In Germany, Renault has run tests on an innovative smart-charging system with The Mobility House (TMH). TMH technology automates electric vehicle charging schedules to coincide with periods when electricity costs less. Eleven ZOE-owner Renault employees in Germany tested the system at their homes.
Once plugged in to a special charge station at the ZOE owner’s home, the car communicates its electricity needs via a Renault Global Data Center to TMH, which schedules vehicle charging on the basis of energy cost data.
Electricity from the grid costs more during high demand periods and less when demand is low, so the system detects consumption peaks and stops charging until the cost falls. Fast charging then proceeds, at lower cost, until the car batteries are fully charged.
This technology enables electric car owners to optimize their electricity expenses without the trouble of having to calculate peak and trough demand periods themselves. It marks the first stage in forthcoming development of “smart grids”.
Renault and TMH are also working together on other solutions for reducing charging costs, and offering electric vehicle owners ways to earn money by generating electricity to be fed into the grid.