power systems; and
Development of an integrated service system based on the data accumulated at the EV management center.
The demonstration project plans call for MHI, which has a track record in intelligent transport systems (ITS), to supply the EV management center, EVs (200 vehicles), in-vehicle units and high-speed EV chargers. The company will also carry out studies and verifications of the EV center, the EV infrastructure, and the power management system that will accommodate fluctuations in power supply dependent on renewable energy.
Hitachi, which has experience in information and communication systems and energy management, will provide the demand-side management system, which is coupled with ICT systems, high-speed EV chargers and the demand-side management related to power management system.
MC will create a package integrating business elements and services and study options for global expansion, and also verify the commercial viability of solutions business.
The demonstration project will be conducted under the Japan-Spain Innovation Program (JSIP), which is managed by NEDO and Spain’s Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI). Other entities slated to participate in the project implementation include: Endesa, S.A., Spain’s largest power supplier; Telefonica Investigacion y Desarrollo, S.A. Unipersonal, the country’s foremost telecommunications company; and Sadiel Tecnologias de la Informacion, S.A., an ICT provider.
The JSIP initiative enables parallel funding for joint projects between Japan and Spain that target technology development, with the provision that the Japanese companies involved are already approved for funding by NEDO and the Spanish companies are correspondingly approved by CDTI.
Through their involvement in the demonstration project, MHI, Hitachi and MC will create a new business model leveraging their energy-saving and low-carbon technologies, and promote a smart city business model as a global standard. Each company will also accelerate its activities to develop this business globally in collaboration with its partner companies.
NEDO and the three companies hope that the project will lead to other opportunities for Japanese companies to develop smart community businesses around the world.