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Fleet of 150 Renault ZOE EVs for smart solar charging project

Renault, Europe’s leading electric vehicles manufacturer, and its Dutch economic partners Utrecht City Council, ElaadNL and LomboXnet signed a letter of intent in Paris to develop a Franco-Dutch framework of smart solar charging solutions for electric vehicles.

According to the letter of intent, the city of Utrecht could be the testing ground for the solar smart-charge project. Renault would supply a fleet of 150 Renault ZOE models through 2017 to the city. ElaadNL would handle management of infrastructures and the smart-charge standard, and LomboXnet would take charge of installing the network of unique public charging terminals powered by a 44 kW grid connection. Grid operator Stedin would be involved to balance supply and demand of the grid.

Phase one of the project would involve setting up 1,000 smart solar-charge stations, powered by 10,000 photovoltaic panels in the Utrecht region. Infrastructure installation would run side by side with development of a car-share service of electric cars, powered by renewable energy, for Utrecht residents. The Renault ZOE R.Access connectivity and 22 kW charging make it suited for car-share and smart charging applications.

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.

One of the goals of the Smart Solar Charging Project developed by Renault, ElaadNL, LomboXnet and the Utrecht City Council is to make a substantial contribution to reducing the carbon footprint not only of the auto industry but of all sectors consuming electricity.



How is a smart solar charger different from a bunch of solar cells, a grid connection and a few charge points ?
IMO, this is all you need.
Presumably you can charge directly from the cells to a car when one is plugged in (avoiding grid losses) and feed it into the grid when no-one is charging.
Similarly, you can charge from the grid when there is no sun.

By all means have solar panels on / over charge stations, but the two could easily be decoupled with almost no loses, and might be easier to construct.

You might as well stick solar on to all reasonably sized flat roofs as it has got so cheap. Especially factories and maybe schools.
And just feed the excess capacity into the grid.
(Schools are a funny case because they are closed in summer when solar irradiance is at its highest).


This meets triple bottom line economics.
That is often a requirement for investment.
Education, publicity, infrastructure support.
Very well designed from that perspective.

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