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Daimler and RWE Launch EV Project in Berlin; 100+ EVs, 500 Charging Points

Mercedes-Benz and smart EVs for e-mobility Berlin. Click to enlarge.

Daimler AG and RWE AG have jointly launched a large-scale electric vehicle (EV) trial in Berlin: e-mobility Berlin. Daimler will provide more than 100 electric cars from Mercedes-Benz and smart as well as the vehicle service. RWE is handling the development, installation and operation of the charging infrastructure accounting for some 500 charging points, the supply of electricity and central control of the system.

The partners are co-developing the interfaces between the vehicle and the intelligent charging points to enable effective, customer-friendly and convenient everyday operation. The payment system is based on an exchange of data between an in-car communication system and the charging point. The project is being supported by the German federal government.

Our joint initiative is a good example of what can be achieved when policy makers, energy suppliers and the automotive industry all work together towards the same goal. Our mobility concept is based on an integrated solution combining electric cars suitable for everyday use and the appropriate charging infrastructure. In this way we are decisively improving customer friendliness and the suitability of electric vehicles.

—Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars

Charging points will be installed at home, at the workplaces, and in public areas. The project will also explore vehicle-to-grid integration, with the on-board lithium-ion packs storing electricity when demand is low and feeding it back in the network when demand is high. Both partners are relying on open standards and are willing to cooperate with other companies on the development of joint solutions in the future.

The new generation smart ed (electric drive). Click to enlarge.

E-mobility Berlin will feature the new generation of the smart ed (electric drive), introduced by Dieter Zetsche earlier this week on the occasion of smart’s 10th anniversary and the production of the one-millionth smart fortwo. Unlike its predecessor, the new smart ed will use a lithium-ion battery pack.

The first smart fortwo ev (electric vehicle) made its debut in 2006. The first-generation smart electric drive featured a 30 kW (41 hp) electric motor powered by sodium-nickel-chloride (Zebra) battery. Since 2007 a test fleet with 100 of these first-generation smart EVs has been in everyday service in London. (Earlier post.)

Daimler plans to begin serial production of lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles for Mercedes-Benz and smart in 2010.



With communication already in place between the cars and the network operator, it seems like the logical next step would be to establish some "peak-shaving" operation... slow or stop charging when demand for electricity is highest. This service to the grid could represent another revenue stream that could defray the cost of the vehicles.


Uhhh, GoodCheeer, they already do that, read the article:


Ooops, missed the quote:

with the on-board lithium-ion packs storing electricity when demand is low and feeding it back in the network when demand is high.


Having demand based pricing is obvious, it might be 20c / Kwh, 10c at night and 50c - 1e for peak (5-7pm) times.

You barely need to meter it - you could just put in a 1 or 2 euro coin to charge it for a day's driving (@20c/kwh).

- Your car should be able to tell you how much power it needs and you "feed the meter" to pay for it - this way you eliminate the complexity of getting charging stations to talk to various makes of cars.

I would be cautious about letting anyone drain my expensive and cycle limited LiOn battery.

I would only use V2G for my own house in a power out emergency - unless you could prove a very large number of battery discharge cycles ( say > 2000 ).

Batteries are very expensive currently and you don't want the utility to exhaust yours for a few Euros / night.

A network of charging stations, especially at people's places of work and shopping could really help - you would need half the battery capacity if you could charge at work. If there were lots of charging stations around, you would have less to worry about if you were running low on juice - just pop in for a few KwH and a cup of coffee.
The AA might also have to have a service to get people moving in the case of dead batteries.
Or is there some kind of long life chemical battery that you could keep for emergencies that would give you say 5-10 Kwh?


This goes hand-in-hand with Germany's renewable energy program.

The share of electricity from renewable energy in Germany has increased from 6.3 percent in 2000 to over 14 percent in 2007. More than 9 billion euros (US$12.7 billion) was invested in new renewable energy installations in Germany in 2006. Some 240,000 people in Germany were employed in the renewable energy sector in 2006, especially in small and medium sized companies. Over half of these jobs are attributed to the Renewable Energy Sources Act. Since 1997, Germany and the other states of the European Union have been working towards a target of 12% renewable energy by 2010. As this target was already surpassed, on April 26, 2007, Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced that it would be raised to 27% by 2020.

With 6.5% of their electricity now coming from wind and solar it makes sense to think about adding a large stock of mobile batteries in some sort of V2G system.


Orrrrr, if you're like mahonj, skip the V2G and just use intelligent charging.



Shallow cycles at low power hardly reduce the life of your expensive battery. I suspect the designers of the car limit V2G operation to shallow cycles and low power. So you don't have to worry about your battery.

check 123

check out these cool new evs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_laBPi9wbA


OK, if you can guarantee no more than say 20% discharge for v2g, it might be OK.
Again, it wouldn't really be the money you would do it for - say you had a 40 KwH battery and you sold 8 Kwh @ 50c, having purchased it at 10c, you would make e4.00 / cycle - It would probably only happen at weekdays, so 250 opportunities / year = e1K / year. Which is something, but not a lot.
Also, a lot of people are actually driving from 5-7pm (going home) so the opportunities are reduced.

You might be able to get extra money for providing an emergency amount of 40 - 60% in the case of a dire grid emergency and get paid:
a: for allowing it at all and
b: for the actual power at say e1/kwh.

They might only be allowed to do this 10 times / year.

Again, much of the payback is knowing that you are doing your bit for the grid or as Bob Dylan almost put it ...
"The answer, my friend, is blowing in the grid"

You might get a sticker for your car to say you were good.

On another note, why not just have stationary batteries to cover these situations - they would not have to be light like LiOn, they would just have to have the capacity.

Once you had variable rate electricity pricing, people could buy their own, or switch to gas for cooking.


A few million PHEVs and BEVs charging at night will contribute to even up power consumption and should potentially make the average power cheaper.

Much the same could be accomplished with an intelligent timer (such as a $30 baseboard heater electronic programmable thermostat) on our electric hot water heaters.


Hope you are correct about shallow discharging of our e-car batteries by the power grid operators.

The time has come for stardardized connectors and associated tools.


This is great news. Electric cars are coming.


Any programmable parameters can be designed into the EV.
The program is as required by the vehicle system and equally importantly by the consumer who after all as they pay gets the say.
(the customer is always right and comes first.)
The power co is then a grateful recipient.
This correct priority and programmability will be as necessary for marketing as for function.


The only way I see V2G working is if the power company pays you a LOT of money when you are feeding power into the grid.. after all, you are providing power just when it is needed and right where it is needed, and we know the batteries are not cheap. How about $1 per kwh?, more?


Not likely that V2G option will be popular with car owners, at least first 5-6 years of mass EV introduction.
V2G capable EV would require a more expensive invertor, with interface to the grid, and some extra protection.
Even if very shalow discharge can be programmed in EVs (say up to 15%, that practically won't shorten cycle life), there is additional risk of something going bad at 380V (3 phase) interface to the grid.
In the worst case some spikes (during lightening), or a short on the grid can do significant dammage to entire car electronics.
And the protection that limits discharge to say 15% sometimes won't work, or can be set wrong way by mistake.

To me (from perspective of a future EV owner) the V2G looks too much risk for minimal gain.

A better way to even up the power consumption (or to smooth the peak demand) would be to introduce more smart high power devices (including car battery chargers) at households that could interpret some overload signal from power lines and turn itself off for a short time. Also some algorithms should be implemented so that not all devices come back up at the same time, ie have some back off mechanism, like on ethernet cables.


Da..da..da..da... Trumpet fanfare please.

The electric party has kicked up a notch in Berlin.

To complete my day. I just need Henry to write a few one liners on the perils of all electrics and the need for PHEV's only.

John Taylor

Dear Sirs
The idea of getting an Electric Car is quite a thrill to me. I hope one will be available at a price I can afford, and the sooner the better. Obviously I want a recharge system available that is standard for all cars and capable of handling a 40kWh battery recharge in an hour or less. (Recommend 220v 100a 3ph)

One of the most expensive parts of such a vehicle is the battery. So far, all high density batteries are high cost and have limited life (sufficiently long to be useful, but still limited).

The idea of using MY transport battery to modulate the grid is not going to fly. Sorry, I need MY car when I need it, not when the grid feels like making it available. I have ZERO interest in being a part of V2G technology or of using an expensive transport battery frivolously. I suspect most drivers will feel similarly when making the real choice. The idea is fine for others, but not for me. (NIMBY - Not In My Battery Youfukers )

However, the Battery 2 Grid idea is not necessarily dead. Many homes (including mine) have installed or will install home generating systems with battery storage. Home generated power storage batteries would be PERFECT for modulating grid power, they will be cheap heavy old tech batteries that no one will worry about replacing when necessary. If a system for selling power when needed is made available most any homeowner will jump at the opportunity.

The idea is H2G (Home to Grid) ... I install solar panels, or wind machine and a battery bank, *(recommend 5 kW generating capacity as a normal home benchmark) then H2G systems connect and monitor how much extra power I produce and decide when to sell it to the grid. This interface needs to be “plug in capable” so home power can easily get plugged into it, as can a battery pack and power generator, and phone/cable line for intelligent control. This H2G system should be cheaper than the silly V2G requirements, and far more useful. The system would have the added advantage of making home generating systems more affordable and more attractive, and reduce grid loading ... Win Win Win. 

Meanwhile, If I decide to go out at 3 pm one afternoon, my car is still ready to go the distance.

Please reconsider V2G and consider H2G as a “better idea” grid modulating feature.

Thank you

ps... if anyone is interested in helping develop such a system as H2G, please have them contact me.


"Meanwhile, If I decide to go out at 3 pm one afternoon, my car is still ready to go the distance."

Well John as long as you are at home when you make that decision you're free to go anywhere/anytime, but if you're at work that afternoon I think your boss will insist you and your car stay put. [mine does]

Its amazing you accredit H2G with so much intelligence and flexability ("H2G systems connect and monitor how much extra power I produce and decide when to sell it to the grid.") but you wont let V2G have the same.

In V2G your car will learn your habits. It will know you've never used it during 'this hour and that hour' on 'these' days and tell the grid. Even if you don't want to use up limited battery cycles just giving the grid a little flexability in when it recharges your car over an eight+ hour period is a value they should pay you for.

Remember, the grid's need to match supply with demand doesn't just mean they have to find extra power during unexpected spikes in demand, they also have to dump power somehow during unexpected drops in demand or unexpected spikes in supply [wind gusts].


Come on...

Turn off your V2G if you dont want it in your car, but it really needs to be an option for motorists who can help out and make a small buck at the same time. V2G research, development and deployment need to happen at the same time as charging grids and EVs.


What people seem to be forgetting here is that people who participate in V2G will do so because they will $$PROFIT$$, over and above any convenience loss. Otherwise of course it wouldn't work. The economic details can be studied here:


Decide not to at your own $$ loss.

John Taylor

ai_vin > Well John as long as you are at home when you make that decision you're free to go anywhere/anytime, but if you're at work that afternoon I think your boss will insist you and your car stay put. [mine does]

> I'm happy that you are such an understanding employee who never ever has personal emergencies.
Most of us do have contingency plans for emergency situations (family member gets in accident, damn bursts and will flood our workplace) and our car is a big part of the transportation plan to deal with these.

It may be that some day they will make an ideal transportation battery that is also ideal for grid stabilization, but so far we don't have such a thing available. One reasonable part of the V2G plan that can be done is to use load shedding on charge up ports during peak times to even the grid loading, and this would only extend recharge by a minimal time factor.


@ John Taylor

It may be that some day they will make an ideal transportation battery that is also ideal for grid stabilization...


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